Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: Incarceron (Chapters 14-28)

Incarceron (Incarceron, Book 1)Welcome back, prisoners!  I hope you're enjoying your visit to the Incarceron as much as the rest of us.  Our discussion is below.  Feel free to share your thoughts.  The more the merrier.  

Shel:   So what do you think of all these mounting religious undertones?  I'm curious to see where it will all go.

Monica:  Oooooooooooooooooooh… the Nine Fingered Man!  He’s like Count Rugen, but a thousand times more awesome!  (Honestly, though – it got introduced so late in the game that I’m definitely wondering if things will get wrapped up neatly, or if we’ll have to wait for Back To Incarceron.)

Shel:   I think we're going to have to go Back To Incarceron!  These time and spatial shifts are going to make my head hurt.

Monica:  You know, it’s a neat (albeit cheating) idea that the author snuck in – because of Protocol and whatnot, all the knowledge of how they built the prison is lost… so the author doesn’t need to explain the science! 

Shel:   Science explained?  That sounds like a lecture.  I'm an English major.  Unless something goes boom, my mind would wander anyway.  Why are apples always poisoned?  How come we never hear about the dangers of cumquats?  

Monica:  Because no one would ever eat a kumquat!  Those suckers are sour as anything!  ;)

Shel:   They're a nice little shock to the system!  Good for when you first wake up.  Anyway, I'm so glad Attia lived.  I like her.

Monica:  Ditto.  She’s spunky.  Although I’m not entirely sure what her fate is going to be in this book… she’s obviously not allowed to be the love interest with Finn, because he’s got Claudia.  Do you think Kiero will have a massive change of heart?  Think they’ll pull a JK Rowling “Oh, they’ve been fighting this whole time but really it was just them working through their passionate feelings for one another” plot twist?

Shel:   I'm kinda glad Claudia couldn't get into the prison yet.  I feel like there needs to be more buildup.  And she'd need more weapons.

Monica:  Plus, it definitely wasn’t complicated enough.  I have a mental image of Incarceron having a front hallway like the Labyrinth, with Claudia running along endless hallways cursing like a sailor while the Eye chuckles menacingly.  If she just waltzed in with her tutor, all “Here I am, let’s get the heck out and reinstate you as king!” it would definitely lose something.

Shel:  Mmm, Labyrinth talk makes me think of Labyrinth again. *sings*  Dance Magic, Dance...Hmmm, mini-prisons.  I'm suddenly reminded of Men in Black.  Anyone missing a galaxy on a cat collar?

Monica:  Or in a locker?  Wasn’t the galaxy in a locker, in the second movie?

Shel:  I...I have no memory of this.  All I know is that the break-away Will Smith hit for the movie was Nod Your Head.  I think my mind works in scary ways.

Monica:  Is it bad, as an aside vaguely related to the phrase “my mind works in scary ways,” that my first thought on learning about their miniaturization skills was that omg, I totally want my own teeny tiny zoo!  Or my own teeny tiny people!  They could live in my old Polly Pocket houses, and it would be aaaawesome!!  (I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed Indian in the Cupboard when I was younger….)

Shel:  Oh, Polly Pocket, I loved locking your case and giving your world a shake.  I'm more of a fan of big zoos.  Give me life-sized lions any day!  

Monica:  I can tell that you enjoyed reading Jumanji…. 

Shel:  My favorite Van Allsburg!

Okay, prisoners.  We're almost through our stay with Incarceron.  We'll be finishing up our discussion on Saturday.  Hope to see you at the parole hearing then.


  1. How would you visually describe the inside of incarceron? How would you draw a map of incarceron?

  2. That's a good question. And I think the book leaves it open to a number of interpretations.

    I originally saw the book preview, which made me think it would be a completely mechanical prison. But while reading it seemed to be a huge land mass, with different terrains that incorporated mechanical bits.

    As to where it is in relation to the rest of the world, the conclusion of the book complicates that....

    So, drawing a map...fun and complicated.

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