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1 Burnside Children's Young Adult- General

Incarceron

by

Incarceron Cover

ISBN13: 9780803733961
ISBN10: 0803733968
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Staff Pick

A prison that seems alive... a prisoner with no memory of who he is or why he's been imprisoned... and a young girl who's determined to uncover the secrets that Incarceron harbors.... Selected by the Times as its Book of the Year, Incarceron is a riveting and addicting read, fast paced, vividly descriptive and full of surprising plot twists and turns. Once you pick up Incarceron, you will be unable to put it down. Recommended for readers age 12 and up.
Recommended by Sheila N., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A thrilling, high-concept fantasy for fans of Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer.

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.

Review:

"Fisher (the Oracle Prophesies series) scores a resounding success in this beautifully imagined science fantasy set in a far future where, many years earlier, civilization was artificially frozen at late-medieval levels in order to save the world from dangerous technologies. Simultaneously, all of the world's malcontents and madmen were sealed into an unimaginably vast, sentient prison named Incarceron, where a dedicated group of social engineers intended to create utopia. Claudia, the brilliant daughter of the cold-blooded warden of Incarceron, has been raised from birth to marry and eventually control Caspar, the simpleminded heir to the throne. Finn, a young man without a past, is a prisoner in Incarceron, which has become a hideous dystopia, an 'abyss that swallows dreams.' When Claudia and Finn each gain possession of a high-tech 'key' to the prison, they exchange messages, and Finn asks Claudia to help him attempt an escape. While he negotiates the hideous maze of the prison, Claudia makes her way through the equally deadly labyrinth of political intrigue. Complex and inventive, with numerous and rewarding mysteries, this tale is certain to please. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Fisher's dystopic future, in which technology and decay coexist in a dazzling kaleidoscope of images and time periods, is brilliantly realized." (starred review) Horn Book

Review:

"Fisher's characters are emotionally resonant, flawed, determined, and plagued by metaphysical questions. With some well-timed shocking twists and a killer ending, this is a must-have." Booklist

Review:

"[S]tands out above all others ... It's imaginative scale and gobsmacking finale make it one of the best fantasy novels written for a long time." Times

Synopsis:

Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden's daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . .

Synopsis:

A thrilling, high-concept fantasy for fans of Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer.

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.

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About the Author

Catherine Fisher is an acclaimed novelist and poet, and has written many fantasy books for young readers, including the popular Oracle Betrayed series.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

The Eager Readers, June 4, 2010 (view all comments by The Eager Readers)
A young man's desperate quest to find his way out of a mysterious and terrifying prison collides with the court intrigue of a technologically-advanced world that has been forced into a faux bygone era by its oppressive rulers in Catherine Fisher's Incarceron. This highly original sci-fi/fantasy follows two characters - Finn, a young man who is trapped inside the frightening Incarceron, and Claudia, the clever daughter of Incarceron's warden. With their own fates depending upon their every choice, Finn and Claudia must navigate their way through two worlds filled with dangerous threats.

What I Liked:
- The inventive world-building is shown rather than described. Fantasy novels sometimes suffer from too many dry descriptive passages, but this book jumps right into the thick of things and reveals the world through the characters' experiences. Not only is the prison environment intriguing and menacing, but the odd faux-historical nature of the outside world is also fascinating and strangely suffocating.
- Claudia is a brave, observant, and determined heroine. She is calculating, has a complicated relationship with her father, worries about her tutor's health, feels compelled to help Finn escape, and dreads her arranged marriage. I loved her calculating nature and her ability to play the games necessary to her success at court.
- The relationship between Claudia and her tutor, Jared, is one of my very favorite aspects of this book. She trusts and cares for him, and he would willingly risk his life for her. Jared is wise and devoted, and he knows Claudia as well as she knows herself. His cautious nature provides the perfect balance to Claudia's bold personality. When I first read this book's description, I imagined I would be rooting for a romance to blossom between Claudia and Finn, so I was surprised to find myself utterly charmed by Jared. Their relationship has a quiet, unspoken subtlety that I loved.
- Finn is a compelling character with a strong conscience. His past is mysterious. His relationships with Keiro and Gildas are interesting and potentially dangerous, and it is easy to find yourself hoping for his escape.
- I liked the complexity of the court intrigue and look forward to learning more about the outside realm in the next book.
- The secondary characters are enjoyably memorable, each with their own motivations and vibrant personalities.
- Finn's journey through Incarceron is like a hazardous and twisty roller coaster ride, and the dramatic tales of an individual who escaped from Incarceron help propel his quest forward. These legendary tales of Sapphique are relayed by one of Finn's companions, and are also shared in little snippets at the start of several chapters. They often sound like passages from a richly-detailed mythology, and they help explain Incarceron's history as well as offering hints about the events to come.

What I Wished:
- The shift in perspective between outside and inside Incarceron is occasionally frustrating. Most of the time it is skillfully used to build tension, leaving a character in one location in peril while the perspective shifts to the other location to reveal some crucial information. It does draw the story forward and keeps all the characters in focus even when they are in two separate worlds, but I sometimes found myself wanting to hurry through the chapters set within Incarceron in order to see more of the outside world.

