Jen's Reviews > Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
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's review
May 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 5201, kelly-recommends, young-adult, another-dystopian, fantastical
Read from May 02 to 03, 2011

Lit. class review:

The main reason I’m reading this is at recommendation (yet again) of my friend Kelly, who continues to recommend books that I love. If her word isn’t reason enough, it’s also been recognized by the School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, the Cybil awards, and is one of Booklist’s top 10 fantasy/sci-fi for 2010.

It’s another addition to the ever-expanding list of dystopic YAL titles. The main character appears to live within a prison unlike any sort of prison we know. According to the book jacket, the prison “gives life … deals death … watches all.” It was created to rehabilitate, but something has gone terribly wrong.

p. 147 – Finn is a son of the prison called Incarceron. Everyone says he was “born” there, but he has dreams – memories – of before. He, his oathbrother Keiko, and Gildas, one of the Wise men, decide to attempt an Escape when they gain possession of a mysterious and other-worldly key. Meanwhile, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, lives outside the prison in a perpetually Victorian world and is herself wishing for an escape from an unwanted betrothal.

p. 293 – Incarceron seems to stretch on without limit. Finn, from the inside, and Claudia, from outside, are searching for a door or a gate of some sort. Claudia is days away from marrying the useless son of the Queen and is still unsure how she will escape the agreements her father has made. Questions at this point: Is Keiko trustworthy? What’s up with the evil and scary Queen? Is Claudia’s father good or bad? And where is Incarceron?

By the end of the book, some questions are answered; some are left for the sequel. And it appears that, contrary to the need to turn every new book into a trilogy or series, Fisher has ended her story with the sequel, Sapphique. I enjoyed the world she created, but sometimes the stories from various mythologies made it difficult to get a grasp on her vision. As with any novel set in the future, I find myself wondering what about our own time she is critiquing -- Politics? Religion? What?

Appropriate for any reader 7th grade and up who has an interest in sci-fi/fantasy and is willing to tackle a 450-page book.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Antof9 (new)

Antof9 I wish Kelly made recommendations on books other than fantasy and sci-fi :)

message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Yeah, well, I wish you liked fantasy and sci-fi.

message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Really, though, Kelly reads mostly children's or YA lit and the best of it is usually fantasy and sci-fi. Especially if you want to avoid cheesy teen romance or overly angst-ridden diatribes.

message 4: by Antof9 (new)

Antof9 LOL! I'll have to work on it. Maybe if you discuss them with me, I'll come around (ref: Heroes of the Valley).

message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Ooo -- like watching a movie you don't think is funny with someone who thinks it's hilarious.

message 6: by Antof9 (new)

Antof9 Ohmyword, YES!

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