Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Incarceron" by Catherine Fisher

It's not all that often that you come across a book that has ideas that feel completely new.  This is one of those books.  This one feels like it's knocking on Dune's door for inventiveness and world-building, and I'm not sure how to give a better compliment than that.  There is almost an element of steam-punk in this futuristic, dystopic (how tired are you getting of that word, by the way?) world where they've turned back the clock to try to save humanity from itself.  In case you were wondering, that didn't work out so well.

The storyline's inventive, the pacing is good and pulls you along nicely (I missed a meal or two in the process of reading this book...pretty big deal for me) and there are enough surprises that it keeps you guessing.  It's no surprise that this little gem has been snapped up by Hollywood with the hopes of turning it into the next blockbuster.  It has all that I look for in a novel, except for one thing...

I mentioned Dune.  What Dune has that Incarceron doesn't quite is characters that leap off the page.  There were some good and memorable ones here, don't get me wrong, but at times it felt as if Fisher was trying just a bit too hard.  I loved Jared Sapiens, but when I compare him to Gurney Halleck or Thufir Hawat or Reverend Mother Helen Mohaim... or even the Baron Harkonnen, I can't help but feel like a bit more attention to the characters in this novel could've taken something already great and turned it into an instant classic.

With that said, the fact that I even put this novel in the same sentence with one of the finest novels in the science-fiction genre should tell you that it's well worth the time, energy and money to pick up and read a copy.  You can find it here.

By the way, if you haven't read Dune, you must (repeat MUST) pick up a copy.  Even if you're not a fan of science-fiction, this is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone that calls themself a serious reader.  #justsayin

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed all the amazingness happening out there, you've got to go check out the Blog Tour de Force.  Today's author is Keta Diablo and her novel is Where the Rain Is Made.  Go take a look (steaminess alert, by the way) and while you're at it, enter to win a Kindle!!

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