Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

No one enters Incarceron, and no one has ever Escaped.

Centuries ago, the Sapients created Incarceron, a utopia where all the criminals were locked away to be remade. Those on the Outside believe that the Prison is a paradise, though only the Warden of Incarceron knows its top secret location and what happens Inside.

But Incarceron is far from a paradise - just the opposite. A cesspool of misery, the Prison has become sentient, always watching, changing, and ruling ruthlessly over its inmates, who fight violently amongst themselves for food, protection, and power. But Finn Starseer is different. A child of Incarceron, a Cell Born, Finn believes he is from the Outside. With only a few memories and a tattoo of an eagle on his wrist to support his belief, Finn dreams of escaping the Prison and seeing the stars. When he comes into possession of a crystal Key, he knows his journey to the Outside has begun.

Claudia is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron. Raised in privilege, she hardly knows her father, her only friend her Sapient tutor, Jared. Once engaged to the Prince and Heir, Giles, her engagement was transferred to his weak, crass younger brother, Caspar, when Giles was killed in a riding accident three years ago. The wedding abruptly moved up to only days away, Claudia would do anything to break free of her fate. Including break into her father's forbidden study, where she discovers a hidden crystal Key.

When Claudia and Finn discover that the keys allow them to talk to each other, they begin a desperate race against time. Because Claudia, too, believes that Finn is from the Outside, and that his Escape will have consequences that just might release her from her own prison of marriage. But, in the end, will Incarceron let its son go?

Incarceron is a thrill ride of a dystopian fantasy novel. With a plot that twists and turns with alarming speed that will have your heart beating double-time, you'll be adding this one to your top five before you're halfway through. Even without all the heart-pounding action and mystery, this one's worth the read for the incredible descriptions of the vast, labyrinthine world of the Prison - Catherine Fisher has created cities of glass, forests made of metal, terrifying beasts, and vast unending plains, all contained within the walls of Incarceron. For fantasy fans, lovers of a good mystery adventure, and fans of The Hunger Games, check this out @ the library!

(who can't wait to get started on the new Antonia Michaelis, The Dragons of Darkness)

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