My Rating: * * * * (4 stars/5)
In case you are wondering, this review does contain SPOILERS.
Incarceron is a New York Times best seller, and while I think it was a good book and has a great premise, I had some problems with it. It starts off with action. Yipee! The main character is introduced, his name is Finn and he lives in Incarceron which is sort of a living, breathing, prison that was created by the outsiders. Originally, it was meant to be a perfect world, but something went hugely wrong and it turned out far from perfect, especially that only criminals live there. Chapters go from Finn to Claudia, a girl that lives outside with the Warden, her father, and is getting married off to a very nasty earl because the previous guy, Giles, was killed. Claudia actually wanted to get married to Gilles. Now, the setting is great. Outside, we are supposed to believe that the kingdom froze time to keep it Victorian and follow protocol. I thought that was very interesting.
Now, the plot. Well, I loved the idea, and I thought I would see some huge twists and knots and exciting changes, but it didn't, really. The only twist that there is in the novel is that Finn finds out he is Gilles. Him and Claudia both want to escape and they both find a key which they communicate through. Finn and his oath brother and an old man, Gildas, along with a girl (Her name is Attia and I feel she is mostly there to create a love triangle in the future with Finn travel to escape the prison, and Claudia helps with her master Jared along the way., Claudia and her). Ok. One thing I had a problem with was also the parts with action. I felt that the writing was really loose and it sent me into major confusion over what in the world was going on. So toward the ending, they fight Incarceron and manage to escape. But Keiro, the oath brother, can't escape because he is half-man (made by the prison) and Gildas dies. Only those that hold the keys can leave. So, Claudia and Finn escape the prison at the very end and basically push out the evil queen which doesn't have that much reason to be evil. I liked the read. That's why I rated it 4/5. But, I felt that it was missing that something that would have made me love it. Perhaps it was the characters...
When reading Incarceron, I thought that Claudia and Finn were very mundane. I found that the secondary characters were much more developed. Keiro was quite unpredictable and I thought he was going to betray Finn and I found that Jared was an interesting more intelligent type. Claudia herself was selfish. The whole reason she takes Finn out is because she doesn't want to marry the earl. She doesn't care that his friends are stuck inside, she only cares that she's got what she wants (I forgot to mention, she finds out that her father isn't her father and she was born in the prison.). Finn could have been developed more and is a bit passive and "follow the plot" type of character. So that's what I think! Let me know if you read Incarceron and how you liked it :)