Sunday, March 7, 2010
by Catherine Fisher
Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.
Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can't remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He's going to escape, even though most inmates don't believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.
Claudia claims to live Outside--her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she's doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return.
But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.
"Incarceron...A Prison like no other...It gives life...It deals death...It watches all."
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's an intriguing new idea...a prison that governs itself. One that's not too far from a possibility in our future. That's what I really love about most of the YA dystopias out right now; the realization that these stories are possible...maybe not probable, but possible.
What I really enjoyed, too, about this particular dystopia was that it also had a steampunk feel. Once their society advanced too far, the ruling King decreed that the realm would live in a state of "Protocol." Though they had developed technology, they would no longer be allowed to use it. Society was repressed to the simplicity of a society like our Victorian Age. By all appearances, society obeyed, but underneath the surface, most still used their technological advancements to make life easier.
I loved Incarceron as a character. It was creepy and philosophical at the same time. Cool.
I liked Claudia, Jared, Finn, Attia, and even the Warden as characters. I was not as fond of Keiro, but then, I don't think I was supposed to like him...:P
I did not always enjoy their interactions with each other, though. I found the "revelation" that Finn may be Giles was a little predictable and unexciting. I was much more impressed with the revelations that Claudia was born in Incarceron, that the Warden could enter Incarceron, and that Sapphique had not really escaped his imprisonment.
All that being said, though this book took me a few more days than I had expected to read and some bits felt slow, I definitely look forward to reading the next book. It ended on a high note!