Fisher, Catherine

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books, 2010.
ISBN: 0142418528
Characteristics: 442 p. ;,22 cm.


From Library Staff

List - JoCoLibrary PRL 10375 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Jan 30, 2015

1st in the Incarceron series. Added by JCLAmandaH.

List - JoCoLibrary PRL 10382 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Jan 28, 2015

Added by JCLEmilyW

List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10247 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Oct 13, 2014

Added by JCLBethanyT.

List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10106 by: JoCoLibraryPRL May 31, 2014

Added by JCLHelenH.

Comment by: LibraryK8 Dec 07, 2010

I really liked this book! One of the most original fantasy books I have read in a long long time. I was a little worried in the beginning because about 75 pages in I could tell where the story was going but Fisher throws in enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I can't wait for the second... Read More »

From the critics

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Finn cannot remember a life before Incarceron, a massive sentient prison that's always watching, but he's plagued by visions of the outside world. When he finds a mysterious crystal key, he's convinced that it will lead him to a way out of Incarceron. On the Outside world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, finds an identical key and it allows her to communicate with Finn. Claudia, prey to her father's ambition, is engaged to Caspar, heir to the throne. She would do anything to escape such a fate and helping Finn find a way out of Incarceron might just set her free as well.

Dec 04, 2014
  • brad2002 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book. I loved every part about Finn, but not so much Claudia. Claudia's story was a bit boring in the beginning, but it got more interesting. Finn's story on the other hand was action paced and hooked me on its first page. Very Good Book!

Nov 24, 2014
  • forbesrachel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Two prisons. Two lives. Two keys to connect them. Claudia and Finn are imprisoned, she by restrictions and expectations, and he in a literal prison. While Finn journeys through a vast, sealed world, Claudia must use her wits to survive the plots of conniving courtiers as well as that of her own father, the Warden of Incarceron. By alternating between these two strong characters who desire freedom, we read their tales in parallel. At times one part will hold us in suspense regarding the other, and at other parts the author craftily melds them into one exciting stream. The different circumstances of these two gives us the opportunity to contemplate the concept of "prison", how it is a loss of freedom, not necessarily a place. Tyranny, slavery, gender roles, and restrictive laws are all forms of this that can be seen in this world. Technology is thinly veiled under the guise of the idyllic 17th century, while the prison is a mishmash of places. Heading each chapter is a passage that hints at the history and purpose of Incarceron, which is an entity that watches, breathes, and reacts. People in the past tried to contain their problems by building walls, banning technology, and forcing conformity. However, both their "paradises" failed. Evil remains, and their freedom is lost, yet many of these humans continue to struggle against their chains.

Incarceron is a prison, a prison full of cities and wilderness and mysterious cells. No one has ever escaped the prison, but when a girl named Claudia and a crystal key enter a young prisoner named Finn’s life, he might just become the first to do so.

Read this if you like: Dystopia, good world-building, adventure

In the novel Inarceron, by Catherine Fisher, war and
violence in the future have caused a giant prison called
Incarceron to be built for all of society’s rejects, and
the rest of society to be frozen time, stuck in the high
middle ages. This book has an extremely gripping plot
and no slow parts. Every chapter seems to have a new
plot twist that makes you question whether you really
understand this world at all. This book is really a story
of two dystopias – one a world of poison and corruption
hidden behind careful manners and protocol, and the
other being a world of poverty, violence, and death. The
book switches between chapters following Finn, inside
the Prison, and Claudia, on the Outside. However, both
of these settings and characters are equally intriguing and
their stories complement each other well. Thematically,
this book is interesting as well. There are few real villains
and many moral ambiguities. I think this book is about
the inability to create a truly controlled society. As the
story progresses, it is clear that no “perfect” system won’t
be broken by human nature, that any attempt to engineer
the perfect society will inevitably backfire. This is one of
the most interesting books I have every read, and I would
recommend it to almost anyone.

