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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1
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Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1

4.6 372
by Alexander Gordon Smith, Alex Kalajzic (Read by)

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Furnace Penitentiary is the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Alex Sawyer is the “new fish.” Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, he knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to death in the darkness at the bottom of the


Furnace Penitentiary is the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Alex Sawyer is the “new fish.” Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, he knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to death in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. 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.
Escape is Alex’s only option. But it’s not just about saving his own skin. The more he discovers, the more he understands that he is going to have to do whatever it takes to expose this nightmare hidden from the eyes of the world.
Fast-paced and full of shocks and terrors, Lockdown is the incredible first book in Alexander Gordon Smith’s Escape from Furnace series.

Editorial Reviews

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 (Lockdown: Escape from Furnace is the first of a planned trilogy). 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. Look for the sequel, Solitary, forthcoming in 2010. Readers will be anxious to see where Alex's adventures take him next.” —VOYA

“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 Furance . . .it kept me captivated till the end” —Ryan, age 16

“Lockdown is a beautifully written book that builds itself up on violence, suspsence, and mystery.” —Gabe

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Escape from Furnace Series , #1
Edition description:
Unabridged, 1 MP3-CD, 7 hrs. 43 min.
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Escape from Furnace

By Alexander Gordon Smith

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2009 Alexander Gordon Smith
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-4658-2



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.

For now.

"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.



I can tell you the exact moment that my life went to hell.

I was twelve, two years ago now, and there was trouble at school. No surprise there, I came from a rough part of town and everybody wanted to be a gangster. Each lunchtime the playing field became a battleground for the various groups of friends. Most of the war was fought with words — we'd call each other names, we'd tell one gang to move out of our area (we had control of the jungle gym, and we weren't going to give it up). I didn't realize until much later just how like a prison school can be.

Every now and again something would kick off and fists would start flying. I never threw a punch in all my time at school; even the thought of it makes me feel queasy. But that doesn't make me any better than the boys and girls who got their hands dirty. It makes me worse — at least fighting with your own two fists is kind of noble.

That Tuesday started off like a normal day. I had no idea that it was the beginning of the end, my first step on the road to hell. Me and Johnny and Scud had been sitting on the jungle gym, talking about soccer, and about who'd been the best English keeper of all time. It was one of those days where everything just seemed like it was perfect. You know, a blue sky that goes on forever, and so warm that it feels like the sun's wrapped you up in a blanket. When I think back to my life before it turned, I think about this day. I think about how things could have been different, if I'd just walked away.

But I didn't walk away when Toby and Brandon dragged this little kid across the playground. I didn't walk away when they started pushing and shoving him and asking him questions about why his daddy drove him to school in a Range Rover. I didn't walk away when Toby threw the first punch and the kid crumpled. I didn't walk away when Brandon dug the kid's wallet from his pocket and threw it to me.

Instead, I opened that wallet, took out two ten-pound notes, and crammed them into my pocket. Then I turned my back on the sound of muffled punches, and thought about what I'd buy.

That was the exact moment my life went to hell.

"Always trust your instincts, Alex," was something my dad used to say. He was no stranger to trouble: nothing serious, but a couple of dodgy business deals that hadn't gone the way he'd wanted. A good man, if a little lost, and not the sort of person qualified to give you advice like that.

But he was right. Your instincts are there for a reason, and on the day that I walked out of school with Daniel Richards's twenty quid they were screaming for me to find the little kid and give it back. You can probably guess by now that I didn't. No, I learned to ignore my instincts, to switch off the little voice that tells you not to do things, to deny the fact that I hated myself for what I was doing.

And that's how I became a criminal.

The thing is, it was so easy. It started off with me, Toby, and Brandon walking around the playground demanding money from the other kids. The kind of thing you always see in films, just before the big, ugly bully gets his comeuppance. Only I was thin and scrawny, not bad-looking, and I didn't get my comeuppance for another two years.

Loose change, a fiver every now and again, and occasionally some candy — it wasn't enough. When Toby suggested we break into a house or two, Brandon backed out. I didn't. Greed wouldn't let me. So we did; we hit a small bungalow three roads over from my house, one we knew was empty for the night. Around three hundred quid stuffed in a fake can and a bundle of jewelry that we chickened out of selling and ended up throwing in the trash.

I still haven't forgotten the old lady who lived there — glimpsed with a long-dead husband in the faded photographs on the mantelpiece — and the knowledge that those rings meant more to her than any amount of money. But I buried my doubts just like I buried all my other uncomfortable thoughts. Committing any crime can be easy if you don't think about it.

