Series: Incarceron #1
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Firebird Books
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 Finn's escape is born...
I’d been seeing this book for a long time in the bookstore (though I had no idea it’s been years!) so I finally decided I should see what all the fuss is about.
Honestly, I was less than impressed. The world they live in is so confusing, and there’s no back story whatsoever to give any insight as to why they live in a post-modern world that dictates they live as if they’re in the 17th century – with computers. It’s simply referred to as “Protocol.” What on earth happened in this world to make this kind of lifestyle the norm? Without that information, I frequently found myself scratching my head wondering why things had to be done a certain way.
The story itself is an intriguing one, and I admit that it’s a fairly original idea. I just felt as if the execution was flawed. I wanted to simply stop reading several times early on, and I was well past the half-way mark before I began to feel somewhat invested in the characters.
The good things is that by the end I was invested in the characters, and I’m curious enough that I will read Sapphique at some point to find out what happens – but it won’t be a high priority.
If you prefer fast-paced stories where everything makes sense, you probably won’t want to read this one.