Centuries ago all the criminals, rebels and other unwanted people were sent to a prison called Incarceron. Incarceron is no normal prison, made of concrete and bars. It is a massive machine, able to change its landscape at any moment, so huge that it contains entire castles, valleys, forests and mountains. A whole ecosystem resides within its walls and it was built to be a self-sustaining paradise. But something has gone terribly wrong. It seems that Incarceron may have gained consciousness, and is toying with its inhabitants. No one ever leaves or enters Incarceron, and many generations have grown up knowing nothing else. Some even doubt that Outside exists. However a teenage boy named Finn has had visions of an outside world, and when he finds a special crystal key he is able to communicate with Claudia, a woman who claims to be from Outside. With Claudia’s help, Finn and his friends attempt to do what only one person has ever done – Escape.
Dystopian fiction is all the rage right now, but it would be a mistake to dismiss Incarceron as another Hunger Games knock off. While the book certainly describes a bleak future it also asks some interesting philosophical questions, such as what is and is not reality. How do we know we’re all not living in a huge prison? Also, the story has many unforeseen twists and turns. As soon as you think you’ve got it all figured out Incarceron hits you with a mind bending plot twist that changes everything. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can’t wait to read the sequel, Sapphique!
Review by Simon, CLP-Knoxville