Friday, February 11, 2011
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher -Review
Tonight, I finished reading Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. Sapphique is the sequel to Incarceron. If you haven't read Incarceron, you need to. It’s good. I'll try to avoid spoilers in this review for those who haven't read Incarceron yet.
Sapphique is the continued story of two groups of characters. The first group is made up of prisoners inside Incarceron (a living prison as large as an entire world to those inside it) who are trying desperately to find a way out. The second group consists of people Outside of Incarceron who are trying to defeat both the Prison and the stifling rule of Protocol (a requirement that everything stays like it was hundreds of years ago to prevent further nuclear desctruction to the world). Old characters, such as Finn, Claudia, Jared, Keiro, the Warden, Attia, and Incarceron itself, return in this book. New characters, like Rix, are also introduced. And of course, Sapphique (the only prisoner to Escape) is again present in this book through the many references to him and the "excerpts" from the stories about him.
What first got me to pick Incarceron off the shelf was the beautiful cover. Isn't it lovely and intriguing? And the cover for Sapphique looks just as great, if not better. What intrigued me further and got me reading was the idea of a futuristic prison that was alive and that had a personality of its own. I'm glad the cover and the idea drew me into reading Incarceron, because I've really enjoyed it and Sapphique.
I liked the way the author described some of the things in Sapphique. I especially liked when she worded something differently or turned recurring themes around so that the reader saw them in a new way or understood that they could stand for a separate idea in the story.
The story jumped from point of view to point of view, but it didn’t bother me like it does in some books. One moment we knew what Finn was thinking, and then suddenly we only knew what Claudia knew. But the shifts from one point of view to another weren’t jarring and I actually liked them, because then I could know various character’s secrets as they became important to know (there were a lot of secrets).
It was interesting switching back and forth between the world of the Prison and the world of Outside. The Prison was filled with despair, fear, technology, and all sorts of strange sights. The plants were made of metal and some of the people were part machine. The Outside was like history with its castles, political intrigue, balls, faked pleasantries, and scenic countryside. And yet, the two places had so many things in common, such as danger, illusion, and the desire for escape.
The book was never too slow, which made me happy. The last hundred pages or so grew so much in intensity that I was unable to put the book down. I was hurrying through the pages, excited to find out how everything was going to work out in the end. I love it when that happens.
Although I enjoyed reading the book, I was fairly confused when I reached the end of it. Either I’m not catching on, or some of the questions were never truly answered. They were given answers that might be true…but they might not be. At least, that’s how I understood it. *MAJOR SPOILER WARNING* I’m still confused as to who Sapphique was. Was it really Jared, or was he just filling the role for the prisoners and Incarceron? And if Jared really was Sapphique, how on earth did that happen? I’m just a little perplexed. *END SPOILER*
My favorite characters have always been Keiro and Jared, so it was fun to see them both play important roles in Sapphique. Keiro was entertaining with his arrogance and bluntness. He always had some plan for getting out of trouble. And, despite his best efforts, there were moments when he showed that he did have a heart. Jared was just as kind and intelligent as before, but we got to see more of his loyalty, fear, and courage in this book. I liked other characters in the book, but these two were the ones that stood out to me. They’re very different, but both fascinating characters.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"People will love you if you tell them of your fears."
"Perhaps the Prison is in us."
"The stable was hung with small golden lanterns, like the ones used at Court. Or perhaps these were the stars, taken down and propped here and there, hung on wires."
I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, steampunk, or adventure.