Incarceron is the type of well-crafted fantasy world that is so full of mysteries that you find yourself hanging on each chapter wondering where the characters are heading, and the science fiction elements in this story succeed in bringing the stakes up several notches. I would recommend it to fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian fiction. And I very much look forward to reading the sequel, Sapphique, which is scheduled to be released in the US on December 28th!
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Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, April 20, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Imagine a prison that encompasses a whole world of fantastical people and creatures inside its walls: cities, metal forests, deep caves, and sanctuaries in the sky. That is Incarceron. Built to be the perfect prison after a time of unrest in the greater world around it, Incarceron was also meant to be a utopian place where the first prisoners could rehabilitate, and those who were born there afterward could live in peace. Once it was created the doors were sealed completely; no one was able to either arrive or escape.

Yet, Finn the Starseer believes he was not born inside. He has visions, possibly vague memories of birthday cakes and lakes and starry skies. He’s also heard the legend of Sapphique, a wise man from long ago whom the stories say found a way out. Now Finn has found a crystal key with the emblem of a crowned eagle on it, an eagle that matches the tattoo on his wrist. He’s sure the key can lead him out of Incarceron and help him find the truth about his past. A group of friends embarks along with him on the quest, desperate to also find a way out of the prison that has become more of a Hell than a Utopia.

Claudia is the Warden of Incarceron’s daughter. Engaged to the crown prince, she has been raised to be part of the court since the time she was born. But she wants no part of the intrigue and plots common at court. As her wedding approaches, she becomes desperate to find a way out of her prescribed life. When she discovers her father’s crystal key, she finds herself able to communicate with Finn. Together they try to solve the mystery of Finn’s identity and get him out of prison, which may also help Claudia change her fate.

Incarceron is Catherine Fisher’s highly imaginative fantasy novel about life in a future time where the technology exists to create a prison of Incarceron’s magnitude. Richly imagined details bring the grimy, bleak reality of prison to life.

A quote at the beginning helps to define reality for many of the characters: “Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison.” Everyone is seeking freedom of some kind, but they don’t always know what getting it will mean, and how freedom will change their lives. I was totally drawn into the dark dangers of the prison world. I could feel the eye of Incarceron as it searched its depths, always watching those who lived within. Claudia also faces dangers, but hers are more camouflaged, and less easy to identify.

I found myself wanting to race through the book to find out what happens at the end, and yet longing to linger over the details and savor this other world so vividly realized. Incarceron provides that kind of delicious balance that will have you impatiently waiting for the sequel, Sapphique, set to be released at the end of 2010. I recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Susan Wiget, March 6, 2010 (view all comments by Susan Wiget)
Incarceron is a vast, maze-like prison where the inmates believe that it’s impossible to escape, and some doubt the existence of a world outside the prison, but they also have legends about someone who did escape. Finn was supposedly born in the prison, but he only remembers the past two years.

He meets a wise woman who recognizes the tattoo on his wrist and who thus gives him hope. When Finn’s companions betray her, he acquires a key through which a young woman named Claudia speaks, whom Finn believes can help him escape the prison. Claudia, meanwhile, needs to escape the future prison of marriage to a prince whom she despises.

This is a magical world in which the elite own high technology but cling to Renaissance-era protocol and fashion, and where the unfortunate spend their entire lives in prison. Readers will find Incarceron better than the Harry Potter books, and I hope that it becomes just as popular.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780803733961
Author:
Fisher, Catherine
Publisher:
Firebird
Subject:
Prisoners
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20110208
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.68x6.64x1.40 in. 1.23 lbs.
Age Level:
10-10

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Related Subjects

Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

Incarceron Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Dial Books - English 9780803733961 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A prison that seems alive... a prisoner with no memory of who he is or why he's been imprisoned... and a young girl who's determined to uncover the secrets that Incarceron harbors.... Selected by the Times as its Book of the Year, Incarceron is a riveting and addicting read, fast paced, vividly descriptive and full of surprising plot twists and turns. Once you pick up Incarceron, you will be unable to put it down. Recommended for readers age 12 and up.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Fisher (the Oracle Prophesies series) scores a resounding success in this beautifully imagined science fantasy set in a far future where, many years earlier, civilization was artificially frozen at late-medieval levels in order to save the world from dangerous technologies. Simultaneously, all of the world's malcontents and madmen were sealed into an unimaginably vast, sentient prison named Incarceron, where a dedicated group of social engineers intended to create utopia. Claudia, the brilliant daughter of the cold-blooded warden of Incarceron, has been raised from birth to marry and eventually control Caspar, the simpleminded heir to the throne. Finn, a young man without a past, is a prisoner in Incarceron, which has become a hideous dystopia, an 'abyss that swallows dreams.' When Claudia and Finn each gain possession of a high-tech 'key' to the prison, they exchange messages, and Finn asks Claudia to help him attempt an escape. While he negotiates the hideous maze of the prison, Claudia makes her way through the equally deadly labyrinth of political intrigue. Complex and inventive, with numerous and rewarding mysteries, this tale is certain to please. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Fisher's dystopic future, in which technology and decay coexist in a dazzling kaleidoscope of images and time periods, is brilliantly realized." (starred review)
"Review" by , "Fisher's characters are emotionally resonant, flawed, determined, and plagued by metaphysical questions. With some well-timed shocking twists and a killer ending, this is a must-have."
"Review" by , "[S]tands out above all others ... It's imaginative scale and gobsmacking finale make it one of the best fantasy novels written for a long time."
"Synopsis" by ,
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden's daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . .

"Synopsis" by ,
A thrilling, high-concept fantasy for fans of Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer.

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.

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