The concept is extremely unique: over half of a damaged society was imprisoned inside Incarceron, an artificial intelligence that is an ever-changing, sentient prison that acts as an entirely separate and self-sufficient world. 70 of the Sapienti who helped create Incarceron were imprisoned inside it as well, and the controlled society was supposed to repair morals and help save humanity.
Obviously, nothing worked out as planned, other than that Incarceron grew more and more powerful and restless. According to the warden, there is no way in or out of the prison, though one person claimed to have escaped from it.
The story is split into 2 POVs: Finn, a seventeen-year-old boy who is inside Incarceron, but he can only remember the past 3 years of his life, as if he didn’t exist before the age of 15, and Claudia, the prison warden’s daughter, who lives in the original world.
This is one of those stories where the world is so unique, that you need to be paying good attention at every moment to get the most out of the book, which is why it was probably a bad idea for me to read this on audiobook during a frustrating commute. I let myself get distracted a few too many times and think I would have enjoyed the story more if I had paid better attention.
Overall, it’s a good read and an interesting blend between YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Some might even call it Steampunk.