Incarceron is set in the distant future. A future where there are basically two worlds. The first is a world much like our own except for a decision to suspend development in all areas of society in preference to the idealized age of the Renaissance. Every decision, action, clothing style, building, food and social interaction is required to be era compliant. This is considered following protocol. The people in this world are restricted to the technology of that time. This includes lighting, transportation, industry and even health care.The other world is that of Incarceron itself. Incarceron is a prison. The prison is ruled by the Warden who has the responsibility of insuring no one ever leaves. Incarceron was a grand social experiment. It was to be a utopia for criminals. It was intended to be a completely self sustaining environment where the prison itself would insure order and provide for the citizens.There are two main characters. The first, is a girl named Claudia. Claudia is a member of the aristocracy and has been privileged in receiving the proper training to eventually become queen. Claudia is the daughter of the Warden and was betrothed to the prince but is very unhappy about the arrangements. The second character is, Finn, a boy who is in Incarceron. Finn is an orphan who cannot remember his past. Finn has a type of epileptic seizure and during these seizures he has visions of life outside of Incarceron.The author takes you on a journey as Claudia and Finn become connected through a series of chance encounters. Along the way you challenged with issues on a variety of levels. The main idea is that of putting away the worlds undesirables in the self-sustaining prison. Another is that of maintaining the status quo, in all areas of society, rather than allowing advancement. A third is the idea of a man-made, man controlled utopia which in the end fails miserably.One area of thought that stood out to me is that of protocol. Every society has what is considered to be proper protocol. There are always socially acceptable and unacceptable actions. There are always those who want to maintain the status quo and their are always those who are pushing the limits in order to achieve change. The book ends with the strong possibility of a sequel. I hope the author continues to explores the topic of maintaining protocol and the need for advancement and change in the next book.
So there you have it - much more philosophical and thought-provoking than any of my reviews - but that's what I love about him!!