Lockdown : Escape from Furnace

4.09 (15,196 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 137.16 x 203.2 x 25.4mm | 249.47g
  • St Martin's Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0312611935
  • 9780312611934
  • 58,244

Review quote

"Fresh and ferocious, Lockdown will hook boys with its gritty, unrelenting surprises." --James Patterson "Furnace is hotter than hell and twice as much fun! Sign me up for a life sentence of Alexander Gordon Smith!" --Darren Shan, author of the Demonata series "This nightmarish start to a new series is unrelentingly bleak, uniquely horrifying, and strangely compelling." --Realms of Fantasy magazine "A great next choice for fans of The Maze Runner, The Grassland Trilogy . . . or Lord of the Flies. As for me, I'm looking forward to future books. Recommended for dystopia, thriller, and horror fans, or anyone looking for a fast-paced, spine-chilling ride." --Jennifer Robinson's Bookpage "Readers will be turning pages without pause, and the cliff-hanger ending will have them anticipating the next installment. Most appealing is Smith's flowing writing style, filled with kid-speak, colorful adjectives, and amusing analogies. Fans of James Patterson's 'Maximum Ride' and Darren Shan's 'The Demonata' series will find this satisfying fare." --School Library Journal "One of those leave-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that will grab the reader right from the start. Teens will appreciate Smith's vivid imagery. His writing is extremely fluid, and he makes the reader feel for the characters, especially the young protagonist, Alex. Readers will be cheering him on from start to finish." --Voice of Youth Advocates "Not for the faint-hearted, this dramatic British import is both a page- and stomach-turner . . . The pacing is superb, building on the tension as each horror is revealed while saving the ultimate monstrosity for the cliffhanger ending. . . . Readers will find themselves rooting for even the most violent of the inmates as they try to make their escape and defeat the Furnace." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Smith establishes a quick pace." --Booklist "Lockdown is a beautifully written book that builds itself up on violence, suspense, and mystery." --A YALSA YA Galley Teen Reader "This is a compelling book." --Ellaina, age 14 "The whole book was extremely compelling. The . . . plot was alluring and drew you in with its dark undertones." --Hannah, age 17 "Lockdown was a brilliant book that gives vivid imagery to the life of Alex within the Furnace . . . it kept me captivated till the end." --Ryan, age 16 "Lockdown is a beautifully written book that builds itself up on violence, suspense, and mystery." --Gabeshow more

About Alexander Gordon Smith

Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he first explored his love of publishing. Along with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a groundbreaking magazine and press that promotes talented new authors. He also started writing literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. The research for these projects led to countless book ideas germinating in his head. His first book, The Inventors, written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the U.K. in 2007. He lives in England.show more

Rating details

15,196 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 43% (6,541)
4 33% (5,013)
3 17% (2,594)
2 5% (704)
1 2% (344)

Our customer reviews

I usually don't say this, but... Lockdown. Is. Amazing!!! *inserts hardcore-fan squeal* Being super engrossing and totally un-put-down-able, I couldn't stop reading this book, and ended up finishing it by 4 o'clock in the morning, only when I closed the book with a satisfied smile on my face and went to bed dreaming about Alex's Escape. What I love about this book: 1. A hero with a complex personality. Alex Sawyer is a school bully, a thief and a burgular --- but never a killer. After he is accused of murdering his partner in crime Toby, he is sentenced to a life behind bars in Furnace Penitentiary, a prison of criminal teens which is located deep beneath the Earth. Alex arrives along with two other inmates, Zee and Monty, both wrongly accused of crimes they never did. When Alex sees Monty being bullied by the Skulls, he couldn't restrain his temper and lashed out to save the poor kid. He does this partly because of his guilt --- he remembered the way he used to terrorize his classmates and saw the monster which was once himself. Alex is not someone you would like at the beginning, but by the end of the novel, you will find yourself taking his side. 2. The plot was entirely unpredictable. Quoting Donovan's own words on Furnace: You'll never know what will happen until it happens. I had a great experience of exploring Furnace, with its intimidating structure, scary proprietors, gory history and horrible inmates. Never once did this book disappoint me in any way. I was literally sucked into the gruesome yet fascinating world of the Furnace where the air is hot and scarce, the atmosphere creepy and frightening and the crushing weight of freedom comes down upon you. 3. The world-building is amazing! From his capture to his developing Furnace-survival-skills to his planned prison break, Alex displays his growth both mentally and emotionally. We also observe how his mind is capable of thinking and creating ideas out of nothing. He did not plan of escape from the first moment he set foot in Furnace, but an idea started to hatch in his mind when certain possibilities open up to him. 4. The literary devices are brilliant! Let me tell you, the author is very skilled in descriptive writing - he uses figures of speech such as metaphors and personifications with an unusual grace. Through his words, I had a clear image of Furnace in my mind's eye - I felt like I was in Alex's mind, seeing events unfolding through a glass. 5. True friendship comes unexpectedly. Alex found his best friend in Donovan, a kid who was sentenced to life imprisonment because of accidentally killing his mom's abusive boyfriend. Alex became good friends with one of the inmates who arrived on the same day with him - a boy called Zee. I really liked how the author wrote their friendship - it felt real and genuine. They always stick up for each other although things went awry. It makes me realize that true friendship is indeed precious. Bottomline: Exciting, thrilling and gripping, Escape from Furnace: Lockdown will leave you with nightmares / thinking about it days after you've read it. I'm glad to announce that this book just made its way into my 2012 best books list! Can't wait for book #2!show more
by Aik
The future has arrived, and teen gangs are ruling the streets. Due to major carnage during the "Summer of Slaughter," authorities have cracked down and opened Furnace Penitentiary, a prison set deep underground for the worst teen offenders, where they will never see the light of day again. Alex Sawyer is sentenced to Furnace after being convicted of murdering his best friend, Toby. Alex says over and over again that he did not kill Toby, but his protests fall on deaf ears, even though it's the truth. Alex descends into Furnace, a prison hewn out of rough rock. He immediately notices the weak are prey and the strong will live, as the prison gang threatens his life and his new cellmate, Donovan, educates him on how to survive. There is more to fear than the prison gangs, or the slop called food served in the cafeteria. There are the black suits - enormous, hulking men with silvery-sheened eyes and shark-like grins who guard the prison. There are the wheezers - twisted, malformed creatures in leather overcoats, their faces obscured by gas masks literally stitched to their skin. And there is the bloodwatch - an eerie red light that will suddenly wash over the prison cells in the dead of night, letting the inmates know the wheezers are coming for one of them. Alex struggles to hold on to his humanity, his sanity, and his hope that he will survive Furnace, even if survival means hatching an impossible scheme that could kill him. LOCKDOWN is one of the best books I have read this year! Smith's debut of the ESCAPE FROM FURNACE series keeps the reader fascinated from the first page; this is the first of a fantastic series! *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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