Monday, November 29, 2010
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Incarceron was created years ago to take the undesirables out of the world. These prisoners would be part of a grand experiment; they would live in a utopia that was monitored by the Sapienti and maintained by Incarceron. Perfect right? The poor, the protesters, and the criminals, would all be gone and yet could still be rehabilitated in an enclosed space that they couldn't get out of. But no one took into consideration that Incarceron would slowly become sentient, and she would no longer want to play by someone else's rules.
Finn is a seventeen year old prisoner inside of Incarceron, he plays his role as an underling in a cutthroat community and survives. Finn is different, he cannot remember his childhood and has strange visions and memories that come to him during fits. Sapient Gildas calls him a Star Seer and believes him to be the second coming of a mythical man that got Out. His Oathbrother Keiro believes that Finn is a tool to be used to get what he wants. The dog-slave Attia sees Finn as a hero who she owes her life to. As they travel through Incarceron, Finn questions who to believe as he puts all of their lives into the hands of a girl he talks to through a key.
Claudia has grown up learning how to maintain a house in-Era and play the political game better than most men twice her age. She is on the verge of becoming queen and all she wants is a way to get out. As her wedding day to an odious royal brat draws nearer, Claudia is drawn in to the mystery of Incarceron. She discovers Finn through a key she steals from her father's office. Soon she is playing a game that is over her head and all she can do is hold on to the belief that Finn is the one to save not only herself but the kingdom as well. Claudia believes Finn is meant to be king.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get through this. Which is kind of weird since you would think that I would breeze right through - well-written, gripping plot, pretty fantastic characters - but I kept on setting it down and not being really motivated to pick it back up. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book overall but it just seemed to be a bit, what's the word... long. I kept thinking, "Yep, got it. Keiro can't be trusted." or "Uh-huh, Claudia is super smart. Good for her." And I totally didn't get the part with the rings. Can someone explain those to me? My only real complaint is Claudia. I just find her a bit off-putting. I get the whole thing where she's supposed to be the 'I'm a teen rebelling,' but honestly someone in her position wouldn't make the mistakes that she did. Visiting Jared late at night and getting caught? Getting caught stealing by dad? Being a key component of a revolution? Cake! It should've been an absolute walk in the park with less bouts of childish selfishness. So emotionally self-indulgent! I started off the book liking her, because I thought "Finally! A girl who isn't going to get all emotional and fidgety about a boy! She's calm, collected, intelligent, and HAS A FREAKING CLUE!" But no, she went down the same path as so many before her. Angst and rebellion. Blech. I hope she knows that I judge her. Harshly. (Yes I totally know Claudia is a fictional character, but you see where I'm going with this.) Claudia was probably the biggest Debbie Downer of the book for me.
I could complain a little bit more, but to be perfectly honest the other complaints are pretty minuscule. There are just enough of them to get me a bit snarky. I really enjoyed the characters (except Claudia, but we've discussed), they all have a bit of mystery to them to keep them from being one-dimensional. Good times with the Warden, he was a fun character. Also Catherine Fisher did a great job with creating a complete world. There are questions I had, but they were dealt with in a way that I generally felt like I was ok not knowing. I love the weirdness of Incarceron and the Outside living in period. Weird! And wonderful, seriously who would think up a thing like that? Obviously Catherine Fisher, but who else? Well done. I know I'm doing a bit of a throw away with writing how good it was, and it was, but I really think that Incarceron was great because of the depth and detail to the entire book. No particular stand out moment where it was like damn, what a great book. I just finished the book being entirely satisfied. I kind of feel if you liked The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and let's be real how could you not, you'll probably like this book too.
Incarceron came out Jan. 26, 2010 and the sequel Sapphique comes out Dec. 28.