Series: Incarceron #1
Author: Catherine Fisher
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: 02.09.2010 by Random House Audio Publishing Group
Source: Public library
Summary: 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 ...
Cover: Like many of you, I thought this cover was beautiful and one of the reasons why I picked this up.
Thoughts: It started off...confusing. There is so much happening in the first couple of sentences that I had a hard time grasping what was going on. In the first chapter alone, there is just a lot going on that I wasn't sure I was going to like it because I wasn't getting it. But then it slows down a bit and we learn more about one of the main characters, Finn, a prisoner of Incarceron, who cannot remember his past and is sure wasn't born inside the Prison even though he is told otherwise. Then there is the other main character, Claudia, who is the Warden's daughter and living in the Outside world that keeps her in a different way, imprisoned as well. As we get to know the characters and everyone around them, the action starts up again and you are once again thrown on a roller coaster of words that keeps you turning page after page.
There is so much information to be given in the book since Fisher has created an entire new world with Incarceron, and to figure it out there is a lot to learn. Incarceron is a living prison, always changing and tormenting it's prisoners. No one ever comes in, and no one ever leaves it. The Outside is the "real world" and although the people are not "prisoners," there is protocol to follow and the futuristic world that they live in is constructed to look like a past era and must stay that way. To the Outside world, Incarceron is a paradise, a world that they know nothing of but when Claudia finds out that it is in fact a cruel, dark, cold place, she is determined to help Finn and the others escape.
I have to admit that Incarceron surprised me. I did not expect it to captivate my attention the way it did and I didn't expect so much of it. It contained never ending plot twists and turns, suspense, action, mysterym adventure and even some romance. I loved the characters and really found each one unique and easy to connect with in a different way. Even the prison itself is a character to be understood and I really liked finding out its secrets. The ending definitely leaves you wanting more so I can't wait to get my hands on the second installment, Sapphique, and hopefully get some answers on those unanswered questions we are left with in the conclusion.
Favorite Quote: "Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison."