Review of Incarceron by Catherine Fisher



So many rave reviews about this book got me curious. The cover certainly is eye catching and rather lovely isn’t it?

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. (Taken from

The world building and concept of the book was very interesting. It took me by surprise when I found out all is not what it seems Outside. However, it disappointed me as well. It never occurred to me that it was in a futuristic setting and that little surprise took me a while to get used to. I did like how Incarceron had different types of scenery and settings, literally it was a little world of its own. That was interesting and a fascinating read.

The political intrigue within the Haavarna Court was interesting and fun to read. I liked how Claudia managed herself through all the mind games yet still managing to keep herself intact and alive. I really did enjoy reading about Claudia. She had the wits and the determination to keep going. Finn, I didn’t really enjoy reading so much. I’m not sure why, he just didn’t really grow on me as a character. Keiro on the other hand was a much more entertaining read even though he had flaws that made him look like a total complete jerk. He was more exciting to read about than Finn.

Despite these well done characters, and the concept of the story was interesting and different, the story started off a little too slowly for me, and it got confusing at times. What frustrated me was, there were so many questions I had, only to find out after reading 448 pages, that none of the questions really were answered and you’re back to square one. So not only was the book dry, you’re left with a wide open ending. Although the pace did pick up in the last half of the book, this could have definitely been a better read. I’m really not sure why it took so long for the plot to move forward, but those that want a quick story won’t find it here.

Am I going to read the sequel? yes. I did not read 448 pages for nothing. Call me stubborn, but despite slow movement of the plot in the book I still want to know what happens. If it weren’t for such well written characters I probably would not have continued reading this book until the end. However, I do encourage those that want something different to read to pick this up. It’s most certainly something I haven’t read before.

I give it a 6 out of 10.


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