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Incarceron (Incarceron #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  49,055 Ratings  ·  4,882 Reviews
A thrilling, high-concept fantasy for fans of Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer.

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside,
Hardcover, 442 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Dial (first published 2007)
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Kyla That depends. There is no sex or swearing and violence is more implied than described so in that sense I guess it would be okay. However, there is a…moreThat depends. There is no sex or swearing and violence is more implied than described so in that sense I guess it would be okay. However, there is a point where a group of people are murdered (the bridge they were on gets cut) and the world of Incarceron is a cruel, disgusting world that I did not appreciate my 11 year old daughter reading about although I couldn't pinpoint a specific reason why. It's just an awful book in general and I have no idea why they would put it on the required reading list. It would serve it's purpose better in the trash. (less)
Montgomerie by no page. I wanted to put it down at page 1. I kept reading because people said it got better. I'm sorry, but it doesn't.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 21, 2011 Cory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I know many of you are staring at my two star review with amazement. I imagine you're thinking, "Cory, how could you?! This is one of the greatest steam-punk novels ever written! How can you rate it without even finishing it?"

To that, I have a simple answer: I wasn't impressed.

This book, like many fantasy novels I've ignored for the past few years, follows the Hero's Journey like a bible.

Of course we have a mystery revolving around the hero's past. Of course the hero has to be of royal blood bec
Kat Kennedy
Jun 21, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it really liked it
I found it difficult to enjoy Incarceron at first.

You know that saying, Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Ya, this is Incarceron all over.

So there's two worlds in this one story. There's the "real" world and the Incarceron world.

The real world is a futuristic world with fantastical technologies - which are not used much because the King of that world decided that change was bad, progress - demeaning and invention - unsafe. So he reverted the whole world to a pre-regenc
Mike (the Paladin)
I finished this book last night but waited till this morning to review it. Had I not, I suspect that the review would have been a bit more...vitriolic.

I've run on several mediocre YA novels recently and that not only disappoints me, but gives me pause. maybe I'm getting harder to please?

Having just gone through the Percy Jackson series and found it disappointing and reading a book by Tamora Pierce which I found mostly stultifyingly dull, I was rooting for this one. Unfortunately it just didn't w
Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical)
Where to begin? I just loved this book so much. Reading it was like drinking a white chocolate mocha, oh so delicious.

Maybe I'm really weird, but I've always thought prisons were kind Not the modern day kind, but the medieval types. Strange, maybe, but I just find dungeons really interesting. ANYWAY, Incarceron is the ULTIMATE prison. It's alive, and it has a perosonality, which is just so unbelievably awesome.

I must admit, the twists were very predictable, but I didn't mind, becaus
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist

If Incarceron was a school subject, it would definitely be science. I love science, I find it fascinating, but I’m not very good at it… kind of like this reading experience!
First of all, this book is fascinating, captivating, the type of story that sticks with you to the point that you’re forgetting everything else you have to do because you’re so obsessed over what happens next! But, on the other hand, it’s really confusing, and to be honest, I had a hard time digesting all the intricacies of
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Disclaimer: It was hard to convey my overall views on this book. I feel like this review is very much a 'I can't put my fingers on what was wrong' type of review, so I apologize if it seems rather chaotic.

Incarceron is a book with some interesting ideas, and some intensely visual imagery. Catherine Fisher put some imagination into crafting this story, and I tip my hat to the author for that. However, my overall feeling after finishing it is disappointment. Unfortunately, there were aspects that
Nov 14, 2008 R.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF&F fans, young adults, lovers of adventure and complex, multilayered plots and characters
I love this book with a mad passion. I could hardly even tell you why, except that the concept of the living and sentient prison that's a whole world in itself is amazing, and the blend of the fantastical/fairy tale/historical and the high-tech aspects of Claudia's world fascinated me, and the Warden reminds me of Jack Bristow from Alias with his grim aspect and habit of keeping dark secrets mingled with a fierce (if sometimes oddly expressed) love of his daughter, and Jared is GUH and Jared/Cla ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dystopia
Αυτός ο κόσμος μου άρεσε πολύ. Όλοι οι ήρωες, μαζί και οι δευτερεύοντες, μου φάνηκαν πολύ ενδιαφέροντες και καλοφτιαγμένοι, μου άρεσαν. Αυτό όμως που με ενθουσίασε ήταν ο κόσμος, τον βρήκα πολύ πρωτότυπο και φυσικά πρώτη φορά διάβασα σε ένα βιβλίο να έχουν ενσωματώσει τόσο πολύ, τη steampunk κουλτούρα την οποία λατρεύω. Τέλος, διάβασα πολλές κριτικές που το βρήκαν βαρετό και "μια από τα ίδια" δεν έχω ιδέα γιατί, είχε δράση πάρα πολύ περιπέτεια και μια φοβερή, φυλακή με νοημοσύνη που δεν έχει σκο ...more
Oct 10, 2010 Caris rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, young-adult
Every year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a subsidiary of the American Library Association, allows teenagers all across the country to vote on the top ten books of the year. There are twenty-five selections to choose from, nominated by YALSA teen book groups. The books that make the top ten list don't actually get anything as far as I know, but there is some sort of pride to be found in the whole thing, I suppose.