Apr 27, 2014
  • anniethecat rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I thought the point of views switched too much in the beginning because I was all confused at first- but as the book progressed, really got into it...good reading. What will happen next and spoils...wished Sia had died...just god dang, you know?
Can't wait to read the sequel!!!

Jan 18, 2014
  • Doctor_10101 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved the steampunkishness riddled throughout this world!

Dec 20, 2013
  • EXFusion900 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This became one of my favorite books because it manages to appeal to a wide audience as well as covering many genres at once. "Incarceron" Is a phenomenal story with so many details and twists that M. Night Shyamalan would cry. I adore this book and recommend it to anyone who has a high reading level.

This book is a mix of the maze runner and the city of ember... if you some what enjoyed this book read the maze runner and the city of ember and you won't get a mashed up wacked book that confuses you

May 17, 2013
  • 22950006703433 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

hard core fans are going to hate me, but this story was only amusing i didn't even feel that i needed to reach the end. This book was predictable with characters with overused personalities. Read something else

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Dec 04, 2014
  • brad2002 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

brad2002 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 16, 2014
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Awsomeangel thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Dec 20, 2013
  • EXFusion900 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

EXFusion900 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 35

Sep 07, 2013
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Rajik thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 11

Apr 21, 2012
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meks thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 15, 2012
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Red_Cobra_34 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Oct 14, 2011
  • somethinghere123 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

somethinghere123 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 21, 2011
  • Blue_Wildfowl_1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Blue_Wildfowl_1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 16

Jun 18, 2010
  • BiblioPhyle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

BiblioPhyle thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

This book is slightly reminiscent of City of Ember. It is about a sentient prison, which was loaded up with all the scum of society one hundred sixty years before the story takes place and then sealed. Inside it are murderers, thieves, madmen, dreamers, and many innocents, all of whose ancestors were placed in Incarceron to take part in a utopian experiment. However, life in Incarceron is dark, brutal, short, and completely unsuited to Finn Starseer's gentle nature. Finn has no memory of who he is or where he comes from. All he has is a tattoo on his wrist, a desperate desire to know his past, the aid of an old dreamer whose only wish is to Escape Incarceron, and a crystal key.

Meanwhile, on the Outside is a world that has been frozen in time. Claudia is the daughter of the powerful and distant Warden of Incarceron, an intelligent, well-trained woman who is trapped into a political marriage with the dissolute prince of her world. Wanting nothing more than to escape this marriage and reveal what she believes to be a great wrong to her country, Claudia breaks into her father's forbidden study and discovers a key identical to Finn's, containing a hologram of the emblem of a former dynasty.

Jan 12, 2013
  • amyfry rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Finn is a prisoner in Incerarceron, a prison that only one man has ever escaped from. His storyis shrouded with lies and is not clear. Finn and his friends try to find their way out of this pit of darkness and they find a key. This key is the key out of Incarceron. Finn meets a girl from the OUTSIDE. Her name is Claudia and she says that she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron. With Claudia's help Finn tries to escape from Incarceron. He realizes that Incarceron is alive.......

Dec 07, 2010
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Centuries ago it was decided that all criminals were to be sealed into a prison that would help them to create the perfect paradise. They were gathered and along with the wisest teachers they entered Incarceron. However, paradise was never reached...Incarceron was sentient and it was always watching its inmates, as they fought, as they stole, as they killed each other.

Finn, doesn't know how he came to be in Incarceron. His first member was waking up in a cell deep in Incarceron three years ago. He was initiated into a group of thieves and has been revered as their "star-seer." But Finn knows he came from the outside and that he needs to get back and when he finds a key he knows it is time to escape.

Claudia is the daughter of the warden of Incarernon. As such she knows what is expected of her. She is to behave, follow her lessons and eventually marry the crown prince and become queen. Her wedding day is almost upon her and Claudia is desperate to escape her fate when she discovers a key locked in her father's office.


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