Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Synopsis: 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 ... From Goodreads.com
Characters: As each character is introduced I am thrown into there world, their problems, and the mystery surrounding it all. It's very obvious that there are some major secrets attached to the story. I automatically love Claudia with her rebel attitude against her father who is a very important political figure. Finn worries me. He seems blank,and he has this nice guy attitude that is countered by everyone telling him to do wrong. His friend is a much better character as he knows what he wants and will do anything to get it. The author however knew this, she played the emotions of the reader to want Finn not to follow his brother Keiro. That was just the first part. Once the adventure picked up the characters began to grow and develop, and as they shaped the story I found myself cheering them on and yelling, “Don't go in there!” -9
Format: They really went beyond the normal manuscript for this book. It's divided into five parts, and each chapter has a caption at the top, And the point of view switches between Claudia in the outside world to Finn in the prison. It really moved the story along, and added texture to the book. The experience was slightly lessened it's impossible to notice while reading, but I found myself striving to get to the next part instead of enjoying the story. If I were the publisher I would simply make it less obvious where the parts were because there is an entire page covered in a cool ink design to separate one from the next; a title page would have been for effective. -8
Suspense: The separation did add to the suspense because I was rushing to get through and then I would be left with this cliffhanger at the end of a section, and instead of stop there I had to rush forward to see what happened next. The switch in POV did that as well the author would leave off just at the part where it was getting good! Excellent work. -9
P.S. Watch out for allusions
The sequel: Sapphique
Usually I include something on the plot and theme, but I don't have any more comments. Except that Incarceron was a exciting read, and there were many enjoyable qualities to it.