Thursday, April 29, 2010

Incarceron ~ Catherine Fisher review

Incarceron (Incarceron Book #1)
Dial
January 26, 2010
448 Pages
buy @ Amazon


Incarceron is a huge prison built, centuries ago as a sort of utopia for prisoners. Their every need would be cared for away from the rest of society; giving them a world unto themselves. Now, though, the metal structure so vast it really is it's own world is self aware and running some things itself. The prisoners-who are born, live and die there-know only of Incarceron and have created their own societies, their structure more Dystopian than Utopian to be sure.

But, there's one boy Finn who believes in the Outside, who believes he's from the Outside and is determined to find his way there, pointless though everyone says it is. In one of his nefarious Incarceron activities he finds a crystal key and his quest to escape truly begins.

In a world separate form Incarceron, a world living under Protocol is Claudia, the daughter of Incarceron's Warden. Protocol is a world where everything is much more like the 17th than the 21st century, from a lack of electricity to the kind of glass that can be used in electricity, for their own good everyone has been forcibly taken back in time by a royal decree ("We forbid growth and therefore decay. Ambition and therefore despair. Because each is only the warped reflection of the other. Above all, Time is forbidden. From now on nothing will change." King Endor's Decree). Claudia is eager to escape an arranged marriage, succeeding her father, and an end to Protcol, When she finds a key of her own and a way to contact Incarceron the action really gets going.


I am probably one of five people that didn't just love, love, love Incarceron right from page one. I did love the synopsis and the video trailer right away, but the book itself took a while to grab me. Two hundred pages of a while, actually.

I was about to give up on the book because it really wasn't interesting me or holding my attention but I'd already read so much (and heard so many good things about it) that I decided to stick with it. And I'm very glad that I did. Once the book got good for me, it really got good.

I know because I wasn't very interested in the beginning, well, basically half of the book that I missed some hints of things. I would notice things later in the book that I knew were mentioned earlier in the story but I hadn't been reading as closely as I would have if I'd really been enjoying things, so I think if you enjoy it from the start, you really, really do and the less you do, the less you do. (I hope that was a viable explanation!)

The idea of Protocol was really intriguing and very interesting for the story. Because this is a voluntary retreat in time, the recent inventions are still around and known, making this a very interesting mix of past and present without seeming contrived. There was the restriction of the 17th century but still some of the knowledge available now and current developments when they were necessary/useful.

I liked the characters much more when they were interacting with each other and once the story got past the 'set up' point (ie past page 200).

I'll definitely be reading Sapphique the second book in this series and hope that I like it from page one, this time :)


7/10 (though it's more a 5/10 for 1-200 and 9/10 for 201-448)

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