Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Review of Incarceron
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Steampunk junkies, dystopian fiends and fantasy fans
High point: Incarceron--it never ceases to amaze
Low point: Some of Claudia's story dragged
Reader maturity: 13+
Incarceron is a wondrous blend of science fiction, fantasy and steampunk, all whirled together in a dystopian society, where the rich don't have to abide by the rules. The commoners are required to dress and live according to an old-fashioned code of conduct and technology, while the wealthy can afford contraband medicines to fight the old-fashioned sicknesses. In this land, there exists a prison, Incarceron, a social experiment of epic proportions, gone wrong behind the prying eyes of those Outside. Claudia, the Warden's daughter, discovers a key and through it is able to talk to Finn on the Inside. Claudia tries to escape a prison of her own as Finn fights for his freedom from Incarceron.
I loved every minute of Incarceron! The book took me some time to finish because I was trying to draw out my enjoyment of it. Claudia is a headstrong and willful character, and the reader learns about her strengths and ambitions slowly. She starts out two-dimensional, the face that she shows the world, but quickly reveals herself to retain her humanity. Finn was the more interesting of the two, as the reader tries to piece together his past along with him. His adventures and travel companions were also more entertaining and dangerous than Claudia's.
Parts of the ending were predictable, especially those regarding the Queen's behavior, but the ending as a whole was a grand finale, leaving the reader satisfied but eager for the sequel, Sapphique.
Incarceron is both an epic-style read and a fun one. The world is completely different from our own, but we're not tugged along on a gut-wrenching journey. Part of the fun is figuring what's going to happen next and trying to discover the mysteries of Incarceron and the Outside before the Claudia and Finn do. I can't wait to get my hands on Sapphique!
Author: Catherine Fisher
Genre: Teen Fiction, Fantasy
Book Source: Won from Loves to Read