Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Furnace: Lockdown

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

Publishing Company: Faber and Faber (Kindle Edition)

Blurb: (taken from goodreads)

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.

The review:

Okay, I am finally back, I’m sorry that I disappeared, but I have a few reviews coming up. So here is my review of Furnace: Lockdown. I’ve wanted to read this book for a couple of months now, ever since a Goodreads book club put it up for a vote for Halloween read. I finally started reading it after Christmas, and just finished it now. Didn’t get far in the first month (I’ve really been in a reading rut lately!), but I swept through it today like crazy.

First thing about this book, it is very much like the Maze Runner, I saw a lot of parallels in these stories. Not a bad thing. Second thing I want to say about it, I honestly think this book does it better. It is definitely more of a boys read, mainly boy characters, bar the mention of one or two girls, so it’s very much centred around all these boyish problems. Yeah, I don’t know how to word that.

The book starts off introducing Alex Sawyer as this ‘I’m not an innocent kid, I’ve done my own bad things’ which is different because it’s nice to see characters being instantly thrown out as not perfect, and you can see that even though he’s the main character of the book, he isn’t a perfect little angel either. Alex gets framed for a murder he didn’t commit after he did something pretty bad to begin with. I have to admit before Alex got put into Furnace Penitentiary, I wasn’t that interested, in fact it was the main reason I didn’t pick up the book for so long.

When you get into the depths of the prison though, that’s when the fun begins. We meet interesting characters, find out that many of the “new fish” have been framed too, and we find an escape plan. Lots of fights, and horror, and things that go bump in the night too. Wheezers and Black Suits and Hell Hounds. It’s very Darren Shan meets James Dashner in a prison with unknown monsters.

I don’t want to give much away though. I mean, the book is packed with things that you have to explore yourself, if you want a new and interesting book, I’d definitely say pick this one up though.

Donovan was definitely my favourite character. You can tell that though he has done bad in his past, he’s definitely not a bad guy. You find out how long he was in there, what he did to get in there, and I really felt myself sympathising to him over all of the other characters. He’s definitely an interesting character and I cannot wait to find out what happens to him in the next book (which I’m going to have to pick up because of the horrible horrible horrible cliffhanger ending, it wasn’t nice!).

I’m keeping this review short, because I don’t know exactly what to say about this book, I enjoyed it, and yet at the same time I didn’t feel like it was one of the best books I’ve read. It was a bit of a let down because it does sound like a really good book, but it wasn’t the best one I’ve read. But I recommend it for people who are fans of Darren Shan or James Dashner.

My rating:

Setting: 3.5 out of 5
Characters: 4 out of 5
Plot: 4 out of 5
Writing: 3 out of 5

If you read the book, I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you guys later! Bye x

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