Saturday, February 19, 2011

Incarceron- Catherine Fisher

NOTE: Read as part of Dystopian February


"Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: It’s 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 prison, 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.


Summary: I've been meaning to read this book for quite some time and when I saw that my local library had a copy I was incredibly excited and checked it out, and I'm so glad I did.

Incarceron is told through two points of view- Finn, a prisoner in Incarceron who is convinced he is from the outside and Claudia, a girl destined to be queen who only wants not to have to marry Casper, the queen's son.

Claudia is from the outside, a world that was once, and secretly still is, incredibly technologically advanced, but is trapped in the past. The 1700s, to be exact. Although everyone knows about the advanced technology, and some of it is secretly used (modern bathrooms, washing machines, etc), by the degree of King Endor, progress has been halted. Thus, the world Claudia inhabits is a world where she must dress in petticoats and fine clothing, observe proper manners and act like the well bred girl she was brought up to be.

This however, does not suit Claudia. From the beginning of the book we see that Claudia, along with her tutor Jared Sapiens, one of the Sapient branch of people who were at the forefront of former technological advancements, will not sit back content as her father controls her future. Thus, when she finds a key that allows her to communicate with Finn, from the prison, she is determined to break him out and change her own destiny.

I loved the setting of Claudia's world. I thought it was fascinating how their society was futuristic but trapped in the past.

Likewise, I loved reading about the scenes in Incarceron. The idea of a prison that is essentially alive is so intriguing and I loved all of the characters that joined Finn as he tried to find out his true identity.

This book was wonderful the entire way through and honestly had some of the best plot twists I have ever read in a book. When large secrets began to be revealed about Incarceron, Finn, and Claudia I thought they were brilliant and I absolutely cannot wait to read the sequel Sapphique.

This is definitely the best book I've read all year and in a very long time.

Rating: A+

Other Recommended Books:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (If you really enjoyed Finn's part of the book)
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
A Great and Terrible Beauty Series by Libba Bray (If you really enjoyed Claudia's part of the book)


  1. Great review! I am a new follower :)

  2. Glad you liked the review! Always happy to see new followers! =D

  3. it really sounds like the setting was very steampunk, in how it was technologically advanced, but still stuck in the past. was it actually this way, or did only royalty have access to this technology?

    also, i LOVE how the man who forced the end of technological advancement was named Endor

  4. It was sort of steampunk in a way but not quite because the 1700s they were trapped in is just like the actual 1700s except the technology, which wasn't steam powered, but highly advanced. And only the rich have access to the technology. They aren't supposed to use it but secretly in many areas they do.

    Anyways, you should read this book because its awesome and has some of the coolest plot twists ever in my opinion.

  5. interesting! so, it's more like being in the 1700's, with horse & buggies, and giant hoop dresses & the like, but sometimes the queen'll listen to her iPod, and it's not a big deal if the royal taster gets food poisoning??

    OOO!!! Coolest plot twists ever, you say?? better than the twist we find out concerning Christina Alibrandi's father??

  6. Haha, not so much on the iPod thing, more like they don't use outhouses, they use actual toilets and the maids for the rich will use washing machines instead of doing it by hand and the Sapienti (the scholars who created the prison) will still sometimes experiment and have semi-modern labs but no one is allowed to be open about these things.

    And yes, in my opinion the plot twists, especially the one about Incarceron is wayyyyy better than the one about Christina Alibrandi's father.

  7. so it's more like the peasants are in medieval times, and the royalty is in the 19th century? that's wicked cool!

    and i thought my mind was blown when reading Looking for Alibrandi. sounds like Incarceron is gonna be an a-bomb, right? lol!

  8. Yeah that's more correct. And yes, I think this book was incredibly and pretty mind blowing sooooo you should definitely read it. The Gardner library has this book and the sequel (although technically at this moment, I have the sequel, lol). Both are wicked good. You'll love them.

  9. ha, but i'm certain the library'll have the sequel back by the time i've finished the last two books in my queue at the moment

    and i'll love them, eh?? challenge accepted!!

  10. This book (and the sequel) FREAKED MY MIND.

    Incarceron and Sapphique were both good books. I was dissatisfied with the overall ending personally, but the ride was fun. I really took a liking (as so many others have) to Claudia's gentle, handsome, and downright brilliant tutor, without whom Claudia even meeting Finn would not have been possible.

    The subtext, though intentionally left vague, was that Jared and Claudia develop romantic feelings for each other in addition to their already passionately loving and unbreakable bond as student-teacher/bffs/confidants/partners-in-crime. Think it's hyperbole? Perhaps so, but just read the books (especially the second one) and you'll understand.

  11. And yes, it is pretty steampunk-esque. :3