…Incarceron. Inspired by some news on my favorite movie site, JoBlo, I picked up Catherine Fisher‘s book a few days before Christmas and just finished it this week. Admittedly I’m far too rarely reading any books since I’m too busy with other things, but this one really piqued my interest even if I’m quite obviously long beyond my teenage days. It’s really a testament to the quality of the book that it can even pull in some old hag like me. The story is very multi-layered and intricate and keeps you glued to the pages since you really want to know wht and where the prison is as the protagonists in the book do. It’s also one of the rare occasions where the Steampunk world actually works – unlike many books and illustrations you can find e.g. on CGTalk that simply put modern tech in the disguise of the past, this world has its own set of rules and makes sense similar to classic Jules Verne stories, a feat that is rarely achieved these days. For that alone it makes worthwile reading and I can only highly recommend it.
It has a few minor issues, though. First, there is some very obvious wrong usage of words throughout the book. Early on in the book for instance receipt (as in invoice/ bill) is mistakenly used instead of recipe (as in cooking). I can’t quite figure how such slippages can occur when even I as a non-English can spot them at first reading. It’s simply sloppy work on part of the proofreading department. Second, similarly there is some awful grammar in there which can be quite confusing at times. There are also some continuity issues where the layout of locations doesn’t make sense. There also seems a misalignment of some storylines, but that will require a second reading. What personally disappointed me most was the rushed ending – after building so much tension, resolving pretty much all mysteries in the last 30 pages just doesn’t feel right. A little more mystery and a bit more time to unravel them would have been better.
Since I came across this via a movie site, it is clear by now that they are turning this into a big screen thing. Is that good? I really doubt it. First, it is supposed to have Taylor Lautner as the main character Finn. Now Taylor is a cutie and and I surely wouldn’t object to kissing his belly button, but anyone who read the book knows that with his physique he might make a fabulous Keiro (the handsome bold and daring tribe "brother") but not a good Finn (described as a slender and somewhat sickly guy in the book). I really hope they will find some more suitable actors. Second, and that’s probably the real problem, to bring all the depth, intrigue, the political plotting and scheming in the outside world, and the long travel toward escape inside the prison to life would take a long single movie or two in fact, but knowing how this works and that they will no doubt aim this at a younger audience they will rip out so many essential parts that you won’t barely recognize it anymore. So this will probably end up like Eragon, Narnia or Percy Jackson – great books, lousy movies.