See? I told you! I told you I would do a book review!
Anyway. Sapphique is the sequel to Incarceron, so this might not be that helpful if you haven't read the first. And while I will try and keep this spoiler free, it's hard to talk about the second without brushing over parts of the first. (The Amazon description, coming up, ruins it.)
However. Because Sarah (AKA GreenBeanTeenQueen) (AKA Most Awesome Fantabulous Adult-like Person That I Know) (Adult-like being a compliment as is in she doesn't treat me like an idjit because I'm 16) is fantabulous and awesome, she got an advanced copy of Sapphique and I promised a review, like, a week ago.
(Please don't hate me. I'm sorry. Very sorry. So sorry!)
So, before I can further stick my cyber foot into my cyber mouth, I'm getting on with the review. Continuing now.
Sapphique, By Catherine Fisher
Release Date in United States: December 28, 2010
(It's already out in the UK)
Amazon description: (MILD SPOILERS FOR END OF INCARCERON)
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.
What I have to say (because, dude, that's so obviously important)
Catherine Fisher's world is intriguing. She's got it chocked full of details and lots of steampunkish elements that had me captivated the entire way through; despite being heavy on that, though, she never dragged when telling the story. Sapphique, actually, moved much faster than Incareceron, and while I found myself skimming large blocks of text in the first book, I didn't have the same problem with the second.
Incarceron, the prison, is starting to change. The outside world's illusions are starting to fade. Outside, Claudia, the daughter of Incarceron's Warden, is looking for a way to try and save both worlds. Finn, the presumed prince of the outside, has to face charges of being an imposter, even though he himself isn't quite sure. The two are searching for a way to save their own lives, but they aren't just facing their own deaths; they're looking at the destruction of their world. Inside of the Prison, Keiro, Finn's 'brother' (comrade, fellow soldier, best friend) joins up with Attia, a former slave, and they're desperately searching for a way out. Keiro, to me, was probably the most interesting character; he's kind of insane and kind of violent and to me that makes him kind of sort of awesome. (Shut up. I like violent warrior guys with issues. Don't mock me.
-sticks out tongue-)
There's a lot going on in the book, but it all ties together extremely well. By the end, I was excited to continue, turning pages with ninja speed, and admiring how the threads all started to join. The plot is complex and could have easily, very easily, become somewhat cliche, but Ms. Fisher obviously knew what she was doing, because she skirts around ever crossing the line.
Her writing is insanely beautiful, overflowing with awesome descriptions of sought after stars and dangerous dreams, vicious monsters and crumbling ruins, reminding me of old fashioned fantasy novels but mixing in a more modern style of steampunk as she tells us about half human, half metal creatures.
And all of that is enough to make this a great book.
And this was a big however for me,
Sapphique is the end.
Now, normally, I don't like posting negative things about books, but that's generally because I don't believe in bashing people's work. This isn't bashing the work; this is me disagreeing with the end.
It's got a great ending, don't get me wrong. But throughout the entire book, I was kind of feeling like Sapphique was a great second part of a trilogy. Very rarely will you find me advocating for tons of books in a series, but I felt like Ms. Fisher's world was definately up to another book. I had a glowing review ready, and then I checked out her website; there's not another book.
This wouldn't really be that big of an issue, but for two reasons. One, there are a lot of things left open in the end of the novel. I like open ended stories, but it really felt as if she was gearing up for a third book. That, I think, is mostly my problem; I can't guarantee you will feel the same way. However, there is a second reason that the lack of another book is bugging me; I feel like we aren't getting what we want from the characters.
For instance, there's a marriage being bandied about. I won't tell you much more than that, but by the end of the book, it's still clear that the marriage is planned. But the characters aren't even thinking about it. I commend Fisher for being able to write such a great book without a romance, BUT I think that characters need to at least be worried about the marriage, or considering it, or something more than they do. It made them less real to me; what teenager wouldn't be thinking about their future spouse, worrying, wondering if it's going to work, if they'll be able to do good things together? For me, it fell flat.
The writing of this book is great, and the plot is incredible. Some of the characters just came off a tad . . . empty at times, which is why I wanted a third book. I feel like that really could have solidified them. I would still recommend the book; it's definitely worth the read. Plus, I'm kind of, um, character obsessed.
There's a movie being optioned for Incarceron, something that I'm kind of excited about. The world Fisher creates is beautiful and haunting and awesome and definitely unique, and I would love to see it on the big screen.
And that concludes my review.
I'm feeling somewhat boring.
It would probably be inappropriate to post a picture of a cute boy, wouldn't it?
Hmm. Next time.
(Oh, on a random note, I feel the need to share this horror with you: I've been looking around the web for stuff on the Hunger Games movie, and for some reason, I've seen like five people who want Justin Bieber as Peeta. Nothing against Justin, but I do not see him as Peeta. Please, no. I am traumatized by that idea. Please be traumatized with me.
Or, um, I guess you could tell me I'm stupid and Justin would be a great warrior sexy baker guy. If you really want to try and go there.)