Saturday, 4 September 2010

Review: Sapphique - Catherine Fisher

SapphiqueFinn 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.

*May contain Spoilers from the first book*

You can read my review of Incarceron here.

Having enjoyed Incarceron I was really looking forward to reading Sapphique because I really wanted to find out what happens to the characters and learn more about the world(s) they live in. And yet despite this, I found the book a little hard to get into at first. Largely, I put this down to a complete lack of my favourite character in the series, Keiro, for a good section at the beginning. The start of the story switches between Finn and Claudia - who didn't hold my attention all that much - and Attia. Attia's sections were more interesting and I much prefer her than the other two. Luckily, when Keiro does show up it's in true fashion to his character. It's unexpected, showy and with a big handful of arrogance. I think the reason I particularly like his character is because while the others spend most of the time talking about what they should do or complaining about what's happened, Keiro just gets on and does something - okay, maybe it's not always the right thing that he does but he takes a chance. I also think he's the most amusing - in a dry, sarcastic kind of way - of the characters:

"Your arrogance is surprising."
"I’ve had a lot of practice," Keiro said.

While Finn and Claudia are probably the most obvious 'couple' in this series - and despite Attia obviously having a thing for Finn - I couldn't help shipping Keiro and Attia once they'd teamed up again. They spend half their time bickering in a way that suggests they really don't want to admit they like each other and despite the number of times they say they don't need each other, they never abandon each other.

The middle section of Sapphique picked up and there was a good combination of action and explanations, moving the story on and starting to tie things up. Towards the end though, maybe the final hundred pages or so I found the story starting to drag a little. I still haven't decided if this was that the story was unnecessarily longer than it needed to be or if it was that there was too much information so I just didn't process it all and started to miss bits. I just felt like I was reading just to get to the end at some points.

All in all, I still enjoyed the book and if you've read Incarceron you'll want to know what happens next. The series is an interesting concept but in my opinion, it wasn't executed quite as well as it could have been.

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