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Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Summary: Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

♥ Favorite Line(s):
>"Underground the stars are legend." - One of my favorite lines in a book ever.
>"Despair is deep. An abyss that swallows dreams. A wall at the world's end. Behind it I await death. Because all our work has come to this." - Again, beautiful.

I loved so much of Catherine Fisher's prose. It's freaking fabulous.

My thoughts:
Incarceron: A Love/Hate Story>
Let me start off by saying that prior to reading Incarceron I did not have a 'mixed feelings' shelf on Goodreads.
Now I do.
Because of this book.
And it's Pages of Confusion.

From the start, Fisher's prose made me all goo-goo eyed and weak in the knees. I was, and continue to be, completely in love with her way of bending words into sentences, phrases and paragraphs so pretty I have an entire file full of tidbits I loved and wanted to remember. Besides the lovely writing, the premise of Incarceron drew me in absolutely. I was so, so excited to find out how the plot would unfold within the first ten pages. Seriously. So. Excited. I adore dystopians, but I really have a thing for dystopians in which Protagonist is trying to get from Hellhole A to Greener Pastures B. So I believed Incarceron to be right up my alley.

Within a few hours I was happily engulfed in Incarceron, flipping pages like a crazy person. Then came the wall. DUN DUN DUN. This here wall came at me about 100 pages into the novel. My interest began waning and only fifty pages later did I realize why. I was being eaten alive by descriptions. Long, long, long descriptions. About everything. And everyone. I found myself skipping pages of the book because I was thinking, "If I read another description about a room in this place, about one more funny-looking tree, one more door, I will cut something." I also looked a bit like this:

It was a rough period in my love affair with Incarceron. I felt that the book I fell for had changed. We were different people now and I didn't know how to handle the change. I knew I still loved the plot and wanted to see the book through to the end, but I knew the descriptions would also be the end of our love. So I decided to keep skipping the lengthier descriptions. The rest was infinitely more enjoyable after that, and I really did love it by the end.

Claudia, Jared, Attia and, in the beginning, Finn were the only characters I genuinely liked. Claudia because she's nosy and curious and has a backbone. Jared for his helpful nature and overall badassery I found awesome. Attia's just plain interesting and I always wanted to know more about her. Finn, what do I say about Finn? I loved him in the beginning and he did have his moments throughout when I thought, "I kinda like this kid." Mostly though, I began to hate him by association. I really, I mean REALLY, hated both Keiro and Gildas. I waited anxiously for the moment both of them were put out of commission. Throughout the novel I just could not understand why Finn consistently put up with their shit. I was baffled by his need to help them when he was being constantly used and abused by the two of them. Though, maybe that says more about me than the book. I couldn't connect with Finn's need for tweedle dee and tweedle dum and therefore I couldn't connect with the masochist himself.

The plot kept me interested when the characters and endless descriptions could not. I loved the plot line completely and it's one of the only things that has kept me interested enough to want to read the sequel. Catherine Fisher definitely knows how to weave twists and turns into a story seamlessly and jerk a reader off a certain path within a paragraph. Her plotting skill shines through in the fact that I couldn't stand half the characters and filler descriptions, yet I still finished the book with a good feeling about what I'd just read.

    Summing it up:
    I liked the story, disliked most characters, and think 200+ pages could've been cut. Overall Incarceron is a good read and I'm looking forward to the sequel, Sapphique.

    Technically, 3.5 stars!!

    Link up: Goodreads//Shelfari//Amazon//Barnes and Noble//Catherine's website

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    Happy Monday!

    "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"-Coldplay,