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 ...
The world Catherine Fisher has created in Incarceron is quite intriguing. Futuristic, but set to feel and look like the past. A prison that is self-aware and from which noone can escape. A lot of promise for a story that was not completely met. The characters needed more work to feel real, but I did like Claudia and Finn. The book was too long, it felt draggy in a lot of places, mostly the first half. It picked up in the latter half, a lot more action, which saved the story for me. The second book in the series, Sapphique is already out. I'm not sure if I'll read it or not. Fantasy fans might enjoy this one.
I give this book 3 Bookworms.
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Firebird (February 8, 2011)