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by Catherine Fisher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Incarceron (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,0391813,178 (3.72)1 / 107
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.

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English (179)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Finn lives inside the brutal world that is the sentient prison, Incarceron. Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, lives in the artificial past that never really existed, the Era. Both are trapped by the world they live in and looking for freedom.

Can either find a way out? Where is Incarceron? What secrets does the formidable Warden hold? Claudia and Finn are swept up in the plots and intrigues of others and must use all their resources to stay alive.

With this novel Catherine Fisher veers from her previous fantasy works and into a science-fiction world that is made up of ideas that individually are not original but are deftly combined into an imaginitive whole. Distinctive characters and a plot with plenty of incident, pace and surprises make for a great read. Perhaps the only negative is the late realisation that nothing will be resolved, at least until the inevitable sequel, Sapphique. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
Excellent story that consistently surprised me. It was a genuinely different read that did not disappoint. ( )
  carmsoc | Jul 3, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book a lot. It wasn't the best book ever but it was entertaining. I also have to give the author a lot of credit for creativity. Although the book had most all of the usual fantasy tropes, this book was creative - probably one of the most unique settings I've come across in a long time. ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
A fantastically imaginative book that kept me reading it pretty much constantly. The sheer concept of it alone was enough to drag me in.

Finn has always lived within the dark, machine-like bowels of Incarceron, scraping out a living with the gangs that live and fight in its interior. To these prisoners, Incarceron is their whole world, a sentient universe that is constantly watching, directing, and laughing at what goes on inside itself. But sometimes Finn is beset by visions of stars and other things that don't exist in Incarceron...and when he comes into possession of a mysterious crystal key, he slowly comes to believe that there must be something out there.

Claudia is the daughter of Incarceron's Warden, a cold man who has groomed her from childhood to marry into the royal line. But Claudia wants no part of her aggravating fiancee...although she does want to discover the secrets of Incarceron, locked away from the outside world for centuries.

One character within the living, nightmarish prison, and one without. Both of them headstrong, smart, and determined in different ways. Both with enemies closing in and allies at their sides. And each determined to discover the other's world.

Incarceron was suspenseful, not in the rolling action-movie way but simply in the delicate interplay of intrigue, danger, and character. The chapter headings, which are bits of diary, poetry, and legend from the Incarceron world just add to the atmosphere. I loved all the characters, from protagonists Finn and Claudia to their supporting cast: obsessed Sapient scholar Gildas, fiery former-slave Attia, calm and gentle Jared, and even arrogant Keiro (for whom I specially coined the appropriate term "despicably likable.") While some of the twists were easy to see coming, others totally threw me (such as the revelation about Keiro's nature and Incarceron's location), and the story itself has many subplots, cool relationship dynamics, and nooks of plot waiting to be explored. I may have to give in and order the sequel instead of waiting for its late 2010 release. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Catherine Fisherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guest, Kim MaiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yuen, SammyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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(chapter 1 page 5)

Who can chart the vastness of Incarceron?
Its halls and viaducts, its chasms?
Only the man who has known freedom
Can define his prison.
                             -Song of Sapphique
(chapter 2 page 15)

We will choose an Era from the past and re-create it.
We will make a world free from the anxiety of change!
It will be Paradise!
                                                 -King Endor's Decree
(chapter 3 page 28)

The experiment will be a bold one and there
may well be risks we have not foreseen. But
Incarceron will be a system of great complexity
and intelligence. There could be no kinder or
more compassionate guardian of its inmates.
                   -Project report; Martor Sapiens
(chapter 4 page 42)

Finally when all was ready, Martor convened
the council of the Sapienti and asked for
volunteers. They must be prepared to leave
family and friends forever. To turn their backs
on the green grass, the trees, the light of the sun.
Never again to see the stars.
    "We are the Wise," he said. "The responsibility
for success is ours. We must send our finest minds
to guide the inmates."
    At the appointed hour, as he approached the
chamber of the Gate, they say he murmured his
fear that it would be empty.
    He opened the door. Seventy men and women
were waiting for him. In great ceremony, they
entered the Prison.
    They were never seen again.
                                     -Tales of the Steel Wolf
(chapter 5 page 55)

There was a man and his mane was Sapphique.
Where he came from is a mystery. Some say he
was born of the Prison, grown from its stored
components. Some say he came from Outside,
because he alone of men returned there. Some
say he was not a man at all, but a creature
from those shining sparks lunatics see in dreams
and name the stars. Some say he was a liar and
a fool.
                                               -Legend of Sapphique
To Sheenagh Pugh
brilliant poet, wise webmistress.
First words
Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway.
(page 50)

    . . . As for the arrangement we spoke of before, it
is unfortunate, but great changes often require great
sacrifices. G has been kept aloof from others since
his father died; the people's grief will be real but
short-lived and we can contain it. It barely needs
saying that your part will be behind value to us.
When my son is King I can promise you all I . . .
(page 142)

    My dear,
    You will have heard the good news that your
wedding is imminent. After waiting all these
years, I'm sure your excitement is as intense as
my own! Casper insisted on coming to escort you
here--such a romantic. What a handsome couple
you will make. From now on, my dear, you must
think of me as your loving mother.
                                                            Sia Regina
(page 307)

(page 308)


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To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.

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Book description
Imagine a prison so vast that it contains cells and corridors, forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, sure he came from Outside - though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man has ever escaped. Imagine a girl in a manor house, in a society where time is forbidden, held in a 17th century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage, tangled in an assassination plot she dreads and desires. One inside, one outside. But both imprisoned. Imagine Incarceron.
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Average: (3.72)
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2 57
2.5 11
3 207
3.5 76
4 344
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