From the Publisher
“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.” Gabe
Read an Excerpt
Lockdown Escape from Furnace 1
By Smith, Alexander Gordon
Square Fish Copyright © 2010 Smith, Alexander Gordon
All right reserved.
NO WAY OUT
If I stopped running I was dead.
My lungs were on fire, my heart pumping acid, every muscle in my body threatening to cramp. I couldn’t even see where I was going anymore, my vision fading as my body prepared to give in. If the siren hadn’t been hammering at my eardrums, then I’d have been able to hear my breaths, ragged and desperate, unable to pull in enough air to keep me going.
Just one more flight of stairs, one more and I might make it.
I forced myself to run faster, the metal staircase rattling
beneath my clumsy steps. Everywhere around me other kids were panicking, all bolting the same way, to safety. I didn’t look back to see what was behind us. I didn’t need to. I could picture it in my head, its demonic muzzle, silver eyes, and those teeth—like razor wire.
Someone grabbed my arm, pulling me back. I lost my balance, spilling over the railing. For a second the yard appeared five stories beneath me and I almost let myself go. Better this way than to be devoured, right? Then the beast shrieked through its wet throat and I started running again before I even knew I was doing it. I heard the rattle of the cell doors, knew they were closing. If I was caught out here, then I was history. I leaped up the last few steps, hurtling down the narrow landing. The inmates jeered from their cells, shouting for me to die. They stuck out their arms and legs to trip me, and it almost worked. I staggered, lurched forward, falling.
Somehow I made it, swinging through the door an instant before it slammed shut, the mechanism locking tight. The creature howled, a banshee’s wail that made my skin crawl. I risked looking back through the bars, saw its huge bulk bounding past my cell, no skin to hide its grotesque muscles. There was a scream as it found another victim, but it didn’t matter. I was safe.
“That was close,” said a voice behind me. “You’re getting good at this.”
I didn’t answer, just stared out across the prison. Six stories of cells beneath me and God only knew how many more above my head, all buried deep underground. I felt like the weight of the world was pressing down on me, like I’d been buried alive, and the panic began to set in. I closed my eyes, sucking in as much of the hot, stale air as I could, trying to picture the outside world, the sun, the ocean, my family.
All things I would never see again.
“Yup,” came the voice, my cellmate. “Bet it’s starting to feel like home already.”
I opened my eyes and the prison was still there. Furnace Penitentiary. The place they send you to forget about you, to punish you for your crimes, even when you didn’t commit them. Only one way in and no way out. Yeah, this was my home now, it would be until I died.
That wouldn’t be long. Not with the gangs that eyeballed me from behind their bars. Not with the blacksuits, the guards who ran their shotguns along the railings as they checked the cells. Not with those creatures, raw fury in their eyes and blood on their breath.
And there were worse things in Furnace, much worse. Maybe tonight the blood watch would come, drag me from my cell. Maybe tonight they’d turn me into a monster.
I dropped to my knees, cradling my head in my hands. There had to be a way out of here, a way to escape. I tried to find one in the hurricane of my thoughts, tried to come up with a plan. But all I could think about was how I came to be here, how I went from being a normal kid to an inmate in the worst hellhole on Earth.
How I ended up in Furnace.
Excerpted from Lockdown by Smith, Alexander Gordon Copyright © 2010 by Smith, Alexander Gordon. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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