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Monday, February 4, 2013

"Sapphique" by Catherine Fisher (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Catherine Fisher's Official website HERE
Read FBC's Review of Incarceron HERE

OVERVIEW: Finn has escaped Incarceron only to find that he must defend his right to the throne from another challenger. His life and Claudia's hang on Finn convincing the Court that he is the lost prince, even though he has his own doubts about being the true heir.

FORMAT: Sapphique is the sequel to Incarceron. It is a YA novel that combines adventure, fantasy, steampunk, and dystopia elements. It stands at 462 pages. It was published in the US on December 28, 2010. 

ANALYSIS: It's taken me a while to really grasp my feelings on this book. When I finished Incarceron, I was floored. I enjoyed the book a lot more than I thought I would and I just couldn't wait to read the sequel, Sapphique. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the momentum and excitement that I had for Incarceron carried over to Sapphique.

When Incarceron ended there were literally hundreds of unanswered questions that I had. There were characters I was waiting to see develop and grow, there were plots and twists I wanted to see resolved, and just hundreds of questions about the 'prison' and world. Unfortunately, I didn't see many of these things come to light in Sapphique as I would have liked.

The characters didn't seem to grow, change or develop from the first book. Everyone acted in a very stilted, wooded style – almost as if they were pre-programmed to fit a mold and that was how they were going to act. When the book finished, I could honestly say I felt as if the characters were the same as when I first started the book.

Catherine Fisher is a great story teller that focuses a lot on adventure, action, excitement. All of that is in this book, but I really feel more time could have been spent on developing the characters, showing more interactions between them, and really having them develop and become more than one dimensional characters.

One of the many reasons I feel as if the characters didn't grow or develop during the course of the book is the way the story is told. Catherine Fisher has a habit of telling the readers how the characters think, feel and act. She doesn't take the time to show it. For example, readers are told that Claudia is angry, upset or mad. But the question that kept coming up was 'why?' or 'how come?' and I never really got any answers to that.

Another issue that I'd like to bring up was the ending of the book. I walk away from this two book series feeling nothing. I don't feel a real sense of closure. I felt as if Catherine Fisher woke up and was like 'oh I need to end this book? Okay here's the end." Considering the rather intense, emotional situation she developed through the entire two books in the series, I really feel that the ending was thrown out there and really anti-climactic.

I know it sounds like I didn't like the book, and that isn't entirely true. I will still read other books by Catherine Fisher. I just  thought Sapphique was just alright. Maybe it was a case of an author who had so much going on in their head that it became difficult to wrap the story up.

I appreciate the creative, wonderful world that was developed in this series. I loved the whole idea of the people living in the future, but embracing the past, but I just have this incomplete feeling after reading the series. And because of that feeling, I just give it an 'okay' rating not a 'wow I'm amazed' rating.


Daniel B. said...

You've got more patience than I do. After being "floored" by Incarceron, I turned to Sapphique and was so disappointed that I dropped it before I finished it...there are just too many other books to read. I wasn't about to drag myself to an unsatisfying (but clearly coming) ending.

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