At my library, there is a teen group that does things like
Abandoned at about page 90.

Reasons: general disinterest in the story, the fantasy world and the characters' fates; unappealing writing style; strong suspicions that Finn is the "dead" prince; painful flashbacks of The Maze Runner, Matrix, Robocop and some apocalyptic B-grade movies whose names I can't recall.

Lessons learned: science fantasy might not be my cup of tea.
Colleen Houck
I really like the idea of a sentient prison. The mystery of Claudia and her relationship with her father is something my mind worked on through the entire book. Claudia's tutor was my favorite character.
Luz Balthasaar
Selesai baca ini, saia speechless.

Tapi ini bukan jenis speechless "ZOMG its So COoLZ LIke Tah Best ThinG EVAARRRR!!!" yang saia harapkan. Ini lebih seperti jenis speechless yang, "Idenya keren banget... tapi kok ide sekeren itu cuma jadi kayak... gini? O_O

Betapa saia benci jika ide yang seharusnya pure awesome dieksekusi menjadi sesuatu yang gak awesome.

Bayangin deh. Idenya tentang sebuah penjara yang hidup, yang merupakan dunia/ekosistem tersendiri. Gilanya lagi, ekosistem penjara ini punya kes
Aug 13, 2010 Bry rated it really liked it
Wow this book is one hell of a ride. Non stop intensity, suspense, and action. Frankly, not only is it a great book it would be an awesome movie. This craziness made for a great twisted plot but did leave a bit to be desired when it came to characterization.

This book is about a melding of 2 worlds. Finn from the prison Incarceron, and Claudia from 'Outside' who also happens to be the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron come into contact through a communication device in the shape of a crystal
Sadly, I was unable to really get into Incarceron, let alone finish it. (Gave up on page 221) The main problem with the story was believability. Incarceron is a self-sustaining prison experiment that is in a secret location and sealed off from the rest of the world. Presumably the prison holds the normal thugs, rapists and thieves. But it also holds political dissenters and volunteers. Volunteers to…. Well this, like many other things, was never actually explained. The idea is interesting, but I ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

Above all, Time is forbidden. From now on nothing will change.

After the Years of Rage, King Endor's Decree bans progress, pausing the world in an old-fashioned era of medieval dress and travel by horse-drawn carriage. Though advanced technology exists, it is expressly forbidden, and everyone must abide to Protocol.

Incarceron is an exception to this rule. A prison that some are born into and that nobody ever escapes, Incarceron is not a building, but a
May 13, 2016 Trin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Basically, it's Escape From New York, except with fantasy instead of post-apocalyptic trappings. The characters are stock, and the action is propelled along by a lack of information and dull action setpieces that transpire without any real sense of excitement or danger. I never got a visceral—or even bare-bones visual—sense of what the living/mechanical/whatever prison of Incarceron is supposed to be like. And, as with far too many YA/fantasy/sci-fi/action/adventure books I've struggled through, ...more
Original Review HERE

Incarceron is a vast, encompassing prison. Instead of steel bars and cell blocks, however, Incarceron is a world in itself; it is a metal world where nothing is created nor wasted, where stars and sky are near forgotten fairy tales, where all live in a cutthroat world, fighting for food and survival. Even more than that, Incarceron is alive – it observes everything that goes on within its walls, it’s red seeing eye omnipresent to the mortals within. Incarceron is all they hav
Seth T.
This prison is alive.

That pretty much sums up Incarceron's selling point. It's probably even a better marketing line than the book's actual hook, "a prison like no other"—which could really mean just about anything, from a prison made of pineapples and everything-bagels to a prison in which the cells are made of popular song lyrics to a prison that is an exact replica of the First Continental Congress. At least with "This prison is alive," you have a pretty good idea of what's special about the
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's that life is too short to spend on books and things that you aren't enjoying.

DNF @ 19%.

Some people will love "Incarceron". Hell, lots of my friends already do. And I can understand why - it's a pretty unique concept and (so far) doesn't rely 100% on insta-love, romantic plot triangles, and stupid characters. And for people who love steampunk, there's that as well.

But, it really doesn't have the things I like to read in a book.
Aug 14, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
I wish I could give half-stars, because this is really 3 1/2.

I thought the ideas in this book were rich and innovative, and the plot twists near the end were what made me round the rating up to 4 stars instead of rounding down. I definitely want to read the sequel to find out where this story goes. (Update: I recently moved my rating down to 3 stars because as time has gone by I stopped caring about reading the sequel! Just didn't resonate with me, I guess.)

The big negative for me was that this
Jul 20, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
So, a couple of my friends have RAVED about this book, so I thought I'd give it a try. First couple of pages, "La La La, this seems all right, don't know what the fuss is a- WHAT THE?!"

This was a wild and crazy book. Tense. Intricate. Claustrophobic. (So very, VERY claustrophobic.) Basically, in a future where even the moon shows the scars from many wars, peace has been made by taking all the unsavory elements and putting them into a giant, sentient prison. On the outside, people live in a semb
The prison Incarceron reminds me a lot of HAL, the space ship's board computer of Kubrick's "Space Odyssey": Both are fitted out with artificial intelligence and go rogue.

