I know, I know....this book is sooooo yesterday, but oh my, what a fantastic jewel of a read for those of you who have yet to discover this gem! Catherine Fisher does an outstanding job building a world within a world with her novel, Incarceron
Incarceron is a story about a futuristic prison that the outside world thinks is a paradise while those on the inside believe the same to be true of the outside, but neither could be further from the truth. In both worlds there are those who rule and are ruled by fear but both worlds also contain a secret, a secret some would kill for. Inside the prison is a boy, Fin, who swears he is from the outside and has visions of, what he believes, his life before Incarceron. No one has ever escaped the prison except one man, and even that could be a made up fantasy. The Warden's daughter, Claudia, is ever so curious and intelligent and makes contact with Fin through a pair of crystal keys and is determined that he is the missing prince that she was once betrothed to. Can she break Fin out and call off her horrid betrothal to a irresponsible playboy prince? Is there even a way to escape the prisons that they both live in?
I have to tell you, I was constantly engaged by the characters that live in the two worlds that Fisher has brought to life. They each were so unique and real in their actions, their decisions and their feelings and frustrations. The only thing that could top the rich characters was the detailed descriptions of the two worlds. Fisher created a landscape so vivid that I actually felt as if I was walking the halls of Claudia's home and grounds and then a second later I was inside the prison walls and could smell the stenches and feel the desperation all around. Seriously, a talented brave writer who opened our eyes to a world beyond imagination.