Book Review: Incarceron


Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron was created to be a paradise. Instead, it has become a warped and ruined prison world. Finn is one such prisoner, but with no memory of his past beyond waking in a cell. But Finn has dreams of an outside world, dreams that may be memories. And when he discovers a mysterious key, Finn embarks on a journey to escape Incarceron, if there is a way out at all. Meanwhile, young Claudia is betrothed to Prince Caspar, a cruel and naïve boy. Her only hope in escaping an unwanted future is a key that she has found to Incarceron, of which her father is Warden. Claudia and Finn hang all of their hopes on each other, when they discover they can communicate through the keys. But escaping Incarceron will be much more difficult than either of them can imagine.

Finn is a sympathetic character, especially when he mourns his bad decisions. He wants nothing more than to escape Incarceron, but not at the expense of his friends. Though, we’re never quite sure what some of his friends would do if the situations were reversed. Never knowing what was going on inside of their heads definitely added to the suspense of each circumstance they were thrown into. The story is told mainly from Finn and Claudia’s point of view. Claudia is often called haughty and cold, though the reader only sees her as a compassionate girl towards her teacher and Finn. The greatest suspense of the story is driven by the Warden’s and Queen’s treachery and deceit.

I confess to being a little confused when first starting the story. The setting was unclear, and characters even more so. But after a couple chapters, the story set into motion, characters started developing, and I was soon caught up and couldn’t put it down. Incarceron is a fantastic story that both science fiction and fantasy fans will enjoy. Written for young adults, the main characters are teenagers; but the story translates for adults as well. No sappy, teenage angst. But there is plenty of drama, intrigue, and mystery in this captivating tale. This was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.

Incarceron will be released from Dial Books on January 26, 2010.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Incarceron”

  1. Hey Lois Lane’s mom,

    I’m wondering if you might take a look at my new novel, WHOM GOD WOULD DESTROY? It’s the twisted tale of what happens when “God” returns to Earth to goof on humanity once more. Needless to say, things don’t go quite as He’d planned. The book has all the ingredients for a killer satire: insanity, a deity, space aliens and the quest for the Ultimate Orgasm.

    Thus far, WGWD has garnered 6 reviews- hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. Here are quotes from each (you can click on any of the titled links to see complete reviews):
    illiterarty :

    “A light-hearted romp through the big boys of serious topics – Whom God Would Destroy examines the subjects of religion, psychiatry, the mentally ill, and alien conspiracies in a sniggeringly hilarious meander through some cunning plot twists and a whole new understanding of the universe as it is.”

    readingforsanity :

    “Commander Pants has a gift for characterization and the rare ability to juggle and seamlessly interweave a series of largely-unrelated subplots. The book is ripe with florid fruits of an overactive imagination and a willingness to look at everyday events from bizarre angles.
    …The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Psyche, with an extra helping of blasphemy.”

    bookfetish :

    “WHOM GOD WOULD DESTROY is one of those books that has so many themes going on (a vengeful God, consumerism, mental illness, medication and aliens) it’s any wonder the story makes sense; however, the author did a great job of tying them all together using a velvet hammer disguised as a satirical storyline.”

    “…But funny hi-jinks aside, we found a rather poignant message embedded in the story: Happiness may well be found in making other people happy. Simple. Easy. Okay, okay…so that particular message was imparted by a returned-to-Earth-Jesus who is having fun manipulating us sheep-like mortals. But we liked it nonetheless.”


    “Commander Pants has written a novel that cleverly forces one to question human nature while making us laugh.”


    “Thematically, not many books can tackle so many serious issues in such an absurd but meaningful way. Commander Pants touches on mental health, medication, religion, consumerism, selfishness, sexuality, reality, and Big Macs.”

    If I’ve piqued your interested, I’d love to send you a copy. To say that I’m looking forward to hearing from you is akin to saying that Michael Jackson was a bit weird.

    – Commander Pants
    Solidarity in fine leg wear

    PS: I see the dreaded, ” I am no longer able to review self-published or vanity press titles” message on your site. Okay, I must admit that mine is almost one of those. The almost comes into play because an established author (well known anywhere but here in the U.S. – where he lives) liked it so much that he financed my own imprint, “Pantsateria,” when I had no luck placing the novel. His pen name is Luke Rhinehart and he wrote (among other things) the cult-classic, “THE DICE MAN.” To give you some idea of The Dice Man’s notoriety, in his book “HOW TO BE GOOD,” Nick Hornby referenced it as “that book that everyone read in college.” Please say that this helps.

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