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Lockdown (Escape from Furnace #1)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,982 Ratings  ·  1,793 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 273 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published March 5th 2009)
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Skittles In the respect that they are set in a prison yes however Incarceron has someone on the outside talking to someone on the inside and there is like a…moreIn the respect that they are set in a prison yes however Incarceron has someone on the outside talking to someone on the inside and there is like a historical type aspect and they aren't in the prison for committing crimes per se, there are whole families in the prison in Incarceron, while Furnace all the boys have been put there for crimes whether they were set up or not. Also Furnace is set in a not so distant future with technology more advanced than our own.

And there is a monster genetic experiment aspect to Furnace and there is only one POV.

From what I remember of Incarceron the only similarities would be the prison setting, a creep factor, an escape attempt and a mystery aspect.(less)
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Emily May
Aug 27, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Brandi
"In the dead of night they come for you, Alex," he said. "Sooner or later they come for everyone."

4 1/2 stars. Oh wow, this was truly terrifying. If you're looking for a tense, fast-paced and frightening book that pulls you in immediately and makes your heart pound, I cannot recommend Lockdown enough.

You know, I think realistic stories can be very scary, and so can supernatural stories, but the most horrifying stories of all are those that balance the two of them. The kind of stories that play
Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kat Stark by: Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

It's not without it's flaws, but this was a pretty enjoyable horror YA. I actually have a life today, so I'm gonna answer this format in Haikus. I know what you’re thinking, first I answered "How to write a good horror" in one of my reviews, then I did a gif review...can you tell I miss my unconventional review style after being formatted for this long? LOL


Hate no parents trope.
Relationships needed work.
Where was description?


Intriguing story
But hard to suspend belief.
Aug 06, 2015 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, male-lead

I think I'm going to bump this to 4.5 stars because I can't stop thinking about it! In fact, when I went to sleep I was picturing the wheezers and literally had to remind myself that it was just a story... it's not real, Brandi... it's ok... you're a big girl.... fine, just cuddle up to the mister, he's asleep so he won't know how big of a baby you're being...

That was me at 1 in the morning. True story, haha.

I don't typically read books that have a horror element to them because of the fact t
Vane J.

3.5 out of 5 stars. I am rounding down to 3, but depending on how I feel later, I might round it to 4.

Beneath heaven is hell.
Beneath hell is Furnace.

One of my biggest fears is being blamed for something I did not do - be it stealing something, cheating in an exam (which btw gives me nauseas just thinking about the hypocritical cowards who do this in real life)... killing someone; you name it. Alex has been sent to Furnace Penitentiary for a criem he did not commit, and it is said that prison is
Melissa Martin

"We told you," he said, placing his hand on the shoulder of the boy beside me but talking to us all. "You can run but you couldn't hide. And now here you are, guests of honor at Furnace Penitentiary."

OH. MY. GOD. What did did I just read?!

Okay so apparently you can be a somewhat criminal or not a criminal at all and these thing people come and find you and get you put in jail. Jail... jail would be a cake walk.. you get put in the Furnace! Your underground
“Don't make the mistake of bringing your heart down here with you, there is no place for it in Furnace.”

Wow! It'd be odd to say that I really liked this book considering it to be one of the most scary books I've read.But still,as much as the story managed to scare the hell out of me,I really loved this book. Until now I had read horror stories with blood,some monsters and lots of creepy stuff. Now mix all those scary scenes with Sci-fi; that's what this book is about.There was some crazy stuff
Paige  *an exploding fluffball* Bookdragon
“Beneath Heaven is Hell, boys, and beneath Hell is Furnace. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

The book-gods have decided to smile at me today so excuse me while I dance to the awesomeness of this book.

Interview with Lockdown by Paige Bookdragon.

Paige:Good evening everyone, this is Paige from The Book Interview and today we have the one and only Lockdown for our The Favorite-Shelf segment. Let's give it a round of applause.

