Rummanah Aasi
    I have been hearing great buzz about Catherine Fisher's best selling novel called Incarceron on the YALSA listserve. After reading a description of the book and viewing it's book trailer I knew I had to the book on my "to be read pile" immediately and read it soon. Luckily, my public library had a copy and I had weekend to unwind. I finished the book yesterday and I can't help but think about it today. Check out the book trailer below and see if it caught your attention as it did mine:

Description (from the publisher):  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 Finns escape is born.

Review: If you're looking for a complex, multilayered fantasy novel with a great cast of characters, look no further than Incarceron. The story starts off with a bang and it never slows down. Although the book looks large, 442 pages to be exact, I couldn't believe how fast I was reading. The storyline is intelligent and I was fascinated with the world that Fisher created. Her Inside and Outside worlds are so incredibly detailed that I could picture them clearly in my head. I was initally confused by the many characters and had to reread sections to find out who was who, but I didn't seem to mind because all of the characters were interesting, deeply flawed and complex. My favorite parts of the book are actually how each chapter is begins- a quote from the past that describes how Incarceron was invented and the lives of the first prisoners. There are plenty of twist and turns in the story, some of which I guessed and others that took me by a complete surprise. I look forward to reading the sequel, Sapphique, later this year.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There are a handful of curse words in the book. Although the book is very violent and most of the violence takes place off stage, it may be too much for those in elementary school. For the elementary school level, I would suggest The City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau. I think strong 7th grade readers and above should have no problem with the book.

If you like this book, try: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, or The City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau.
2 Responses
  1. Safoora Says:

    Did this book come out recently?

  2. Yep. According to Amazon, it was released January of this year. The sequel comes out in Dec.

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