Incarceron is part steampunk, part dystopian future and perhaps part magic. The idea behind the book is that the worlds criminals have been sent into a living prison, leaving their heirs to the same, unending life. Life on the outside is much different than in Incarceron itself.
The story is told from two perspetives – that of Finn (who lives in Incarceron) and that of Claudia (who lives outside of it)
While I did sort of enjoy the book, I'm not particularly looking forward to reading its sequel “Sapphique”. The book did keep me guessing...perhaps a little too much. I kept thinking to myself “What are we dealing with here?” and so many of my questions were left unanswered.
I much prefered reading about Claudia on the outside than of Finn on the outside. I felt like her parts might explain a little more about the world and why it was left the way it was. We get small peaks here and there about it – but not enough to satiate my curiosity. I want to know more! I want to know more about why they seem to be trying to live a more Medieval existance than their clearly advanced scientific existence. I want to know why innocent people, born into Incarceron had to remain there – even though they had commited to crimes in the outside world.
Fisher keeps you guessing throughout the entire book – especially about the basis of Incarceron itself. Where is it? What is it? And if you're quick enough, you'll probably come to the proper conclusion fairly early on in the book.
The world building was strange. I often felt I didn't understand what Fisher was trying to get across. Her explainations of the different places within Incarceron were just weird. I didn't understand enough in the writing to form a great visual.
I did enjoy the book, though. I think the driving power behind it is the fact that it does keep you guessing – though you may be disappointed that not all your questions are answered.
If you're a little wary of reading it – perhaps wait for the movie, for which the book has been optioned. No information yet on whether it will go through or when the release date may be – keep your eyes on IMDB for that one.