Friday, February 18, 2011
WARNING: This review is the review of the sequel to the book Incarceron and should not be read unless the first book has been read or else it will contain spoilers for the first book.
Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.
Let me begin with a brief summary of what I liked about Incarceron. I'm a huge dystopian fan and this book was no exception. I loved the characters who seemed to come to life and the dark depths of Incarceron itself. I especially loved the parallels with the legends Sapphique to religion and society today. I'm not a person who enjoys religion in books because books should take you away from every day life, not preach religion to you, but Incarceron did it lightly in a way that didn't feel like religion, that felt more like legend and I loved it.
Another thing that I loved was carried over into the second book. I love the little quotes that open each chapter. Quotes from Sapphique's legends that tell his tale and quotes from the king that detail things that happened before. More in Sapphique than in Incarceron I noticed relations between the quotes and the events that happened in the chapters which was great to read.
As with the first book, the characters continued to seem life-like and I constantly felt compassion towards them. Even Keiro who I would rather kick between the legs than talk to held some degree of respect from me. What I truly enjoy about the set up of these books is that all characters are motivated by different things. Whereas Keiro is motivated by self preservation, Finn is more motivated by what's happening in the situation and that alters constantly. This is one of the most important things when having a character become life-like. They must be constant on some degree. They can't skip around and suddenly change their mind over things and I feel as if Catherine Fisher embodies this well.
One thing I notice that happens a lot with YA novels and sequels is that they tend to have a similar plot to the first book. Sapphique was far from that and held up a plot of its own that I marvelled at. Yes, some things were the same such as the search for an escape from Incarceron, but they were twisted. Rather than Finn on the inside searching for a way out while communicating with Claudia on the outside, Finn is on the outside now which proposes a huge amount of twists to the story.
And, as you may have guessed from the title, Sapphique and his legends play a huge role which is exciting to read as someone who enjoyed hearing of his tales from the first book.
Overall, I loved Sapphique though I'm confused as to if it's the final book in the series, which it could be, or if there's more. If you thought Incarceron was dark, watch out for Sapphique because the walls come tumbling quite literally in this book. Great action, great plot, and great characters, this is a book I highly recommend readers of Incarceron pick up.