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Escape from Furnace 1: Lockdown [Paperback]

Alexander Gordon Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Mar 2009 Furnace

Beneath heaven is hell.

Beneath hell is Furnace.

Furnace Penitentiary. The world's most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth's surface. One way in, no way out. Once you're here, you're here until you die, and for most of the inmates that doesn't take long - not with the sadistic guards and the bloodthirsty gangs. 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.

Only in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where 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 as 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 the prison break to end all prison breaks. 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571240801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571240807
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

PRISON BREAK meets DARREN SHAN in an unforgettable story of terror and intrigue.

About the Author

Alexander Gordon Smith, 30, is the author of The Inventors, which was shortlisted for the Wow Factor competition. He writes non-fiction books and articles and is the co-writer of the Scooby Doo: World of Mystery magazine. He also runs his own publishing company, promoting and building talented new writers and poets. He lives in Norwich.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Furnace: Lockdown 23 May 2009
Quite simply this is one of the best books I have ever read. Be warned-not for the faint of heart. It is an amazing thriller and the pace is continuasly strong throughout. I couldn't put it down and, even though I would tell myself to stop, the pages just kept on turning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get ready to be reved up into overdrive 23 Feb 2010
By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Some books just immediately impress you, either by their concept, the writing, or the overall skill in storytelling. This book does all three. Alexander Gordon Smith has started a series that looks to be amazing if this first book is any indication. It has been about 10 years since I got this excited about a series by the first book, and that time it was The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks.

The back story. At some point in the near future youth crime reaches epic heights. The populace responds strongly after the summer of slaughter, a period where youth murder rates soar. They create a new super max prison for young offenders, carved below the earth: Furnace. They say that below heaven is hell and below hell is furnace. There is now a zero tolerance policy on youth felons.

The story written in the first person narrative style, is the story of Alex Sawyer, a young criminal mostly responsible for break and enters and petty theft. Alex is framed for the murder of his criminal partner. Even though he is innocent, he is convicted and sent to Furnace. He arrives in Furnace, a terrifying dark hole carved from the earth, a place ruled by vicious gangs, and even more brutal guards. A place filled with horrifying creatures who come and steal boys from their cells in the night. A place with no hope and no future. Yet Alex struggles to maintain hope - that hope is escape, something believed to be impossible.

Alexander Gordon Smith does an amazing job of capturing the brutality of a prison environment, without going into too much gore. He tells a dark tale without becoming overly depressing. It is very well written.

The story is very well written for a first novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Amazing 31 Mar 2009
This book is one heck of an adventure. It is a rollercoaster ride of emotions from the suffocating feeling of imprisonment to the fuzzy feeling of great friends and all that's inbetween.
Alexander Gordon Smith has a writing style that'll sweep you into the story and make you feel as though you are right there with the characters and Furnace is no exception.
I couldn't put this book down and am now waiting with baited breath for the second in the series, currently teetering at the edge of the cliffhanger of this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever! 8 Oct 2010
This book and book series is hands down the best series I have ever read. It's exciting and suspensful the entire time; definitely a page turner. I have recommended this book to so many people, and they enjoy it as much as I do. It's a good book for anyone in the teens and older, and it's also an easy read. Basically, this book is AWESOME! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just... brilliant. 30 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this gem by accident- I was actually researching blast furnaces(!), which perhaps betrays some kind of an indication as to what a swashbuckling adventure MY life can be sometimes lol- but I am so, so glad that I did find it.

I guess I've always had a bit of a fascination about the sheer nightmare scenario of being unfairly incarcerated in some hellhole of a penal colony, wondering how I would cope if it ever happened to me (even as a guy in his early thirties, never mind as a teenager): Would I break down into this pathetic, gibbering, and possibly suicidal wreck at the sheer monumental overwhelm of it all (as I suspect I would)? Or, would a survival instinct shut off my brain to the kaleidoscope of emotions as the only coping mechanism in town?

Clearly, I am not alone in that fascination, as the author (who like our young protagonist is called Alex- surely no coincidence there!) seems to be putting himself through the same dark thought experiment in writing this book and has- to this reader at least- managed to convey his thoughts and feelings about the topic... well... pretty damn brilliantly, as it goes.

The dialogue between the three main characters (Alex, his older cellmate Donovan, and fellow "new fish" Zee) is top-drawer throughout: you can't help but like these guys pretty much on introduction to them, since there is something kind of "everyman" about them: each flawed in some way or another, perhaps in many ways; each 100% human. Age and gender aside, I'm sure every reader can relate to being an Alex. Every reader will know someone who is a bit like Zee. Every reader will know a Donovan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too close for comfort... 10 Aug 2011
This isn't really a review - I actually read this book ages ago, and yes, it's a brilliant read.

However since the craziness displayed in London these past few days, this story has become a little too close for comfort. So if you're only just reading this now, and you've witnessed the madness of a not so Good ol Blighty, just be prepared to be a little more than shaken after reading this...Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Just to be clear I am an adult woman who only read this book to judge what age group it was suitable for before I put it on the shelves of the library. Read more
Published 1 month ago by angelao
5.0 out of 5 stars Trilling with an action packed end
It's been a while since I've been wanting to read this book. Finally snapped it up on Kindle. Glad I did. Read more
Published 2 months ago by WSeller
5.0 out of 5 stars This author is brilliantly outside the box!
I downloaded this book never having heard of Alexander Gordon Smith. Once I read it I was blown away. Read more
Published 6 months ago by moggiesrace
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape from furnace
It is a brilliant book, full of suspense and greatness and that is about the recommended word amount of 20
Published 11 months ago by Mrs H
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope you like young criminals ...
Young criminals are sent to Furnace in future Britain. Furnace is a hell. Evil warders, evil warden. Kids go vanishing in the night and no-one cares. Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book to read
I'm not really a big reader I've only finished a few book ,but this one griped me from the start right to the end. It is amazing. Read more
Published 16 months ago by lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great series
My son is a prolific reader - this series of books are an excellent addition to his (growing) library of book.
Published 18 months ago by redpixie
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Kindle book. Furnace Lockdown.
I bought this book on the strength of previous reviews.
Book appears to be aimed at young naive readers.
A bit wearing in dialogue. Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by tubbolard
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Furnace is about a boy who was framed for killing his Best friend so he was put in the Worlds worst prison and see his friends he met in furnace die.
Published on 29 May 2012 by S1 Class 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars A Armstrong
This book is a great edge of your seat thriller. It is one of those books that is so hard to put down, you have to keep reading to find out what happens next. Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by Andrea Armstrong
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