And I never thought about the future, not once. Even though everybody was talking about the tougher police forces. Even though there was zero tolerance on youth crime after the so-called Summer of Slaughter, when the gangs went on killing sprees. Even though they'd built the Furnace Penitentiary — the toughest maximum-security prison in the world for young offenders, the place that would swallow you whole if you were ever unlucky enough to walk through its doors. I remember the shivers that went up my spine when I first saw pictures of Furnace on TV, but I never once thought I'd end up there. Not me.

Of course, I knew I couldn't go on like this forever, but so long as the money kept coming in I managed to convince myself that I was invincible, that nothing would ever happen to me. On my thirteenth birthday I bought myself a new bike, on my fourteenth a top-of-the-line computer. I was king of the world and nobody could stop me.

But all those dark, horrible feelings I'd buried were still there, I could feel them churning and growing somewhere inside of me. Deep down I knew I was heading for a fall, one that I'd never be able to pick myself up from.

And, as in all good crime movies, that fall came with one last job.



The house was empty, we knew it. Toby had been tipped off by a friend of a friend that the owners were away for the week, leaving behind enough electronic equipment to entertain a small country and a massive bundle of cash from their coffee-shop business.

But we were waiting outside just in case, cowering under a small bush in the back garden with only a solid wall of rain between us and a set of big windows.

"Come on, Alex," muttered Toby, wiping water from his face. "It's emptier than Elvis's coffin in there!"

Toby had a thing for Elvis. He loved his music so much that he refused to believe the King was dead. I ignored the comment and scanned the back of the house. The lights were all off and we hadn't seen a single movement from inside for the half hour we'd been here.

Toby was right, it was probably empty, but the last thing I wanted was to run into some furious guy who'd decided to stay home. It had happened once before when we'd hit a large house out in the countryside and I'd come face-to-face with a man on the way to the toilet. We'd both stared at each other in shock for what seemed like hours, then screamed in perfect harmony. I'd turned and legged it with him on my tail. It was even scarier than it sounds — he'd been stark naked.

Fortunately nothing like that had happened since, but I was eager to avoid any more encounters with homeowners, clothed or not.

Toby nudged me and I nodded, feeling a trickle of cold water slide down my back. We were sheltered from the worst of the downpour by the bush, but every now and again drips would snake down our faces and necks with an infuriating tickling sensation. Back then I thought it was like Chinese water torture. I know different now.

"Okay," I whispered, getting to my feet and rubbing the life back into my numb legs. It was a bitterly cold winter night, but through a break in the clouds the light from the moon made the world glow like it was covered in silver polish. If I hadn't been so focused on breaking the law, I might have stopped to admire the sight.

Taking a deep breath, I jogged across the garden to the sitting room windows, trampling over the flower beds to avoid making a noise on the gravel. I stopped when I heard an angry mutter behind me and turned to see Toby hopping across the mud on one leg and holding his other foot in his hands.

"Cat crap!" he hissed at me, his expression one of disgust mixed with disbelief. "Why do I always manage to put my foot in crap?"

I wanted to smile but I couldn't. I was too pumped up — adrenaline flooded my whole body like it did before every job, making my heart beat faster than a hummingbird's wings and sharpening my senses. I felt like an animal, aware of every sound and sight and smell and ready to turn and flee at the first sign of trouble.

Reaching into the long pockets of my coat I pulled out the only two pieces of equipment, aside from a flashlight, that a burglar ever needs — a glass cutter and the sticky dart from a toy gun. Licking the suction cup on the tip of the dart I pressed it against the bottom right pane. After a couple of tugs to make sure it was secure I pressed the blade to the glass and cut a smooth circle. Pocketing the cutter I pulled the dart gently and the glass popped free, leaving a handy hole in the window.

"Voilà!" I whispered, grinning despite the unbearable tension of the situation. "Do the honors, Tobster."

I stood to one side and looked at Toby, who was trying to clean his shoe on the soil of the flower bed. Each time he wiped it giant clumps of mud stuck to the mess until his shoe was lost in a massive brown ball — like he'd just put his foot through a coconut.

"Toby!" I shouted. He snapped to attention, pouting.

"These cost a hundred quid," he said.

"Well, buy yourself some new ones with the money you make tonight," I replied, running my hands through my soaking hair. "Buy yourself twenty pairs."

Toby grinned back and walked to the window, sliding his small hand inside and fiddling with the clasp. After a few seconds there was a loud click and the window creaked open.

