Sunday, July 25, 2010


Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons.

A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists.

But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

Aithen's Review

Aithen's back from camp! I read Incarceron and The Hunger Games while I was away, though I won't review the Hunger Games, since Beryl already did a great job at it. I'll just say I loved it. Now for our main presentation...

First of all, I really liked Incarceron, though it isn't one of my favorite books. It had a few flaws, though they were very minor compared to all its good points. Overall, it was a very interesting and good read.

Now Incarceron isn't one of your typical science-fiction or fantasy books. It is, somehow, both. I found it very impressive how both styles could blend so perfectly in only one book. The concept of Protocol was very interesting, though rather frightening, I must admit. Protocol is a law that forces the society to act like it was in medieval ages, even though technology has evolved very much. The society in Incarceron is well described and elaborated, and the way every single information was given about it was perfectly blended into the story.

I found the plot rather complicated, and that's probably why I love this book so much. Complicated books are the best ones. There is only one thing I didn't like too much : I had guessed Finn was probably Giles around page 50. It was really too frustrating, but I like how it is still possible Finn and Giles aren't the same person.

Speaking of the characters, I really loved Keiro, but that's about it. He seems so perfect, but is really so complexed. Keiro is probably one of the deepest characters in this book, and that is kind of sad, since he isn't one of the main characters. Finn is frustrating because he can only remember fragments of his past and is amnesic. There is such an abuse of amnesia these days... Attia was frustrating too, she is a tomboy-survivor type of girl, and she got on my nerves quite often. Gildas was so annoying, too! Finally, Claudia, our protagonist. She was a flat character that I never got attached to. Jared was interesting, though he was described very little, and I'm still unsure whether he was 20, 40 or 60. All characters lacked description (except Keiro, which is probably why I didn't dislike him as much as I disliked the others) and depth. This is probably one of the weakest points in this book.

The plot greatly compensated for this, luckily, though some streaks of luck made me frown and mutter "Ya right." I loved it. The whole concept of Incarceron was incredible, I never saw anything like it before. If Incarceron was a character, it would be my favorite one by far. I loved its evil overlord personality, it wasn't anything like a cliche overlord who was too fond of its abilities.

All in all, a highly entertaining book, well written and well thought-out with a beautiful cover. I recommend it for anyone who liked the Maze Runner, the Hunger Games, or any other book where people are confined together. I can hardly wait for the second one to come out in America!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Rating: 8,3/10

Beryl's Review

This was an amazing and very innovative book. It's one of the best fantasy/science fiction novels I've ever read, and one of the best I've read in a long time. I'm really impressed by the plot, how structured it was, and I can't wait for the sequel. Of course, this book could have been even better without all the flaws, and it's really a pity they had to get into the way of our complete appreciation.

The characters, just like Aithen said, were very poorly described. I've got no idea of how Claudia looks, and I think the only indication of her physique was at page 375. This kind of situations always make me twitch. I sometimes wonder if authors even think about how their characters look, or if they simply forget to mention it. Anyway, it's strange how much descriptions were put into the surroundings and the prison, while Keiro seems to be the only character with a defined image.

Speaking of the characters, I actually liked most of them. I found Claudia strong-headed, determined, and somehow badass in her own way. I can't really agree with Aithen that she was flat. I think there was much to her. Finn didn't really impress me in much way. He was common. Keiro was my favorite, because he was, indeed, so complex while seeming so perfect. But I do think that one of this book's high point is the diversity of the personalities. Their reactions and their characters are very well outlined, even if they lack physical descriptions.

In any case, the good plot made up for the lacks. Most of the things were, though, easy to guess, such as that Finn was Giles, but some others actually surprised me. There were a lot of twists. A recommended book.

Rating: 9,2/10

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