Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
Escape from Furnace #1
Square Fish - August 3, 2010
Square Fish - August 3, 2010
Next book in series: Solitary
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.
There was a lot of talk about this series so I decided to check it out. I was hesitant, because sometimes a lot of people get it wrong. I am glad to say –not this time. It’s taken me so long to write this review because I had to step back and soak it in. I had to take time to absorb the story. This story took my breath away – literally. And I am not sure when, if ever, this has happened before. There are those stories where the main character is good and something bad happens. You immediately empathize with that character and secretly hope that good triumphs over evil. But that’s not the case with Lockdown. Alex is not that good kid that something bad happens to; he is bad, mean –a bully even. And really, who likes a bully? There is no denying that Alex was already on a road that was leading to jail. Alex won’t even deny that he should do time for what he has done. But what happens is not justice at all. The set-up that was perfectly orchestrated and the sentence was the iron fist of justice striking out at youth violence-but it doesn’t fit Alex’s crimes. He does deserve jail time, but he didn’t deserve Furnace. No one deserves Furnace.
I was so captivated by the story that I often had to close the book to remind myself that it’s just a story. I wasn’t trapped in Furnace, but it felt so real. I felt the evilness, the hopeless and desperation that bled through the pages trying to choke the spirit from the kids trapped within its walls. Smith did an incredibly amazing job being his characters to life. The emotions were palpable and dripping off the page. The attention to detail really brought the pit that was deeper than hell to life. Finishing Lockdown was like being under water for so long that you feel like you’re about to drown. You finally break the surface for that fast and first gulp f fresh air, heart pounding and mind racing.
I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this series. And if you haven’t started it, go. Start. Now.
Rating: This was a triple dose of goodness