"Wow," he said, in shock. "That was almost too easy."

I thought so too. It was too easy. I should have guessed then that something funny was going on, but greed is a powerful thing, and all I wanted was to get inside and get out again with as much loot as I could carry. If all went to plan, the proceeds from tonight would mean neither of us had to hit another house for months.

"Right, let's do this," I said, gritting my teeth and pulling the window right open. The room inside was dark, but I could make out rows of shelves and a couple of sofas inside. Several unblinking red lights stared at us out of the shadows, and I imagined the eyes of some hellish guard dog that would bound from the darkness, fangs bared — ready to chew any intruders to pieces.

But they weren't eyes, they were the standby lights from a fortune in electronics that would soon be safely in our bags.

"I'll go first," said Toby. "Give me a leg up." He raised his foot but I didn't move.

"I'm not touching that," I said, looking at the giant clumps of mud and crap that looked like they'd been welded to his sneaker. "Why don't you give me a foot up."

He sighed and linked his two hands together to form a cradle. Bracing my foot in his grip, I pushed upward, getting one knee on the window frame and pulling myself inside. Scanning the dark interior to make sure it was empty, I skipped down onto the floor, not making a sound on the soft carpet.

Toby was at the window holding two duffel bags and I took them from him before grabbing his arm and hoisting him up. He was almost in when his soiled shoe slipped on the wood of the window frame. With a yelp that was deafening after the tense silence, he fell on me, sending us and a nearby plant stand crashing to the floor.

For a second, neither of us could move a muscle. I lay there with Toby's weight on top of me, barely able to hear anything over my thrashing heart. But there was no sound of slamming doors or terrified screams or feet trampling down the stairs. At least we knew for sure now that the house was empty — Toby's clumsiness would have woken the dead.

Pushing him off me, I got to my feet and picked up my bag, offering Toby a hand.

"Sorry about that," he said sheepishly, pulling himself up.

"Never mind, you lump," I replied. "You start putting away some of this electronic stuff, I'm gonna go find the cash."

"Ten-four," said Toby, pulling a flashlight from his bag and aiming the beam at the row of high-tech gadgets lined up underneath the enormous television. I left him to it, pulling out my own flashlight and making my way out of the door.

You never really get over the sensation of being in someone else's house without their permission. Everything is different — the smell, the atmosphere, even the air tastes strange. I guess that's something to do with the reason I'm always in another person's home. It's as if the building itself doesn't want you there, like it's just waiting for you to slip up before it sucks you into some dark room forever.

Trying to ignore my thoughts, I made my way down a small hallway toward the stairs. According to Toby's friend of a friend, the owners had stashed the week's takings in a tin inside their office, along with a bundle of cash from a charity gig they'd held at the weekend. It should be a piece of cake.


