Finn can remember only his life in Incarceron, but he is determined he came from the outside. Most of the other inmates have accepted their fate to live in the eternal prison, built to house their troublesome ancestors, but Finn has flashes of his past, visions of trees, lakes, and the stars in the sky. When Finn finds a key that allows him to communicate to a girl outside the prison, he takes his oathbrother Keiro, his mentor Gildas, and a rescued slave on an attempt to break out of the extensive prison, a task easier said then done, for Incarceron is not like ordinary prisons. Incarceron is alive, watching Finn and his friends every step of their journey and doing everything it can to prevent their escape.
This book was very hard to get into, but it was worth it once I did. The start is very confusing and vague, and explanations came much later, if at all. When reading a description of the book, you read of a prison escape, and the very abstract nature of Incarceron is confusing at first, but make for a very intriguing story, making Incarceron a character as much as a place. Also, the dual worlds (Incarceron and the Outside) can be hard to get used to at first, but the transition is comfortable after a few chapters. The outside world is just as complex as Incarceron with the Era and Protocol restrictions. The way that characters live dual lives, living in the past in front of others and in the future when alone, complicates the world immensely, making you wonder how and why such restrictions would be put in place. Since many of these questions remain unanswered, the reader can make their own version of the world based on the facts they do know. The plot twists in the real world, mainly the politics between the Queen and the Warden about the future of Claudia are very intriguing, making me wonder how much similar scheming went on in the past, or even goes on today. These schemes to put different people in power combined with the struggles of Finn, Keiro, Gildas, and Attia in Incarceron create a very suspenseful balance of politics and adventure that make this story a real page turner once you get going.
Questions for Thought:
1. Were you Keiro, would you believe Finn that he was born outside Incarceron?
2. How many of the stories about Sapphique do you think are true? Was he truely a widely known hero, or was his tale of escape blown way out of proportion?
3. Would it be possible to turn a prison into a utopia, like Incarceron was meant to be?
4. What are the benefits or drawbacks for changing life to a past era?
5. Could Finn, someone who has been in prison all of his memorable life, ever be a decent ruler?
Please leave your comments and answers!
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