Lesley's Reviews > Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, boy, science-fiction, teen

3.5 stars. There's a lot to like here: A dystopia so far in the future it's gone over the edge into fantasy (which reminds me of Fever Crumb) and a plot that charges ahead at such a breakneck pace you get caught up in its breathless whirl. But then you realize it's charging and whirling so fast that a number of things are getting left in the dust, like taking the time to appreciate all the details that go into building the world(s) or getting a grip on the confusing web of loyalties among the characters. For instance, I would worry about whether Keiro will eventually betray Finn or vice versa, but I'm too busy absorbing a new twist or conspiracy that's just emerged. The two worlds are both fascinating--the sentient prison and the "real" world frozen in Time--but each is also painted in quick brushstrokes. Which is just as well in the world of Incarceron where the intense brutality could become overwhelmingly depressing. The story is exciting and heartbreaking, but also filled with improbabilities (e.g., the Warden is strict about Protocol--except when he isn't) and many thrill-filled scenes are resolved almost abruptly. There's a lot to be said for zipping along, but in this case I wanted to slow down and soak up some of the scenery, invest in some of the characters.

I'll booktalk it and read the sequel.

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