Ms. Fisher's own website)
Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, who is sure he came from Outside, even though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man, half real, half legend, has ever escaped.
Imagine a girl in a manor house in a society where time has been forbidden, where everyone is held in a seventeenth century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage that appals her, tangled in an assassination plot she both dreads and desires.
One inside, one outside
But both imprisoned.
Imagine a war that has hollowed the moon, seven skullrings that contain souls, a flying ship and a wall at the world's end.
Imagine the unimaginable.
My own summary of the book:
Finn is trapped inside a prison while Claudia's living in the 17th Century splendor of Protocol on the Outside as the daughter of the Warden. Finn's life is rife with problems between escaping the psychotic whims of a self-aware prison and the power-hungry (and often drugged-up) rulings of a Winglord. Claudia has only one problem: She has to marry the prince.
Except the prince she's supposed to marry might be stuck in the prison.
What I liked:
The plot is actually pretty unique, and there are a lot of twists and turns that caught me by surprise.
I especially enjoyed Finn. I thought he was a great character full and depth and genuine emotions.
The settings were spectacular both Inside and Outside Incarceron. I often felt like I was literally inside Ms. Fisher's world.
What I didn't like:
Oh dear, there were a few things, unfortunately.
For one, I couldn't stomach Claudia. My dislike for a character doesn't usually sway my opinion of a book (after all, unlikeable people are very realistic), but she started out as a stuck-up snob from her first page and stayed a stuck-up snob even up to the last page of SAPPHIQUE. And considering I really did like Finn, I ultimately ended up hating Claudia's treatment of him.
I also found myself wondering what POV Ms. Fisher was trying to write in. She seemed to start out in strict Third Limited with POV shifts separated by chapters. However, as the books (INCARCERON and SAPPHIQUE) went on, the POV shifts started happening within scenes and then from one paragraph to another. I found I had to backtrack a few times to even understand whose voice I was in. And considering she started adding more and more POV characters as time went on, it became increasingly difficult to stay rooted in the story.
The twists and turns may have been fascinating, but by the time I finished SAPPHIQUE, I still had questions (questions that will forever go unanswered). Perhaps this isn't such a big deal, but I do like to have everything wrapped up nicely by the time a story is finished.
1 star: Don't even bother
2 stars: It may be your cup of tea, but it ain't mine
3 stars: Pick it up at the library some time
4 stars: Go ahead and buy it. You might like it!
5 stars: What are you doing still reading this post?! Go out and buy it NOW!
I give the INCARCERON series...
Ultimately, I may not have liked it as much as I would have hoped, but there IS a lot of positive buzz for Ms. Fisher's books.
So, it may be your cup of tea, but it ain't mine. :)
For your purchasing convenience, click this link to order INCARCERON!