Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1
By Alexander Gordon Smith

This is the story of Alex, a 14-year-old boy petty thief who is framed for murder and sent to Furnace, a massive, underground maximum-security prison (for children) built into solid rock, designed to kill the inmates (who are sentenced to life imprisonment), in one way or another.

I mean, who doesn’t love a young-adult novel about kids dying violently in desperate situations?

Alex is forced to watch his best friend die at the hands of a mysterious bunch of goliath-like goons and a creepy dude with a gas mask sewn to his face, and then immediately framed for the murder, disowned and despised by the community, sentenced to life-imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and shipped off to Furnace. There, he witnesses violence and abuse beyond his wildest imagination and eventually plots a possible escape. I can’t really say how the book ends as there are four more in the series and I hate to spoil surprises (as I have done with not only books, but also with real life events- such as surprise parties).

Honestly, I am always a fan of dystopias and love darkness within young-adult fiction… I don’t know why, maybe I am just a weirdo. This book was fun and a really fast read. I literally read the majority of it in one sitting, which is always appreciated after a year of PhD-level reading (books that take forever, are usually incredibly complicated, and oftentimes, boring and esoteric- which is always a great combination).

Truthfully, I didn’t feel the compulsion to read that other books have given me. I read quickly mainly because it was a beautiful day and I had nothing else to do so… it made for a lovely day of reading in the sunshine. Gordon Smith is definitely not the best author ever- I sometimes had a hard time visualizing what he was describing and would have to go back because major events were slipped in and missed. Alex wasn’t the most believable character- he goes from being a thief who steals from other children and breaks into people’s homes to this sweet, perfect kid who has never done anything wrong in his life and who will fight for justice, no matter the price. Please.

Sometimes I finish a book in a series and rush to begin the next one… I don’t feel that need to rush. I have the series downloaded and will get to it, but I am fine with reading other books (better books) in between.

I am curious to see where the series will go, but am not holding my breath for something amazing. There are SO many young-adult novels nowadays and they all seem to be trying to capitalize on what The Hunger Games managed- and this book is no exception.

So, I’ll read the series for three reasons: 1. I am going to be bored this summer 2. I already have them downloaded so it isn’t like it is any effort and 3. Who knows? Maybe I will be proven wrong… which I love.

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