Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

I had a hard time deciding if I should give this book three or four stars in my review. (Oh, and if we're not friends on goodreads yet -- let me know -- I love seeing what everyone's reading! There's a link on the sidebar.)

Click here to read a description of the book.

Okay ... I loved the premise: The prison is ALIVE!

I enjoyed the plot: Boy wants to escape from prison. Girl on outside wants to help him. Prison and Warden try to stop them (oh, did I mention the Warden is the girl's father?).

But I was terribly distracted by the punctuation errors and the typos. I also thought it read more like a middle grade book than YA. I kept forgetting that the main character was 17. He seemed more like 12 or 14 to me.

And, since we've discussed critique partners all week ... I'm wondering, where was Fisher's CP? Because there were some issues that should have been caught before this book was published.

My first question: Does Wales (where Fisher is from) have different punctuation rules than the United States? If so, then I give the book four stars. If not, three stars. Because: Two independent clauses joined by a conjunction NEED a comma to separate them. ACK! These glared out at me throughout the entire book. I know ... seems like maybe a small thing. But it drove me nutso. This is an award winning author ... so they simply must have different punctuation rules in Wales. Somebody tell me. Please.

The other question: How does an award winning book make it to paperback with typos still in it? Receipt instead of recipe. That's a big typo. And misspellings of Warden. Hmm.

Anyhow, if you disregard my three issues: punctuation, typos, and age of MC ... then it's a great read. I highly recommend it to everyone. Really.

Climbing down off rant-a-lot-box.

EDIT: Ah ... a friend commented on my review and educated me in the use of the word "receipt" ... it was NOT a typo! Check out the details: Receipt = Recipe (who knew?)

What's the best book you've read recently?


  1. I've not read this book yet either but it's been on my radar screen. Love the premise and isn't this being made into a movie? Or am I thinking of something else...

  2. My husband and I always wonder about the typo thing--he says at least once a month that he would be a great reader if someone paid him to do it--he wouldn't miss a thing! I don't know about that :) The mistakes you mentioned seem above and beyond the normal two or three typos per book though. Thanks for the review!

  3. Thanks for the review. I was seriously considering reading this next. I too, am disturbed by so many typos. It's hard to believe no one caught them. Thanks again for the review!

  4. Being a past editor by trade, typos annoy the hell out of me on a regular basis.

    I haven't read this book but, by virtue of having a British husband and a Welsh mother-in-law, I can tell you that there are definite spelling and punctuation differences between America and Britain! Your friend on Goodreads was correct about the use of receipt and recipe. I was going to mention it until I saw your edit at the end of the post.

    I'd have to see examples from the to know any of the others.

  5. British grammar (which is what Wales uses) is indeed different than American grammar. I wasn't entirely educated on the ins and outs of their grammar while over there, but I did pick up on a few things. For instance, they refer to periods as "full stops". I had a friend comment on my travel blog, ridden with short phrases and the like, and he mentioned my writing being full of stops (referring to my use of commas). Whenever I corresponded with someone either from the school or my dorm hall, they barely used commas in their writing as well. So the British use of commas is much different than the American use of commas. And this book coming from Wales, they're going to use the British version of grammar instead of the American version, despite the fact that an editor should have changed those things.

    Meanwhile, I have a close friend who really liked this book. It's on my own to-read list and will probably be tackled in the summer (when I have time to do something other than homework).

  6. Um...that would bother me too, but I'm glad you still enjoyed the book! It sounds like an interesting premise. Totally intriguing. Thanks for the review.

  7. Hi, fellow crusader. I'm a follower now. I'm also on Goodreads, I'll have to look you up. :)

  8. Wow, "receipt" as archaic for "recipe." I didn't know that.

    I did read Incarceron, but can't remember if I found typos or not. I do tend to dislike them when I see them, however. Punctuation?--using commas or not may differ in Wales, but also between publishers too.