Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ninja Reviews.... Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

We are chained hand and foot by Protocol, enslaved to a static, empty world where men and women can't read, where the scientific advances of the ages are the preserve of the rich, where artists and poets are doomed to endless repetitions and sterile reworkings of past masterpieces.  Nothing is new.  New does not exist.  Nothing changes, nothing grows, evolves, develops.  Time has stopped.  Progress is forbidden. -Incarceron

Incarceron is a unique prison experiment started by the Sapienti and leaders of the Outside centuries ago.  Instead of barred cells, the inmates live in an unimaginable wilderness of metal forests, grimey caves, and dark gloom.  The prison has been sealed for hundreds of years and continues to grow and form, creating an artificial intelligence that cannot be controlled.  No one goes out or comes in except, as legend has it, one Sapienti years ago.

Seventeen year old Finn is stuck in the prison but believes with all his heart that he comes from the Outside.  He becomes determined to escape the clutches of Incarceron after a horrible event leaves him with a connection to someone who claims to be Outside: a girl named Claudia.

Claudia is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron and is about to be married off to the oafish son of the Queen.  All her life she has been chained to Protocol, the system of correct manners, no technology, and halting of Time.  She feels her life is doomed until she finds a link to Finn, whose help she will need to avoid the marriage and the wrath of her father. Escape will take courage and sacrifice.  Along the way Claudia and Finn will find out who they truly are and who to trust while constantly battling the jealous and ever present Incarceron.

Incarceron is a magical fantasty book that hooked me from the first chapter.  This book is not for readers who like their fantasy straight-forward.  The inner-workings of Incarceron and the history of the Outside can get confusing as it is never simply spelled out for the reader but instead is explained through character converstion. Don't let this stop you from reading.  From the plot twists to the development of the characters, Incarceron is a fantasy that must be devoured.  Readers will be left wondering what happens to Finn and Claudia but they will have to wait for the second installment entitled Sapphique (already out in the United Kingdom).

If you like tales of hardship and escape, try one of these:

The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

The Knife of Never 
Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
This review is based on an advanced copy.  Be the first to comment on this entry to win an advanced readers copy of Incarceron!

1 comment:

Fathima said...

I have to admit, when I first saw Incarceron on Ninja Jenny's Top 5 Books for 2010, I judged it by its cover. I thought it would probably be a modern version of a classic. But when I read the review for it, I was totally surprised!! Now, I just can't wait to read it!