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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 by Alexander…

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 (edition 2010)

by Alexander Gordon Smith

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5304619,020 (3.93)6
Title:Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1
Authors:Alexander Gordon Smith
Info:Square Fish (2010), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Tags:YA, Abe 13, Lexile 1000s, (1010), fantasy, gory, boys

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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 by Alexander Gordon Smith


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**No spoilers.

Well, that was a good time. For me, anyway. Not for Alex, the MC. Dude inadvertently landed himself in the WORST PRISON IN THE HISTORY OF PRISONS. Seriously. Sign me up for death if my only other option is to go into Furnace.

With a name like Furnace and with its description of being buried 1 mile beneath the earth’s surface, my mind immediately went to “hell”. While Furnace is a hellish place, it’s not hell. It’s more like a fucked up science project funhouse gone awry. It’s fucking cray cray. The conditions of the place, the disgustingly putrid slop they have to eat, the daily beatings/humiliations at the hands of other inmates, and the backbreaking work they have to do is enough to make you welcome death. Oh, but there’s more.

As the synopsis says, inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night. YEAH. Whatever that crazy shit means. And the guards? They wear suits. Like, WTF. I didn’t even have time to ponder all of this, because the intensity of the story had me riveted. The visuals alone were enough to give me the creeps and Smith did a great job making this place come to life. I have my own version of Furnace planted firmly in my mind. The place is dirty, dank, gritty, and terrifying. There was never a time that I couldn’t visualize what I was reading, which really made for a heightened reading experience.

Only one thing prevented me from rating this five stars – Alex. I found Alex likable, but he continuously made TSTL mistake after TSTL mistake. Even when his friends would yell at him and say “Alex, don’t!”, Alex would. Over and over. I still rooted for him, but he pissed me off with his behavior. It's important to remember that he's only 14. It was easy to forget that while reading, because the book is so brutal and dark. Typically, a TSTL MC is a deal breaker for me. In this case, the story, the setting, the other characters and the intensity of my beating heart through most of it were able to offset my misgivings.

Lastly, look at that cover. Stuff of nightmares, I tell you.

WARNING: This book ends on a brutal cliffhanger, so try to have the sequel on hand, lest your brain explode.

I have other book-reading obligations scheduled for today, but... **eyes sequel.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog:

( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
This was a gripping thriller for older tweens/young adults aimed at a male audience. I didn't put this book down much, as it takes all those 'If you're bad this will happen to you' stories your parents told you as a kid to a whole new level, and at a fast pace. In this case, a level much like 'Resident Evil,' which I'm also a fan of, but in the style of an underground prison.

Next to the terrifying monsters, I think I was just as scared of Alex's heroic nature that he can't seem to override for the life of him. But standing up for what's right is a good morality to have, and hang onto, even when the sacrifices begin to add up. In this torturous place he has to hold onto hope, and his friends with everything he has if they are to stand a chance at escaping.

Overall an enjoyable, emotional read with believable characters, and I will be looking into the sequel as my older tween snatches this book from me.
  Musefall | Jul 29, 2014 |
One part Great Escape, one part Running Man and one part Stand By Me, Lockdown is the kind of story that should appeal to the rebel with a heart of gold in all of us - especially if that rebel is a teenage boy.

For me, however, all the surprises were of the more or less expectable variety, so I found it a bit too simple - right on target for it's intended audience, perhaps - but simple enough for me that I doubt I'll continue with the series. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
Escape from Furnace is about Alex being framed for killing his friend by ‘Black suits.’ Then, he gets sentenced to life in prison at a place called the Furnace. He meets Donavon, who is his cell mate, and Zee, who he met on the way to the prison. Later on he meets Toby and they make a plan to escape by filling rubber gloves with gas and then blowing a hole in a wall in room two. Room two is a mining room where people were mining and they found a river. The night before they planned their escape Donovan was taken by the Weazers. The Weazers are people who have gas masks sewn onto their faces. They take kids and turn them into dogs and ‘black suits’. At the end, they escape from the Furnace.

I would rate this book a 5 because I LOVED this book!! This is my favorite series because it kept me reading and it was hard to put down the book. It is very action packed and is very interesting. I think this book is good for young adults because it is kind of creepy for little kids. I like the way that there are twists and turns within the book . There are 5 books in this series and each time I finish a book I can’t wait for the next book. I wish the books would never end. I totally recommend it! ( )
  AlexaP.B3 | Mar 10, 2014 |
The horrors of experimenting on humans without consent. Conversation starter for how prisoners are treated. ( )
  TeamDewey | Feb 17, 2014 |
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Beneath heaven is hell. Beneath hell is Furnace.
For our little one, and all the other lost children. Always remembered. Always loved. Always free.
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If I stopped running I was dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312611935, Paperback)

Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:13 -0400)

When fourteen-year-old Alex is framed for murder, he becomes an inmate in the Furnace Penitentiary, where brutal inmates and sadistic guards reign, boys who disappear in the middle of the night sometimes return weirdly altered, and escape might just be possible.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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