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Book Club Kits: Incarceron

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Catherine Fisher

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Book Summary

Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, who is sure he came from Outside, even though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man, half real, half legend, has ever escaped.

Imagine a girl in a manor house in a society where time has been forbidden, where everyone is held in a seventeenth century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage that appals her, tangled in an assassination plot she both dreads and desires.

One inside, one outside

But both imprisoned.

Imagine a war that has hollowed the moon, seven skullrings that contain souls, a flying ship and a wall at the world's end.

Imagine the unimaginable.

Imagine Incarceron.

Discussion Questions

  • Why did King Endor choose to have his people live in an Era devoid of modern technology and comfort? Can you think of any advantages to living in a society that never changes or advances in time?

  • What would you miss most if you lived in a society that forced you to follow Protocol?

  • A utopian society is thought to be an ideal, perfect place or state. Incarceron is very different from Outside, yet both societies were created with utopian ideals in mind. Did their creators succeed in establishing utopian societies? Why or why not?

  • Why was Incarceron sealed off from the Outside? Was there a plan in place to deal with future generations of dissenters or “undesirables”?

  • Why did the government see fit to remove “all criminals, undesirables, political extremists, degenerates and lunatics” from society when Protocol was established? Who decides which people fit into which categories?  What’s wrong with categorizing people in this manner?

  • Incarceron is over 100 years old. Once the prisoners were inside, the prison was sealed, and no one went in or out. Readers must assume that many, if not all, of the original prisoners have died, and that the current prisoners were born inside Incarceron. What do you think of keeping people imprisoned based on the crimes of their ancestors? Why didn’t the creators of Incarceron formulate a plan to either prevent births inside the prison or to bring children born inside out of Incarceron?

  • Do the prisoners living inside Incarceron have any freedoms that citizens on the Outside do not have?

  • Give some examples of instances where Protocol is broken during the story. Are there certain groups of people who are allowed to routinely break Protocol without consequences? Why or why not? Which aspects of Protocol would be most difficult for you to follow?

  • Do you believe that Sapphique really existed, or are tales of his escape from Incarceron merely a myth?

  • Describe the Warden’s relationship with the Queen. Who holds the power in their relationship?

  • Do you believe that Finn is Giles? Do you think that the citizens Outside will accept that Finn is Giles?

  • What did Attia mean when she told Claudia that she might be taking Finn out of one prison and into another? (page 415)

  • How do you think Finn/Giles will adjust to life Outside? Do you think he will be able to return and get his friends out?

  • Why did the Warden take both keys with him when he went into Incarceron? Why did he leave Incarceron with Jared?

  • What does Incarceron want?

Incarceron Book Trailer