Lockdown: Escape From Furnace
Alexander Gordon Smith
Review by Dane Marsh
Escape From Furnace, the title of the book provides the general idea of the events that transpire on the pages between the book’s covers. Our protagonist; Alex Sawyer, has found himself unjustly placed in the maximum security prison for juvenile criminals Furnace, for a crime he did not commit. He is meant to serve a life sentence for the crimes he has allegedly committed, including the murder of his best friend, locked in a maximum security prison, guarded by freaks of nature, genetically modified super soldiers and dogs. He was about to give up all hope, he soon learned that most of the newer inmates were in the same boat as him so to speak, all accused of crimes they did not commit. The book tells of how Alex and his friends Zee and Donovan plan to escape from this prison, buried deep under ground, kept away from the rest of the world, using what little means they have at their disposal, fueled by rage at the injustice that took place to land him here Alex is determined not to let furnace, or the warden break him. The book is full of thrills and strong imagery, it makes for a good read and ensures you will be glued to the page every time, it has the exact opposite effect of this review in other words.
I find Alex to be a well-balanced character and I find that a few of his problems are relatable, his character feels realistic, and his actions and thoughts serve to remind that despite what he has done at the end of the day he is just a kid, not some cold blooded killer like the rest of the world thinks him to be. There are times in the book series where he experiences the feeling pure terror towards the unknown, something many of us readers or people in general have felt.
I admire this book for several qualities, when I picked it up the first thing I noticed was the cover art, it fits the story well, and really draws well deserved attention to the title. Another thing I noticed was the book took no time to immediately pull me in, tossing me into the midst of the chaotic prison known as furnace, vividly describing every sound and horrific sight, pulling me in, and not letting my eyes leave the page till I reached the other cover. The book wastes no time or pages, there are no boring long chapters that I found myself wishing I could skip, every page there is something new tossed into the mix, another twist or turn, potential problem or solution, enemy or ally, every little factor you over look could provide a problem later. If I was asked to pick a favorite part of this book I would genuinely struggle with that request, every page of every chapter is equally as good as the one previous or the one after it, they all captivated my attention, and though every chapter is different as expected, they are all equally as interesting as the last, respectively of course.
I would eagerly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thrill, despite its grim nature I am sure most people can enjoy this book, it is a genuinely well written title, but i believe people between the ages of 14 and 28 would enjoy it the most.
Alternate cover for the book
This was likely to be the book's original cover, but it was probably replaced with the current art due to how vague this one is, it doesn't represent the book as accurately as the current one.
A delicious juicy burger
Probably wondering why this is hear, doesn't seem like it would have much to do with a prison because food this nice isn't available in a prison such as furnace, and that is exactly why it is here, Donovan's dream when he escapes is to finally eat real food, in the book he says the first thing he is gonna do is get himself a big juicy burger.
Alex's genius plan involves a large amount of latex gloves, he plans to use them too transport gasoline to a possible fault in one of the caverns under the prison, they intend to blow a hole in the wall, and escape via underground river