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Incarceron (Incarceron, Book 1)

by Catherine Fisher

Published by U.S. edition: Dial, 2010
442 pages
ISBN: 978-0803733961

Ages 12 and older

Podcast featuring this book

Part futuristic dystopia, part-cyberpunk, and part Elizabethan court intrigue, this rich, atmospheric novel follows two main narrative lines with completely distinct settings. In one, a teenage boy named Finn is trapped in a vast techno-prison called Incarceron, where prisoners inhabit bleak landscapes, form alliances, and fight for their own survival. They can never escape, but Finn is determined to try, driven by fleeting memories of an earlier time when he was free. Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Claudia, daughter of the prison Warden, lives a privileged life Outside, in a technologically advanced society that masks itself as a late sixteenth-century kingdom in order to maintain the comforts of the ruling class. She is about to marry the spoiled, immature Prince Caspar, although his older stepbrother Giles, who died years before, was originally her betrothed. Knowing she is no more than a pawn in the power struggle between her father and the queen, and desperate to escape her fate, Claudia discovers a crystal key that gives her a window into Finn's life in Incareron—because he possesses its mate. Two equally gripping parallel plots go back and forth and eventually intertwine as Claudia and Finn turn to one another as they try to escape their respective prisons. Well developed secondary characters and tantalizing subplots add depth to the underlying intrigue that will continue in Book 2. (KTH) ©2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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