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Incarceron [Paperback]

Catherine Fisher
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Kindle Edition 2.99  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook 32.92  
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Book Description

3 May 2007

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

Frequently Bought Together

Incarceron + Sapphique + The Obsidian Mirror
Price For All Three: 15.88

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  • Sapphique 5.50
  • The Obsidian Mirror 5.59

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340893605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340893609
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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)


'... 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)

Book Description

Dark, powerful and compelling, from the award-winning author of the Oracle.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading 5 Oct 2007
By Lirael
Incarceron begins with two stories which weave together cleverly as the book goes on

First there's Finn who exists in some kind of huge futuristic prison called 'Incarceron' contolled by the mother of all computers. It has definite parallels to the Matrix in its enormous sense of scale, computer control and the inmates belief that a world outside can only exist in legend.
Then there's Claudia, who does live in a world outside and whose father is the warden of Incarceron. She has no idea where the prison is or how to get inside. But her desire to find out is drastically increased when she comes to believe that a person very dear to her heart was secretly imprisoned after his death was faked in order to remove him as the next heir to the throne.
It's part sci-fi, part fantasy and Finn and Claudia's possible relationship is a strong draw to the story as well. It's quite compelling, fairly original and well written.
The ending? Well there are some good twists and it's not wholly predictable, but it also leaves it wide open for a sequal or two. Whilst this is fine, it does mean that some threads are left hanging, which is slightly annoying. I would have preferred it to stand up as a complete story in its own right. It was worth the read but I'm not sure I'd make time to read the inevitable second installment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incarceron 8 Mar 2008
By lyra
I'm not going to summarise the plot as that has already been done well by other reviewers and I wouldn't want to give more away. A great book with a complex plot and two interesting worlds for the price of one. Each world is a prison in its own different way. I felt this novel was original, pacy and had a compelling storyline. It is easy to engage with a number of the characters, especially Finn and Claudia but others were suitably mysterious. Some of the plotline with Finn and Claudia can be predicted, but there is enough that makes you want to read on. I was also a bit frustrated by the fact that the ending clearly invites a sequel, but I suppose that is true of many good children's novels at the moment. There are elements of suspence, sci fi, fantasy, adventure and romance, but I wouldn't recommend it for readers under 12. Some of the intrigue and sublety would be lost on younger readers, and that would be a shame.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - definitely recommend it! 11 Jun 2007
Really enjoyed it, the story is gripping pretty much from the start but the last 100-150 pages have just been "WOW!" after "Oh, WOW!!!" The twists just left me gobsmacked and unable to put down the book. Although it's a children's book (and this shows in the format and the print) I didn't think the story was dumbed down at all (as it can sometimes be) and as an adult who never read children's books I was very impressed and thoroughly loved it. Another reviewer found it predictable and disappointing but no so me - read it, read it, READ IT!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two different worlds, one great story. 1 Mar 2011
By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I have to admit to being a little confused when I started reading this book. The first two chapters seemed to be set in completely different settings and eras with no explanation and I found myself rather lost. The second chapter was set in what appeared to be the 17th Century whilst the first chapter felt like a scene from a Dickens novel. It was only when I got to chapter 3 that I seemed to find my feet, becoming aware of a dystopian feel. It gave me the impression that the author had set the story on Earth, yet in some descriptions it felt too far fetched to be Earth and was more likely to be a fantasy world.

I felt I had to make this clear, because I really want you to read it. You need to have an idea of the settings of the story in order to see the bigger picture. Once I reached the third chapter, I could not put the book down. The book is over 450 pages long and I read it in two evenings! That is how good it is.

The book takes place in two very different places as I mentioned above. Firstly you have Finn, a prisoner inside Incarceron, who has a vague impression that he may have originally lived on the Outside, but as his memory seems to have deserted him, he is unsure. He is determined to find his way out of the prison which has been sealed for centuries. Only one person has ever managed to escape before.

On the outside, Claudia lives in a replica world of the 17th Century. She lives in a manor house, with servants, a tutor and an absent father, who happens to be the Warden of Incarceron. Underneath the period visage, you discover that her world is run by computers, yet they are treated as they though they don't exist. All modern elements of our world are rejected and discussed in a whisper or hidden from view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am Everywhere 16 May 2010
Incarceron: it's a vast intelligent city-prison, sealed off from the outside world and hidden from everybody except the Warden. So it's pretty much inevitable that one day, a way out -- or a way in -- will be found. Catherine Fisher's "Incarceron" is a hauntingly original sci-fi/fantasy story, setting up two very different characters in two parts of a stagnated future world. It's kind of confusing at times, but it smoothly clicks into gear after awhile.

Both Claudia and Finn are trapped. She's the Warden's pampered daughter, and is about to be married off to a playboy prince for her father's benefit. He's an amnesiac boy in the Scum gang, plagued by seizures that give him prophetic visions.

But their lives take unexpected turns when a prisoner taken in a Scum raid on a train recognizes Finn's eagle tattoo, and he manages to get his hands on a mysterious key that might allow him to get outside -- if he can find the door. And Claudia is plotting with her dying teacher to get a mysterious key hidden in the Warden's office.

When the two keys bring Claudia and Finn into contact, Finn suddenly has hope that he can escape Incarceron -- but instead he encounters the true horrors of the secret prison. And in her desperation to avoid marrying the bratty prince, Claudia uncovers a secret plot that her father is involved with... and not only Finn's secrets, but her own.

Metal trees, stagnant royal courts, sorcery, creepy old crones and high-tech prisons that always watch with red camera eyes. The world of "Incarceron" is a pretty weird one, and it works pretty well considering it seems to be cobbled together from all sorts of strange sources -- the only real problem is that Fisher takes a VERY long time to mesh together her two main storylines.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of dystopias this is not a good one.
I could not get into this book and gave up not very far in. The books setting is unbelievable, I couldn't care less about the characters and it completely failed to grip. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Jennie240575
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I enjoyed the book. I shall not bother writing any more reviews. It is enough to say I enjoyed it.
Published 6 months ago by josie gurney
5.0 out of 5 stars Incarceron sucks you in and doesn't let you go until the last page
The story is fast paced, yet visually rich and detailed at the same time. I was glued to the story from start to finish, reading it in just two days. Read more
Published 7 months ago by JulieGirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read.
Not sure what to make of this book. It was a recommend read. But I found it very difficult to get to grips with in the beginning. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Laura Anderton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Really enjoyed this book. Was intrigued by the world's conjured up within the book. Very sad when the book ended I wanted it to continue.
Published 11 months ago by Hilmw
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a good book
Best fantasy novel I have read in a long time! I found one of the characters (Claudia) a bit annoying at the end but I was really happy when I found out that there is a second... Read more
Published 11 months ago by amazonamy
5.0 out of 5 stars book from book lovers
Book arrived in good condition, it even had a cover. Despite once used in library, it looked almost new. It will be a pleasure to turn its pages.
Published 12 months ago by Maria Lukacs
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I thought this book was really good though it started off a bit slow. The plot was really complex but everything worked. Very well written
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind boggling
Absolutely loved every page. Was glued to my reader avidly wanting to find out what happened next, what perils our mismatched band of heroes would face, would they figure ou the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Vieira
3.0 out of 5 stars Would I want to be incarcerated on a desert island with only this book...
Probably not but then as a 72 yr old I am hardly the target readership. It has merit as a story and is simply told but having reached the half way point I find myself losing... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Burrows
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