Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Sapphique

Synopsis:  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.

My Review:  First off, I have to start by saying that Incarceron was one of my top five favorite reads last year.  Sapphique definitely lived up to my expectations!  Fisher has truly captured the essence of a lost society.  So caught up with staying the same, not moving forward, and afraid of progress, that they shut out reality entirely.  They've deluded themselves into thinking that Protocol is reality, when reality is far from the perfect fantasy that society has built around itself.  Fisher builds on current societal urges to deny what is really happening in the world, and has blown it up into something truly tragic to behold.    Equally disturbing is the Prison.  An artificial intelligence that has mimicked it's own creators.  Meant to create the perfect Eden, it has been twisted by man's own flaws and has become a monster.  

The story continues after Finn has finally escaped the Prison.  Keiro and Attia have been left behind to seek their own means of escape.  Finn may have escaped Incarceron, but he's stepped into a whole new type of prison.  Plagued by guilt for leaving his friends behind, and the uncertainty of not knowing who he is has driven him to the edge.  Unconcerned with the political games of the Queen and the dangers of the court, he isn't the boy Claudia thought would help end Protocol for good. 

I was really nervous to read Sapphique.  There were SO MANY negative reviews!  I've ultimately decided that they're all haters of amazing sci-fi/apocalyptic society books.  If you loved Incarceron, I guarantee you'll love Sapphique. It was either they didn't like the story, or they had issues with the characters.  I'm not bashing on anybody else's opinions here, I just don't understand what's not to like?  I adore the uniqueness of the story.  There isn't anything else like it!  It is truly unique among the world of YA books and that alone is commendable within itself. I guess their main argument on the characters was that they didn't like their actions or something?  Who knows.  I agree that sometimes I completely hated what a character said/did, but what I think I came to realize is that their decisions are apart of who they are.   Take Keiro for example.  He's a self conceited masochistic asshole who thinks he's the greatest thing to walk the earth.  Do you not think his actions will reflect those characteristics?  Everything Keiro did, despicable or not, didn't really surprise me.  Doing the right or honorable thing doesn't even cross Keiro's mind.  If it doesn't benefit him, then it doesn't matter.  I don't know why anyone would expect anything else from him.  The same can be said for the rest of the characters as well.  The characters are truly themselves and their flaws make them even more realistic in my opinion.  

While Fisher tied up the story well, there were certain aspects that just begged further explanation.  Some loose ends I loved and thought really contributed to the effect of the story.  Others just drove me up the wall.  Sapphique really surprised me in a lot of areas like Protocol for instance.  I thought Protocol was more of "rules".  I had no idea that it was actually a false reality.  It actually made a lot of sense though.  All the talk of the great war that destroyed the moon and ravaged the planet?  A false reality totally makes sense.  I love the duality of the two worlds, both within the prison and out of it.  I was surprised at how much I loved Attia's narration.  She was really just kind of a side character in Incarceron and I love that she had a bigger role in Sapphique.   Plus I think that she brings out the non-jerk side of Keiro.  She see's past all the tough guy swagger and knows that he's insecure about the fact that he is a half-man.  I totally ship them now.  XD  

All in all the highly anticipated sequel of Incarceron definitely lived up to my expectations!  Maybe I'm alone in loving it out of the people who've read it so far.  Maybe I'm blinded by my love of the story.  Who knows.  All I can say is that I loved it and think it's a worthwhile read.  I have great hope for further novels from Catherine Fisher and cannot wait to read more!  Though the story of Incarceron is over (as far as I know...)  I have a feeling I will adore anything she writes.  :) 


Amelia said...

Hiya Ky!
I'm so glad you liked it - awesome review! You are absolutely right about the action & the characters - it's true, they stayed in character, that's for sure. Like I really hated Keiro, but I totally get that he does what he does because that's the way he is. I just would have liked him to "get it" in the end - like die or something, or have some kind of consequence. I hate when characters are able to get away with stuff without consequences - but that's life sometimes.
Excellent review! I'm so glad you liked the story - it certainly was an original one!

Tasha said...

I've just started reading this (about 3 pages in lol) and your great review has made me much more excited about it that I was when I pulled it off the shelf. Like you, I'd read some negative reviews about Sapphique and while I loved Incarceron, I was a little bit worried about reading it.

I'm glad Keiro lives up to being a conceited arse. That's why I love him lol!

Ky said...

Lol I kind of have a love/hate view of Keiro. I thought for sure either Keiro or Attia would meet their end but I was happy that wasn't the case.

I hope you like it as much as I did Trillian!