Escape From Furnace #1
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace.
Furnace Penitentiary: An underground hellhole. A place of pure evil with walls soaked in blood. Murderous gangs and vicious guards rule the darkness. Horrific creatures steal people away in the dead of night. And the impossible – escape – is the only hope.
Holy hot streak! When I was sent this series for review, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to like it. I thought it was going to be geared more for the male readers — and in a way it is — but nothing prepared me for what unfolded between the covers of this book!
Alex is a normal teenage boy, but he has a dark side of thievery and bullying. When Alex and his friend Toby gets a tip about a family being away, they decide to break in and steal what they can in hopes of scoring some quick cash. While in the process of the burglary, they quickly realize it was a set up and the ‘black suits’ come in and catch them in the act. When they shoot Toby in front of Alex, he realizes this is just the beginning. When he is caught, the suits have already framed him for the murder. The judge sentences him to Furnace Penitentiary. Furnace is not your ordinary jail though and it gives a whole new meaning to the word Hell.
Imagine Hell in your mind from everything you heard growing up. Now expand that with the references you have heard from Dante’s Inferno in the meaning of different levels of Hell within the Furnace walls. Then take it one step further and throw in Freddy Krueger nightmares made of evil. That should give you some imagery of Furnace Penitentiary. The author did not hold back in the details of the gruesome acts and scene set ups in this book. There were many times I was gagging from the disgusting and atrocious things Alex had to experience. There were also times of bravery and friendships that would be on the other end of the spectrum.
Even with all of the things Alex suffers through, I still cheered him on. I wanted Alex to be free and escape. Then the author leaves you on the edge of a cliff — literally — at the end of the book. Thankfully, I had the next book in the series to start immediately following this one. If you are brave enough to make the journey into Furnace with Alex, consider having the next book around to keep the journey going.
“Beneath Heaven is hell, boys, and beneath hell is Furnace. I hope you enjoy your stay.”–page 59
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf
For Rereading! 5 STARS