Review: Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace (Furnace #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith

Source: Purchased
Young Adult Horror/Suspense
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.

Are you a mum, or a dad? Do you have a boy (or girl) child that doesn’t want to read (better known as a reluctant reader)? If so, Lockdown is the book for you! This is boy fiction at it’s best! I say boy fiction…let me explain: I LOVE boy fiction! I define boy fiction (loosely) as a book that’s primarily about boys: check, hardly a girl in sight:check, lots of gross awesomeness (queue the bodily fluids)check, and is probably a young adult book: check! These are all wonderful things. I am a tried and true fan of the boy book (I LOVED The Maze Runner).  I personally think that Lockdown will also appeal to many adults (I was one of these), and I could hardly put it down! I won’t rehash the plot (see synopsis), but I will say that the book starts out with a bang and doesn’t let up! I don’t know about you, but the thought of being thrown in a hellish prison for a crime I didn’t commit, with no release in sight, terrifies the living crap out of me! Throw in the gas mask guys (shudder, then shudder some more), and dogs that frankly, made me think of the inside out dogs on Resident Evil, and you’ve got a mile-a-minute frightfest that doesn’t let up! I realize that I have lots of exclamation points in this review, but the book certainly warrants them. There are some truly terrifying, edge of your seat moments in this book, but I just loved these characters (Alex Sawyer makes a wonderful hero for teens to root for), and the author never forgets to offer us a light at the end of the (admittedly horrid) tunnel. It’s a wonderful start to what I know will be an awesome series! Keep an eye out for my review of Solitary (Furnace: Book 2)!

Visit the author at his awesome website
Order Lockdown: Amazon | Barnes and Noble



  1. Just agreeing with you. We book talked this at our middle school, and it was the best seller at the book fair, and we can't possibly keep it on the shelves. They love this book.

  2. Annette-I'm not surprised at all! It was such a fun read!

  3. I love 'boy books', too– they are constantly exciting and suspenseful. I'll definitely be checking this one out, so thanks for the review!

    Kat @ A Myriad of Books

  4. The plot is mysterious and enticing. Once you start reading, it’s difficult to put the book down. The characters have a quality that is familiar to me for some reason, and the setting is easily pictured in my mind. The only thing about this book that I don’t care for it’s the style of writing – simple and lacking an abundance of figurative language and appealing vocabulary. However, the words that are on the page are truly written well and they allow you to develop the right mindset to feel as if you are in Furnace.

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