Incarceron takes place in the future. 160 years ago a king decided that cutting off mankind from its strive after one technological improvement after the next would end greed, war and the slow crumbling of society. So he forbid time and progress and switched everything back to an era long passed: An age, when people traveled o
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, but I have always been into reading fairytales and although they don't live happily ever after, this book reads like a fairytale. It's a very imaginative, original and engrossing story that is vividly written with great characters. It has action and suspense, but no romance (thank God, no love-triangle!).I loved every second of it and although I didn't want to rush through it and enjoy it to the fullest, I couldn't put it down until I reached the last page. It' ...more
This book was okay - I kept waiting to get sucked into it but that never happened. While I could imagine the intimidating world of Incarceron, it never really struck me as altogether terrifying or mystifying. There was a lot of action, almost too much at some points. The characters weren't defined strongly enough for me, and I never sympathized with any of them.

Overall this book just wasn't for me - I would recommend it to fantasy or science-fiction lovers, however. Not exactly a fan of Catherin
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Jun 20, 2014 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
3.5 Stars ... And I may bump it down to 3. I'm not sure yet. I have pretty mixed feelings. The concept was really cool, and the world-building had a lot of interesting elements (although a lot of things about it were kind of vague/confusing). I felt like the plot itself was kind of clichéd though, and I didn't find the characters very compelling. I think I'll still read the sequel though.

Full review coming eventually!
Mar 02, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: If you enjoy The Looking Glass Wars and The Golden Compass series (His Dark Materials)
A brilliant blend of Gothic/Steampunk/Dystopian fantasy, Incarceron is wholly inventive and engrossing. If you're looking for something dark and completely original, you will LOVE This book. I couldn't put it down!
Tanya Nekrasova
Oct 13, 2015 Tanya Nekrasova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Наконец-то дочитала «Инкарцерон» Кэтрин Фишер.

Долго читала, не раз откладывала.Пишет Фишер интересно, мрачно, с воображением. Совершенно не смогла полюбить или даже просто понять обоих главных героев. Из-под пера Фишер вышли два, на редкость эгоистичных персонажа, которые на фоне второстепенных героев выглядят очень бледненько и совершенно не вызывают желания сопереживать им. Подчас они ведут себя на редкость неадекватно, не задумываются о последствиях, как бараны идут к цели, сметая все и вся н
Incarceron- an infinite prison created to hold the criminals, the unwanted and the refuse. It was supposed to be a place to rehabilitate those imprisoned there, a paradise… but something went wrong. Now those trapped inside live in hell and the prison has become something altogether new- a horrible living organism.

Claudia is the daughter of the warden of Incarceron. She senses that something is not quite right about her world. A prisoner in her own right, she is being groomed to be the next quee
Selin Kamaş
Dec 13, 2011 Selin Kamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Feciydi... Mutlaka okuyun :)) Yazar öyle bir dünya yaratmış ki kendi etrafında dönerken sizi de etrafında sürüklüyor :D Kitabı en özel kılan da her bölümün başında verdiği ufak notlar ve Incercaron'un varoluşu hakkındaki bilgilerdi. Zaten her bölümde bir heyecan ve sürprizle bitiyordu :D Tek sorun kitabı okurken kitaptaki olaylardan bir adım önde olduğumu hissetmekti, yani ne olacağını, kimin kim çıkacağı önceden tahmin edilebiliyordu :D Tavsiyem bunları boşverin değişik bir şey okumak istiyorsa ...more

Incarceron is an entertaining science fiction and fantasy novel for younger readers. There are some deep questions raised and some curious motifs that I noted. Ultimately however the tone and style of righting let down the ideas within for me however and I found it rather dry, dull and having an unsatisfying ending. Perhaps I feel that this novel could have been just a little more powerful than it was.

The premise of this unique novel was that long ago Incarceron, a sentient prison was created a
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Incarceron (Incarceron #1) by Catherine Fisher - Restarting May 11th 2016 35 43 May 31, 2016 01:49AM  
Crazy for Young A...: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher → Start Date: January 8th, 2016 27 27 May 25, 2016 08:31PM  
Characterization In This Series! 9 8 Jan 08, 2016 03:31PM  
Movie 7 70 Jul 31, 2015 11:47PM  
Incarceron Twitter 1 10 Mar 17, 2015 02:58AM  
Fan cast the characters 1 7 Mar 03, 2015 09:43PM  
Songs to suit Incarceron 9 14 Feb 24, 2015 08:51AM  
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Catherine Fisher was born in Newport, Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and a fascination for myth and history. She has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.

Catherine is an acclaimed poet and novelist, regularly lecturing and giving readings to groups o
More about Catherine Fisher...

Other Books in the Series

Incarceron (2 books)
  • Sapphique (Incarceron, #2)

Share This Book

“Walls have ears.
Doors have eyes.
Trees have voices.
Beasts tell lies.
Beware the rain.
Beware the snow.
Beware the man
You think you know.
-Songs of Sapphique”
“Only the man who has known freedom
Can define his prison.”
More quotes…