3.64 (61,998 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 ... "I loved the book. It's a crazy, cool, dark world ... it's a great story." -- Taylor Lautner, star of the Twilight movies
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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 131 x 198 x 30mm | 320g
  • Hodder Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0340893605
  • 9780340893609
  • 60,166

Review quote

One of today's best fantasy writers...readers can look forward to a deliciously dark and scary ride * The Independent * Complex and richly imagined * New Welsh Review * Imaginatively drawn and vividly described * School Librarian * Catherine Fisher is an artist with words -- a brilliant writer and of fantasty and Incarceron maintains the high standard set by The Oracle and The Snow Walker trilogies...An engrossing, intricate story of an extraordinary journey undertaken by richly imaginative characters * Carousel * Complete and believable. The story is wholly engaging and rushes along at a breathless and nail-biting pace with plenty of heroic moments and near misses...A gripping read that should enthral both young and old fantasy fans alike. * Buzz * Beautifully imagined and realised...a barnstorming piece of serious fantasy that doesn't put a foot wrong...tense and fast-paced with a real atmosphere of menace * The Bookbag * Fisher remains a superb writer * Write Away * One of this year's most striking fantasy novels * The Times Online * The plotting is intricate and the levels of legend and action are multi-layered...A tense and complicated fantasy adventure * Books For Keeps * One novel stands out above all others...thrilling...a modern version of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, though given a better plot, people we care about and a prose style honed by decades of writing poetry * The Times * Tackled with creativity, courage and originality * New Statesman * A riveting book that keeps you turning pages * Wands and Words * 'One of this year's most striking fantasy novels' * Amanda Craig, The Times * 'A far-future thriller combines riveting adventure and masterful world-building with profound undertones. ... Like the finest chocolate, a rich confection of darkness, subtlety and depth, bittersweet and absolutely satisfying.' * Kirkus * 'a tour de force' * School Library Journal * '... imaginatively drawn and vividly described. ... an exciting adventure story.' * School Librarian * '... stands out above all others ... It's imaginative scale and gobsmacking finale make it one of the best fantasy novels written for a long time.' * Times, Amanda Craig * 'a deliciously dark and scary ride.' * Nicholas Tucker, The Independent * 'one of today's best fantasy writers ... a deliciously dark and scary ride.' * Independent * '... imaginative, rich in texture and vividly realised. Catherine Fisher writes with consummate skill and depth of feeling.' * The Bookseller * 'a smart, complex, engrossing and emotionally involving read.' * Bookshelves of Doom * 'a deep and sophisticated adventure story' * Write Away * '... a riveting book that keeps you turning pages. There are plenty of plot twists, mysteries, excitement, and secrets to hold your attention from the beginning to the very end. Even things that seem obvious may not be as they seem; there's enough ambiguity to keep you guessing.' * Wands and Worlds * 'This gripping futuristic fantasy has breathless pacing, an intelligent storyline, and superb detail in rendering both of the stagnating environments. ... With some well-timed shocking twists and a killer ending, this is a musthave.' * Booklist * '... brilliantly realized ... reader attention never flags through this elegant, gritty, often surprising novel.' * The Horn Book magazine * 'Complex and inventive, with numerous and rewarding mysteries, this tale is certain to please.' * Publishers Weekly * PRAISE FOR THE ORACLE SEQUENCE:
'... a rich, resonant conclusion to the series.' * Booklist - May 06 * 'Vivid, complicated, and thoroughly engrossing, this fast paced adventure keeps readers avidly turning pages until the majestic conclusion.' * Horn Book Review May/June 06 * ... an intoxicating world reminiscent of the Arabian Nights. Highly recommended. * The Bookseller * suspense is constantly built ... rattles along at a dizzying pace ... next volume please. * School Librarian * A crisp, quick-moving narrative and fully fleshed out characters will keep readers hooked * Publisher's Weekly * A powerful and very exciting adventure story. * School Library Journal * '... one of the most skilled and original writers currently working in young adult fantasy' * New Welsh Review * 'Beautifully imagined and realised, this novel of future regression is rich with strong characters, big issues and a compelling plot. It is a barnstorming piece of serious fantasy that doesn't put a foot wrong.' * The Bookbag * 'Catherine Fisher is an artist with words ... An engrossing, intricate story of an extraordinary journey undertaken by richly imaginative characters' * Carousel * '... wholly engaging and rushes along as a breathless and nail-biting pace ... a gripping read that should enthral both young and old fans' * Buzz * Oozes a del Toro flick vibe. * SFX Magazine *
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About Catherine Fisher

CATHERINE FISHER is an award-winning fantasy writer. The Oracle was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award, The Conjuror`s Game for the Smarties Award, The Snow-Walker`s Son for the W.H.Smith Mind Boggling Award, The Candle Man won the Tir-Na-n`Og Award, and Corbenic was shortlisted. Author of 16 books for children and 2 volumes of award-winning poetry.
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Rating details

61,998 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 25% (15,204)
4 34% (21,158)
3 27% (16,659)
2 10% (6,266)
1 4% (2,711)