Excerpted from Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith. Copyright © 2009 Alexander Gordon Smith. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet 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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Lockdown 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 372 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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!
Aik More than 1 year ago
I usually don't say this, but... Lockdown. Is. Amazing!!! *inserts hardcore-fan squeal* Being super engrossing and totally un-put-down-able, I couldn't stop reading this book, and ended up finishing it by 4 o'clock in the morning, only when I closed the book with a satisfied smile on my face and went to bed dreaming about Alex's Escape. What I love about this book: 1. A hero with a complex personality. Alex Sawyer is a school bully, a thief and a burgular --- but never a killer. After he is accused of murdering his partner in crime Toby, he is sentenced to a life behind bars in Furnace Penitentiary, a prison of criminal teens which is located deep beneath the Earth. Alex arrives along with two other inmates, Zee and Monty, both wrongly accused of crimes they never did. When Alex sees Monty being bullied by the Skulls, he couldn't restrain his temper and lashed out to save the poor kid. He does this partly because of his guilt --- he remembered the way he used to terrorize his classmates and saw the monster which was once himself. Alex is not someone you would like at the beginning, but by the end of the novel, you will find yourself taking his side. 2. The plot was entirely unpredictable. Quoting Donovan's own words on Furnace: You'll never know what will happen until it happens. I had a great experience of exploring Furnace, with its intimidating structure, scary proprietors, gory history and horrible inmates. Never once did this book disappoint me in any way. I was literally sucked into the gruesome yet fascinating world of the Furnace where the air is hot and scarce, the atmosphere creepy and frightening and the crushing weight of freedom comes down upon you. 3. The world-building is amazing! From his capture to his developing Furnace-survival-skills to his planned prison break, Alex displays his growth both mentally and emotionally. We also observe how his mind is capable of thinking and creating ideas out of nothing. He did not plan of escape from the first moment he set foot in Furnace, but an idea started to hatch in his mind when certain possibilities open up to him. 4. The literary devices are brilliant! Let me tell you, the author is very skilled in descriptive writing - he uses figures of speech such as metaphors and personifications with an unusual grace. Through his words, I had a clear image of Furnace in my mind's eye - I felt like I was in Alex's mind, seeing events unfolding through a glass. 5. True friendship comes unexpectedly. Alex found his best friend in Donovan, a kid who was sentenced to life imprisonment because of accidentally killing his mom's abusive boyfriend. Alex became good friends with one of the inmates who arrived on the same day with him - a boy called Zee. I really liked how the author wrote their friendship - it felt real and genuine. They always stick up for each other although things went awry. It makes me realize that true friendship is indeed precious. Bottomline: Exciting, thrilling and gripping, Escape from Furnace: Lockdown will leave you with nightmares / thinking about it days after you've read it. I'm glad to announce that this book just made its way into my 2012 best books list! Can't wait for book #2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To any one who likes a good villain this is your book. The story follows Alex who is fraimed. After his trail Alex is sentenced to life in Furnace. Soon he learns the true horrors that are hidden from the out side. Soon he find that he hae to escape. Only in furnace escape is impossible. So good I had my teacher read part. She had nightmares about it for the next week. All in all a great read.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This is book is great! I thought it would be much more scarier but no. Instead it was intense, mind-reeling great book. I enjoyed it more than what I thought I would. We meet Alex who has been wrongfully imprisoned. Through the plot, the reader runs with Alex as he is trying to escape the furnace. In the furnace, Alex is quick to learns the in and out of things. Even I was doing my best to catch up with rules and trying to survive! I loved that the plot never once backed down. The plot just kept spinning around the winner bringing to a place of hot fury. Fury? Why yes? Being wrongfully imprisoned changed Alex before the reader. He is no longer the stupid boy but now a man trying to survive. I loved how strong and bold he got. He never ceased to amaze me. He spied, broke rules, and is determined to escape. Mr. Gordan has intrigued me with the world he created. Greatly written, I entered the world of The Furnace and rooted for Alex. Will he escape. Only the next book will know. Which I am going to get ASAP! Lockdown is an amazing book written to a degree I can not describe. I can still fill the hot air surrounding me as I write this review. Definitely pick up this book. If you want to be completely in the dark, air so hot and humid you can't breath,with your heart racing to escape, read this.
Gidgette More than 1 year ago
The books cover and description do not disappoint! When I first picked up this book, I thought it sounded interesting, and different from the types of books I usually read. I never have gotten my heart racing from a book, but this one did it! Definitley read this book! You wont be disappointed. It is a little gory, so be warned!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I teach 8th grade, and our school librarian recommended this book to my student. We watched a book trailer for it, and it look interesting, so I stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy. I must say that for a book that was recommended for my 8th graders, I could not put it down. A quick read, but very addicting.
Taxandria More than 1 year ago
A real page turner, got it for 2 bucks on itunes and am committed to the series now. It really gets you addicted! Wonderful story and writing.
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
