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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace [Paperback]

Alexander Gordon Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 6.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace + Death Sentence (Escape from Furnace) + Execution (Escape from Furnace)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (3 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312611935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312611934
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal! 20 Oct 2013
By Zoe
Oh but this was GOOD! So good. Anyone who thinks that YA is purely for girls who like shiny vamps, dopey romances and daftly happy endings NEEDS to have a read of this. It's brutal, and it's well-written, and there's not a single ounce of romance in it.

It's also, genius. So much so that I sat up 'til gone midnight reading it, and got the second book on Kindle as soon as I'd finished (bear in mind I have to be up at 5am) because I can't wait for the paperback to get here.

Huge thumbs up, along with a warning that this one isn't for the faint of heart. I can't wait to see how the series progresses!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 7 Aug 2013
By Jmw
Format:Kindle Edition
So good and gripping and scary but couldn't put it down, need to move onto the next one to see what happens
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 14 Jun 2011
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Gold Star Award Winner!

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!

Reviewed by: Hayes aka Haute Librarian
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  162 reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOCKDOWN 1 Nov 2009
By Haley Mathiot - Published on Amazon.com
My summary: Alex was like any other boy. Go to school, hang out with his group, and control the monkey bars. But when he started stealing, his life changed for the worse. Out of nowhere, his best friend is murdered, and he is framed for it. he is sent to the child prison: a Hell hole. Worse than Hell. Furnace. When he's there, he is disgusted with the way people live. Kids do hard labor like chipping rock. Gangs kill kids. and he isn't the only innocent person who was framed. But there's no hope of escape. Nobody can escape furnace. Or at least, that's what they all say. But that's only because nobody ever has...

What I felt: Personally, the first time I looked at the cover, I found it just a little disturbing. I thought "eh, I doubt very seriously I'll like that book. But hey--they want to send me a free book? I'll take a free book." So no, I didn't really like the cover. They could have done much better, either artistically or graphically or even with the colors. But that's just me as an artist and a girl :D so I did judge it. boy was that a mistake.

The first sentence of this book seemed to grab me by the neck: "If I stopped running, I was dead." From there, the entire book held me and wouldn't let me go, from that first sentence to the very end. In fact, it held me after the end, too. I distinctly remember my blood racing, heart beating, sweating, adrenalin searing through my veins while I read this book! It was breathtaking and riveting to the last word. And even after the last word. I sat there, staring at the blank page, gasping and panting like a dog from lack of oxygen from reading a book. (that doesn't happen very often, people.)

Characters: The characters in this book were very relatable. They weren't super people, they were real. They handled the horrific experiences of Furnace the same way I would have--screaming in their sleep, crying, throwing up from the horrors.

Writing: the writing was very good--not one of those books where the author just says what he wants to say. Alexander Gordon Smith followed my creative writing teachers' first rule: Show, don't tell. It was an amazing thing to read, the language was very full in vocabulary, and it had good prose. There wasn't any really bad foul language either, like some of the other teen books I've been reading lately.

Recommendation: this book is a thriller, not a horror book, even though it's mildly graphic (mildly. Not really that bad. Descriptive enough to be kinda gross at times... but hey, it could be just because I'm a girl.). It's not the most horrific book I've ever read, but it's certainly not for an eight-year-old. Personally I'd recommend it for anyone fourteen and up (but that's just me).

I hope everyone gets a chance to read this book! It ranked my highest list: up with Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Not only was the writing very good, but the plot was thick and complicated, intricately laid out, and mind boggling, and the characters were real people.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Pulp-Style Page-Turner 8 Sep 2009
By The Music Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If this was the 1930s, I could easily imagine Alexander Gordon Smith's "Lockdown" as being snapped up and serialized in "Weird Tales" or "Amazing Stories". His fiction has the same scope and appeal that "Conan" author Robert E. Howard's does. "Lockdown isn't great literature; rather, it's a pure pulp story, very much like the Doc Savage and Kull The Conquerer were in their time, and that's a compliment. There's a real talent in being able to pen a breathless page-turner, a book that veers so closely to the absurd at times that I wanted to chuckle even as I was curious about what would happen next. The plot is simple enough - a 14-year-old boy gets caught doing a minor crime, and due to a savage new law put into place, gets sent to Furnace - a prison that's as dark and gritty as it's name, with no hope of paroll. There are savage dogs, unstoppable guards, jaw-droppingly harsh punishments, and blood - lots of blood. Plus, the entire complex is hiding something; the warden seems not-of-this-world, and it takes our protagonist all his wits and strength to avoid the roaming gangs of thugs who rule this inner world. Smith's prose is brutal and cracks with all the force of a whip; and if the novel descends into melodrama a bit too much, it's all for the good. The author has created an alternate reality that's heightened in every respect; perfect reading for teen boys who want something meaty to chew on. I admit, I'm looking forward to the sequel: "Solitary" due out Fall 2010.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, but certainly for older readers 2 Dec 2009
By Enna Isilee - Published on Amazon.com
Ooh. I still have the chills. This book was delightfully disturbing. It was The Hunger Games, meets The Maze Runner. I found myself on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. It's oh-so-very creepy & cruel to children. Which is my only warning, though that's a pretty big warning.

This book was surprisingly clean when it comes to language. After all, a bunch of teenage boys in a prison that the cover describes as worse than hell probably wouldn't have the best language, but the swearing wasn't extreme at all. Mind you, that doesn't mean there wasn't any swearing, but it didn't bother me too much, and I'm quite sensitive to it.

This book may end up giving me nightmares, but it was worth it. I love books with a good mystery.

If you don't mind horror-books, and you liked The Maze Runner, and you're okay with characters that are FAR too young to be dealing with that kind of stuff, then check out Lockdown: Escape From Furnace


This book is creepy, and definitely for older teen readers, but oh-so-very good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!! 9 Mar 2013
By Grissom gooch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was the best book I've ever read. I recommend this book too anybody 10 and up if they have a good reading level. I'm ten and I have a really good reading level. I think it's a sy-fy horror book. It's not that scary. My summary: Alex is a normal boy until one day his friend takes money from a kid at school and that leads up to them robbing houses they get caught and were sent to furnace, the worst nightmare for anybody, inhuman creatures lurk in the darkness, they take people away at night and nobody knows what happens to them but Alex soon find out,
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome love this series 18 Mar 2013
By D.J Kile - Published on Amazon.com
Cover: Its a very cool cover depicting one of the creatures that lurk in the shadows of furnace that come in the middle of the night to take young prisoners. Known as a Wheezer. In the red eye I believe it would be the main character in this book young Alex Sawyer. I love this cover it just makes you want to pick the book up in order to see what that being is.

Summary: 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.

My Thoughts: I picked up this book because of the cover, it drew me in immediately. The story about how furnace came to be and how the kids ended up there is awesome and so detailed, as is the entire story. This book made me fear the Wheezer's like I was one of the prisoners and it just kept me until the last word which I then begged to read the others to find out what would happen to my favorite prisoners. Its a thrill a minute ride and will make you scared and make you feel lucky we do not have a place like furnace in this world, were even death isn't an escape. Awesome read love this series.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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