Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron was published in Great Britain in 2007. Released in the US in 2010.
And I’m so glad that it was.
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Courtesy of Amazon.com:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010: The shifting landscapes, unexpected plot punches, and bold, brave characters found in Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron are nothing short of thrilling: fans of Garth Nix and Suzanne Collins will take to this epic, twisty fantasy instantly, but it’s also the kind of book that will draw in the most hesitant fantasy reader. The mysterious world of Incarceron—and its factions of daring Prisoners, led by an incorrigible team in Finn and Claudia, who are both searching for a means of escape—is wonderfully imagined, at once frightening and full of seduction, and marks the beginning of an addictive new series. —Anne Bartholomew
Okay, I’m normally NOT a big reader of fantasy. I’m one of those people who LOVES the Lord of the Rings movies, but for some reason can’t get into reading the books. My collection of historical fiction dwarfs my collection of fantasy texts tenfold.
Why I decided I wanted to read this, I’m not entirely sure. It was probably profiled on someone’s blog, but I can’t remember.
Strengths: This book had one of the most well-built plots I’ve ever read. Gaps and missing information are intentional, an essential part of the plot itself. As I read, I went through a constantly evolving progression of theories about who was who, and what was what. It’s fantasy, but a futuristic one; the technology angle is definitely futuristic. This clashes brilliantly with the world OUTSIDE the prison, which exists in a forced antiquation called The Protocol. Their denial of technology (but not really, considering the technology they used to create the prison, Incarceron) leaves the reader strangely intrigued with what outside would be like WITHOUT Protocol. Fisher’s characters are well-developed, and CONTINUE to evolve and develop throughout the book in a way that I don’t find in a lot of YA books. Definitely NOT static. The climax of the plot converges in a delightful explosion of action and plot revelations that lead marvelously into the ending, which of course sets the book up for the sequel, which, thank goodness, is coming.
Potential Flaws: I will address this with an indelicate *snort*. None to speak of.
Brilliantly written. Excellently paced. I just hope I can manage to wait for the sequel without splurging to order it from overseas.