June 6

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

“Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison.”

This futuristic thriller is set in and out of a prison called ‘Incarceron’. In the prison, there are different groups, with some members willing to die for freedom. Outside the prison, there is a frightening hierarchy that no one dares to question.

There are two main protagonists in this book, Finn and Claudia. Finn is a prisoner at Incarceron and is eager to escape. Claudia, however, is on the outside, but she is also stuck in her own kind of prison and is being forced into an arranged marriage. In an interesting twist, Claudia’s father is the Warden of Incarceron. Finn and Claudia both happen to find a ‘Crystal Key’ to communicate with each other. Together they plot an escape, which is not without its obstacles.

This novel has themes that are very relevant to a teenage audience, such as loyalty, trust, desire, and friendship. With a fast-paced plot that readers will find entertaining, the structure of Incarceron is simple and easy to understand. The characters are also multi-dimensional and surprisingly relatable. I also found the themes to be thought-provoking and clever. As a fan of novels with a dystopian edge, I found this to be one of the best steampunk stories I’ve ever read. Although it’s probably unfair to compare this novel to red hot page-turners like ‘The Hunger Games’, this book is right up there with some of the best dystopian novels on the shelves today. This was the first Catherine Fisher book I’ve come across, but it certainly will not be my last.

I would recommend this book to guys and girls over the age of 11, just because it takes a while to understand the storyline, and the themes may be too dark and mature for younger readers. This book is a must-read for those who enjoy high-tech, dystopian, steampunk, and sci-fi novels.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would rate it four out of five stars.

Cody C, Year 8

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Posted June 6, 2017 by marjk in category Dystopian fiction, Fantasy, Girls Read, Guys Read, Student Reviews

About the Author

Teacher-librarian at Aquinas College, Southport, Gold Coast, Australia

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