Incarceron (Incarceron #1)
By Catherine Fisher
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...
My rating: 4/5
I feel quite bad giving this a four stars considering the excitement with which I was recommended this book, but this book just did not excite me the same way!
It was a good read and very interesting concept. Finn, his oath brother and another prisoner are attempting to escape this prison they were born in to go to the Outside, wherever that is. Finn has always felt like he belonged elsewhere, can recall vague memories of a birthday cake with seven candles, but can remember nothing else.
On the other hand, there is Claudia, who is on the Outside but feels trapped into a marriage founded on politics. Claudia knows her father has secrets and is determined to find them out but she is running out of time.
This was more fantasy than a sci-fi and it did keep me entertained, but only just. There were times when I was pushing myself to finish reading the book, just to find out if they escape or not. I liked the last quarter of the book the most, because that was when it felt that something was actually happening.
I did like the ending, especially when we finally found out where the prison actually was, that was a surprise!
However, I do understand that with the start of a series, the first book is bound to be more descriptive than the rest, in order to set the foundations. I hate leaving a series, but this time I honestly do not know if I will read the next book in the Incarceron series. I may do, I may not...
Walls have ears.
Doors have eyes.
Trees have voices.
Beasts tell lies.
Beware the rain.
Beware the snow.
Beware the man you think you know.
- Songs of Sapphique
"...or is it that man contains within himself the seeds of evil? That even if he is placed in a paradise perfectly formed for him he will poison it, slowly, with his own jealousies and desires? I fear it may be that we blame the Prison for our own corruption. And I do not except myself, for I too am one who has killed and looked only to my own gain."