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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.
Lockdown. Is. Amazing!!! *inserts hardcore-fan squeal*
What I love about this book:
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 vivid 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.
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!
Note of Thanks
My deepest gratitude goes to Alexander for sending me a copy of this book for this review!
He also wrote The Inventors – which was runner-up in the national Wow Factor Award – and The Inventors and the City of Stolen Souls, both of which were co-authored by his eleven-year-old brother Jamie. The first novel in his third series, The Fury, will be published in 2012, alongside an as yet untitled book for younger readers. He is the author of two creative writing handbooks, Inspired Creative Writing and Writing Bestselling Children’s Books, a number of screenplays that are currently in development, several non-fiction books and hundreds of short stories and articles.