Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 Alexander Gordon Smith
14-year-old Alex was just a petty thief until the day the men in black suits showed up at a house he was robbing, shot his best friend, and framed him with the murder. Sentenced to life with parole, Alex is sent the The Furnace, Britain's prison for the worst juvenile offenders. The Furnace is underground and run by the black suits. They have skinless dogs that eat kids. At night, the Wheezers come. The wheezers have gas masks for faces and take kids away in the night, never to be seen again. At 18, you're transferred out of the Furnace, but no one ever lives that long. Alex needs out. No one's ever escaped before, but Alex is going to try. He'll die if he's caught, but he'll die if he stays.
I really liked the concept of the Furnace, built after "The Summer of Slaughter" when youth gangs got out of control. I wanted to learn more about the world that would create Furnace rather than life within Furnace itself. I was also really frustrated because the book builds and builds to the cliff-hanger ending for the second book. And, it gets really exciting close enough to the end that you know you won't get anything until the sequel comes out next year. (Or you could order the next two books now, from England.)
With lots of gross creatures to keep the kid prisoners in line and the action-filled adventure plot, there's enough here to make this a *great* book for reluctant readers, but it just didn't do it for me. I enjoyed reading it, but have no desire to read the rest of the series. (ok, I did read the plot summaries of the next books).
Book Provided by... my local library
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