Death Sentence: Escape from Furnace 3

Death Sentence: Escape from Furnace 3
By Alexander Gordon Smith

Okay, I finally figured out what the problem is.

This is a great premise for a series. I love the action, the suspense, and I especially love what happens in this book. Alex, after another failed escape attempt, yes, I know I ruined some surprises but whatever, is taken into the infirmary and transformed. If you haven’t read the first couple books, this means nothing, but know that it is a big deal(in the series, not in real life).

HOWEVER- the problem, to be frank, is that Gordon Smith is kind of a crap writer.

Not total shit, I mean, he is clearly better than Sophie Kinsella or Ransom Riggs, or Jane Austin, whom we all know sucks major literary ass, but I found myself repeatedly thinking: I wish someone else had written this.

It’s like when you read an awesome book and then it is turned into a movie. The movie just misses the mark completely, focuses on the wrong aspects, plays down what matters, and makes a mess of a brilliant narrative/concept.

 That is what this is, except Gordon Smith is the creator of the narrative AND the one who missed the mark. He focuses too much on move-by-move violence and forgets to pull the reader into the suspense/moment. I want to understand the urgency, but sometimes I just can’t- and I am VERY good at understanding urgency.

For example, Alex is transformed into one of the big, hulking blacksuits (again, relevant to readers). And he supposedly has forgotten everything about his past identity- which would be awesome if only the narration didn’t say things like (not directly from book) : “I didn’t do it because I remembered what happened last time. I backed away, not knowing why, but feeling like I knew better…” Wait- you aren’t supposed to remember but you clearly do. This back and forth of old Alex and new Alex in the narration was incredibly annoying. Gordon Smith struggles with how to create an unreliable narrator while still telling the story. COMMIT, man, just commit!

And another thing: I am all for an author writing cliché dramatic moments like “If only I had known that death was about to find me…” But, holy god, these little ‘teasers’ seriously happen multiple times per chapter. Let me enjoy what is happening before you ruin your own suspense with these stupid little remarks!

Anyway, despite all of my complaining, of the three books so far, this one is, by far, the best. I have become interested to see what will happen next and what will become of Alex now that he has this new freakish build/biological makeup. I hope that the series redeems itself in the end but, had I not read the first sentence of the next book, I might have actually believed redemption to be possible…

See what I did there?

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