Monday, December 6, 2010

Review - SAPPHIQUE

Sapphique (Incarceron, #2) - Catherine Fisher
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
# of pages: 480 (pb - British edition)
Will be released: December 28, 2010
(Note: I read this book earlier, in March, by ordering the British edition from Amazon UK. This is part of that original review)
This book was pretty good. I think I enjoyed it more than Incarceron, pretty much because I was familiar enough with the basic storyline and didn’t have to spend so much time figuring everything out. The pacing was pretty good, but the last 100 pages really, REALLY dragged…and it got to the point where I came dangerously close to not caring anymore…that’s not usually a good sign.
And yet… I don’t want to make it sound like I didn’t like the book, because I did…but Catherine Fisher's writing style became quite tedious. You know the phrase “show, don’t tell”? Well, she pretty much tells how characters feel/act, she doesn’t show. Characterization is definitely not her strong suit in this series – everybody was pretty wooden and it was hard for me to relate to them because they didn’t seem very real. There was just this hollow, shell-like feel to her characters and that was a major distraction. Claudia, in particular, was just incredibly frustrating. She was easier to relate to in Incarceron because you understood *why* she acted like such a conceited brat. In Sapphique, pretty much all of her conflicts have been resolved, so why is she still so MEAN?! It was stuff like this that made reading Sapphique a bit cumbersome. I didn’t really like Keiro, either, because to me he seems like the embodiment of Evil: he’s an individual with pretty much no conscience – he doesn’t know compassion or remorse, and according some of my teachers (and the Harry Potter series), true evil is that which is excessively vain and devoid of compassion or remorse for one's actions. I’ll admit it: I like it when characters “get their comeuppance” and he didn’t get any comeuppance!
Also, the ending…very mediocre and a bit bizarre. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending just really didn’t make sense if you take into account the overall story. It seems like Catherine Fisher spent so much time creating this really intense situation, and then the ending comes and it’s “ta da! We’re finished now! The end!”
It was a pretty engrossing read, most of the way through. Catherine’s exceptionally imaginative, and the Incarceron series is one of the most thoroughly original books I’ve ever read in my life. However, her books aren’t the best books I’ve ever read.

Strengths: creativity and action.
Weaknesses: very wooden and shallow characters, spiraling last 100 pages…and a lackluster ending.
Last Word: The Incarceron books were an amazing and interesting idea, an incredible premise of a dystopian world never seen before. The idea/premise, however, ended up being the best part of the series, and the story (Finn's attempts to escape Incarceron) really ended up dragging. And characterization was severely lacking in both books but especially here. I would definitely recommend this series for its sheer originality and overall enjoyability, however it's not one of my favorites and it's been quite easy to forget.

4 shout-outs!:

Adriana said...

I have yet to read Incarceron, but it does sound like it has some originality to it. It's too bad about the characters though especially in Sapphique, it's definitely never a good sign when you don't care about what happens to them. I'm still kind of intrigued by the storyline so I'll be willing to give this series a read one of these days. Thanks for the honest review.

Chelle said...

I really liked the Incarceron and was let down with Sapphique. The ending was very disapointing. But I liked the series as a whole, too.

Melissa said...

I read Incarceron, and I really enjoyed it despite the fact that I found it pretty confusing. Sorry to hear you didn't really enjoy Sapphique. Great honest review, Amelia.

PinkStuff28 said...

I just won this book in a contest , i'll definetly read it to see for myself :)


PinkStuff28

 
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