I was going to hold off on reviewing this one until closer to the pub date, but I just can’t wait. I received an ARC of Incarceron at PNBA from my lovely Penguin sales rep, and had heard FABULOUS things about it during my “Children’s Pick of the List” panel at the tradeshow. Booksellers were throwing around words like “steampunk” and phrases like “well, I can’t tell you much about it….” so of course it sounded like my kind of book. I just love books I can’t talk about. Right. So let’s talk about the book, shall we?
Incarceron is set in a postapocalyptic-ish future. Kind of. You see, the powers that be decided that it would be safer if they just stopped time, so they all live in a sort-of Victorian era, but most people cheat and use technology to fake their authentic Victorian lifestyles. Claudia lives in this fake-Victorian-era, and her father is the Warden of Incarceron–a prison that was created decades ago where ALL the bad people of the world were sent to create a new utopia-type-land. Finn lives in this utopian prison. Except it’s more like hell. The chapters alternate between Claudia and Finn, (seamlessly, I might add) and as they learn more about eachother’s worlds many mysteries surface.
Sounds pretty awesome and sort of complicated, right? Well it is. Pretty awesome. It’s really not complicated once you’re entrenched in the book. And I was hooked from the first page. Catherine Fisher does an amazing job of keeping things suspenseful, and she weaves together the different story lines beautifully. Her worlds are so completely original and well shaped. I can’t wait until this one comes out so that I can start selling it. It’s already been out in the UK for awhile, so if you really want it, I’m sure you could find it. Or just wait and buy it at your local indie bookstore. (shameless plug).
EDIT: I just found out that Bookshelves of Doom has a great review of Incarceron too! I think her summary is a bit less convoluted than mine, check it out.