You know, I'm going to add James Patterson's quote about Lockdown to the list of reasons why I really want to slap him sometimes. "Furnace will hook boys with it's gritty, unrelenting surprises." Really? Because girls can't enjoy a good horrific dystopian thriller. Men. Honestly. However, I do understand what he was saying. Because Furnace is divided up into men and women areas - I'm assuming, anyway - there's not one female character in the book. Understandably, it's harder to relate to, which is why it got a lower rating from me. The great thing about being a girl, though, is that you often have characters who may or may not remind you of guy friends or brothers or fathers and, therefore, you can relate to the book on some level, even if it's not the level you want. James Patterson's comments aside, Lockdown is a must-read for anybody who wants to cling to the edge of their chair. It's the horror movie for those of us who are afraid of horror movies - something we can read and be thrilled and scared of as we do so, and put it aside when it becomes to much. Or, if you're like me, you plow through it to the end, hoping to outrun this nightmare, and then remember it's just the first in the series. Thankfully, I happen to have the second one. The best part of Lockdown isn't the characters that you meet - though, I do admit, I have a soft spot for Donovan and would really like to know what is happening to him. (Maybe I should stop writing this review and go read the second one - nah, I'll finish this first.) The best part is the completely amazing dystopian world that's been created. From the men in the gas masks (one of my friends is terrified of gas masks, and another owns one, which makes this even better) to the dogs without skin - yes, you read that right - the absolutely horrific edge that Furnace has is amazing.
csginger More than 1 year ago
I loved it and I still do and I can't find another book/series like it. It hooks you in and you have to hang on and enjoy the ride. You get to meet the characters and you get to know them on such a personal level that you feel that you are there with them and that you've know them all your life. I just want them to make a movie on this series. Perfect all around and so thriling but if you dont like comedy,thriller,action, and horror wrapped into one then this book/series is not for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isnt anothor review were i say yay!! This was great well no this is another reveiw saying i love this book!!!!! Listen if ur looking for a scary book then this is ok for it but its more disturbing i still loved it ALOT!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can honestly say that thos os one of the best series of the century. Alexander Gordon Smith has certainly outdone himself! And this book, especially, is the best of the series, I must add.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good that I got two other friends interested in this series. I say that this series is for 11-30 year olds but that is just a segestion. I am 12 and I love this series. I would spend a fortune on this series because it is so good. I didn't buy the books but my school library has the first three books but I am looking to buy the forth and fifth books. Chow:)
DJ_Kile More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was addicted the second I read the sample of this book. I have started reading a lot of dystopian society books as of late and this one is by far my favorite. The approach that is taken here is so much different than what has been circling around these days (not that those books are not great as well). This book will have you doing nothing but read from start to finish. The characters are extremely likable and the action never stops. The imagination that goes into this book is great as well. If you do not like strange creatures and some gore I would not recommend this for you. I have read all the books that have come out so far (4 of them) and none have come close to disappointing me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is teaching a bully a lesson. The name of it is Lockdown. The bully’s name is Alex. Him and his friends were always pushing people around getting what they wanted from them. But very soon they regretted that. Alex does something that gets his friend killed and almost him with it. He gets blamed for the murder but truthfully he never did it, these people in black suits and gas masks on made it look like it was him. Alex gets blamed and sent to a place called furnace. Furnace was a huge jail underground that is filled with pschopaths. Alex has to try and survive and be careful about the choices he makes. I really like this story because it scares you and it’s a really intense story through the whole thing. You kind of feel like you are in the story and you have to do your best to survive. If you put yourself in that perspective it makes it a lot better. The only thing I didn’t like was how the story ends. Alex makes a few friends but he eventually finds out he wont be with them for too long. With just one little mistake his life could be ruined. I would really recommend this book if you like the feeling of being scared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow begining. It really gets interesting about half way in. The book does not stand alone, which means that by the end of this book you might be disapointed on how suddenly the ending comes. Great characters, and overall great plot, can't wait to read the next book.
mrreader76 More than 1 year ago
the author used so much detail i felt like i was in furnacce with alex READ NOW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps me on the edge and end of chapters always have u guessing. Real good book!!!
colemanstudentsjc More than 1 year ago
it will keep u on your feet. and youll problay be reading for hours and hours at a time
thaisra More than 1 year ago
It all started many years ago in the playground, where Alex took Daniel Richard's money. That led him to start robbing houses with his friend Toby; now Toby is dead, and Alex was imprisoned in Furnace for a murder he didn't commit. Life in Furnace is hell, they make you work 'til you can't move from exhaustion, they feed you a tasteless mixture of rotten food, and you are in constant danger. But in Furnace, a gang beating you up is not the worst thing that could happen, mutant dogs could chew you to pieces, piggy eyed wheezers could take you in the night and turn you to some kind of monster. Alex is trapped with no chance of escape, but he refuses to accept that. He needs to find a way out. Soon. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book. I thought it was absolutely great! It had many twists and turns, I kept trying to guess what was going to happen next, every time my predictions were wrong. This book was like nothing I've ever read before, it was unique and interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, suspenseful, adrenalin-packed thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best book i would have to say i had some moments where i was wondering if the kids were gonna make it through the night or if they would be taken. There were parts where i didnt want to read it because i was so upset because i could already picture what was gonna happen next and i didnt want to prove myself that i was right. I had some moments where i was like okay im not in the book it was so great that i even thought i was there at some moments an i was experiencing what they were ugh it was so so good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent tale of courage, friendship, and strength.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone should read this wonderful work of literary art
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its the first book of my new favorite series.
BulldogMB More than 1 year ago
Fabulous author for both teenagers and adults alike!  I'm a Grandma, and, really enjoyed this series. Sure it will be a movie/film very soon! A very good page turner which encourages teenagers  to continue reading instead of playing computer games. 5*++++++