Our customer reviews

Favourite Quote: "No one likes to see themseles from the outside." I had high expections from this book because the blurb on the back sounded so awesome, however I was SLIGHTLY disappointed and give this book 4/5 stars! My problem with the book was one of the main characters, Claudia, who was a p.o.v character. I just think she was a spoiled, selfish, stroppy brat who I immediately disliked and that continued right up till the end. Perhaps in the next book she will grow on me but in this she didn't. How could I possibly give a book 5/5 when I loathed the main character? The characters I actually did like was Finn, he was just a little lost soul and I really liked him. Kairo I also liked which surprised me because he is made out to be a bit of a villian but I felt he did have redeeming qualities. Attica I loved, she was just unique and strong, a great heroine. Jared was another character who grew on me overall I cant wait to read what happens to these characters in the next book! The plot was very fast paced and interesting, I guessed a twist almost 100 pages before it was revealed and I thought that was the twist of the whole book, but I was totally wrong. In the last 100 pages there are so many twists and turns I was like WOW! That is how you keep the reader on edge! I highly recommend this to everyone and specifically fans of Fantasy, this is just a great book!show more
by brookexx
Incarceron had me at hello with it's opening and good writing style, and it only got better as we got to know each other closer. I am impressed with the wordbuilding and detailed descriptions of the holographic reality. Claudia is a good character that I didn't have troubles connecting to, and more than anything I needed to know more about Incarceron, the perfect prison. That said, I have a fair share of problems with this book. Characters other than Claudia are rather uninteresting, even Finn, whom I expected to have a bit more blood. Despite my initial enthusiasm, this book turned out to be quite predictable. The political "intrigue" is a common one, and the greatest mystery of all turned out to be a no brainer at all if you've seen Men In Black. I was hoping it wouldn't be that obvious, but eh, I was disappointed. These problems aside, Incarceron still managed to pack a few punches and keep me intrigued. It is a suspenseful read and its excellent steampunkish setting is why I'm looking forward to reading Sapphique. (Source: library copy)show more
by Ivana
This review is a hard one for me to write. I started reading this book in October of 2011, but put it down after reading 200 pages because I couldn\'t really be bothered with what happened. I hoped it was the fact that I wasn\'t in the mood for a book like this, so I put it down and picked it back up in 2012. It definitely got better at that point - it seems like I put it down at the end of the not so eventful part, but it still didn\'t blow me away. Incarceron is told from two perspectives: Finn, who is inside the prison, and does not know about an outside, although there have been rumors. When he gets his hands on a mysterious key, he is able to get in contact with Claudia, who provides us with the second perspective. She lives outside the prison, in the \'real world\', where people live \'in era\', which means they live in a 17/18th century kind of style without technology, although it does exists and people use it in secret. While the book is labeled as a dystopian, I don\'t think it\'s that easy to put this book in that box. Because of the lack of technology in most of the novel, when it is used, it feels a bit like a steampunkish kind of genre. However, when that\'s not the case, you would also be able to label it as a form of fantasy, which is the case with the outside scenes. It\'s such a mesh of genres that it wouldn\'t be fitting to label this book solely a dystopian, even though technically, I guess that\'s what seems to come closest. The characters fell rather flat for me. I liked Finn, I guess, and in some parts I liked Claudia, too. But it was hard for me to connect with their stories, because it felt like it was so far away. I didn\'t feel like I was experiencing their stories, I felt like I was watching it from afar and that was part of why it was hard to get into the story. The only person I felt held promise, was Jared, a Sapient who was Claudia\'s mentor. At some points there was great chemistry between him and Claudia and I feel like he could have been involved more in the story. Concerning the antagonists, both the Evil Queen Who Made Her Son Disappear, and the Warden of Incarceron (Claudia\'s father), I had no idea what their intentions were and why they were bad/evil/a pain. It was never explained why the Queen was the way she was, and I felt like I needed the explanation for it to work for the story. Having said that, Incarceron was probably one of the most imaginitive books I\'ve read in a while. The combination of all different aspects made for a possibly great book, but unfortunately, it wasn\'t that great for me personally. The pacing was great, I liked the combination of all the different elements and some of the characters showed a lot of potential at times, even though I felt like that wasn\'t fully explored during the story. My favorite parts were inside Incarceron, because I felt more disconnected from Claudia\'s outside world. All in all, I think people who love both dystopian and fantasy, not necessarily together, will enjoy this book a whole more
by Daphne for Loving Books
Finn lives inside Incarceron, a vast sealed prison. The prisoners are descendants of the original inmates. In centuries only one person has ever escaped. Finn has no memory of his past up until a few years ago when he woke up in Incarceron but believes he's from Outside. Outside, the Warden's daughter, Claudia, feels trapped in her own world. A futuristic one where 'protocol' rules, time is stuck in the 17th century - at least on the surface - and an arranged marriage looms. The adventure itself is essentially a tale of the prisoners of Incarceron trying to find their way out, helped along by contact with a couple of outsiders. Through this adventure we find out all about Incarceron, how it came to be and what it's like in there. While a lot of detail is given, I get the impression what is revealed in the book isn't the whole story though and that makes me want to read the second book even more. There's so much detail and plot twists in this book that the pages just kept turning because I just had to find out what happened next. Even with a complex world and great plot, for me the thing that stood out the most in this book were the characters. They are well rounded and described in enough detail that you really feel like you know them. There's so much about this book that it would appeal to all kinds of readers. Even if you don't like the scifi/fantasy genre, it's worth reading just for the characters and the relationships they build with each more
by Tasha
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