(everyone claps)

Paige: Now Lockdown, for those who haven't heard of you, c
Alicia O'Carrick

“Beneath heaven is hell, boys, and beneath hell is Furnace. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Horror, despite being one of my favorite genres, is not a genre that I read often. I think it has to do with the scare-factor, how much it can really dig into my bones. Usually, not that much.

I wanted to read at least one work of horror before Halloween came about. The Escape From Furnace series is actually extremely popular at my school; I see kids reading it all the time. And after reading Emily May’s
Haley Mathiot
Sep 27, 2009 Haley Mathiot rated it really liked it
My summary: Alex was like any other boy. Go to school, hang out with his group, and control the monkey bars. But when he started stealing, his life changed for the worse. Out of nowhere, his best friend is murdered, and he is framed for it. he is sent to the child prison: a Hell hole. Worse than Hell. Furnace. When he’s there, he is disgusted with the way people live. Kids do hard labor like chipping rock. Gangs kill kids. and he isn’t the only innocent person who was framed. But there’s no ho ...more
Aik Chien 인첸
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 then did I close 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
Aug 27, 2015 TL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Melissa
Buddyread with
Melissa :) Her review here

A fun idea of a book... the writing can be overly descriptive but never boring. There were quite a few times in the book where I wanted to smack Alex for being an idiot.. if you could reach into a book haha.

Loved Zee and Donovan... the setting was grim, every person for himself and downright scary at times. The Warden *shudders* I would rather run into Odin in a dark alley.

The rating? Well, I liked it for the most part but wasn't in love with it.... Kind
Aug 26, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy Read with TL :)

Edit: On further recollection, I'm giving this a 3.5
Lockdown was an extremely hard book for me to rate. Usually I generally have a feeling on what rating a book will get, but this one left me feeling so conflicted. On the one hand, it's a super fast paced, action packed book that never once made me bored while reading. The characters were also really cool, especially Donovan, who was my favourite. However, I just didn't love it. I am so interested in finding out more abo
Lockdown follows the story of Alex Sawyer, a young delinquent who, along with his best friend, makes a habit of entering people’s houses and stealing whatever they can put their hands on. One night though, everything goes wrong. Alex promised himself that after one last job, he’d stop stealing. But nothing goes as planned after his best friend is murdered right in front of him, and Alex is the one convicted for the murder. He’s then thrown into Furnace, an underground prison, where are sent youn ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Demi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
My rating: 4.75/5 stars.

Dude, I knew I'd love this book the second I saw the cover and read the synopsis.
If you're looking for a fast-paced, intense and frightening YA book that captivates you and has you on the edge of your seat until the end, I recommend you read Lockdown!

“Beneath heaven is hell, boys, and beneath hell is Furnace. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Seriously, just try to imagine being framed for a crime that you didn't commit and being sent to prison for life with no possibility of
Sep 18, 2014 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised with Lockdown. It was fairly predictable but the plot was laid out in such a rich manner it didn’t take much from the experience. I devoured every page about these boys and the dangers they faced inside their horrific cage.

There was mystery, violence, horror, and a fast pace that easily guided you through the characters struggles. The characters were believable and had dimension. There wasn’t a lot of world building outside of the prison (touches on some school and ho
Jan 08, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
OMG!!! Another amazing book! I am so glad that I bought this book and I cannot wait for the next one to come out...

This book is a horror/creepy/action book and it does not disappoint. It is the first book in a 5 book series and these books will definitely be pre-ordered asap.

Alex is the main character in this book and he is framed for murder and sent to The Furnace Penitentary. A prison that was built 5-6yrs ago to house kids (up til the age of 18) that are convicted of serious crimes. There is
4.5. This was heading for a 4, but that ending made me grin so much.

This ends on a cliffhanger. This book barely skims the surface of this prison, society, and characters. This books raises more questions than answers them.

For a YA novel, I consider it very dark. Children that are killers, gangs, no skin dogs that eat children, soulless silver-eyed men, child labor, etc.

As dark as it got at times, the novel was sprinkled with much needed humor and hope. There was one time I swear I could hear
Armando Torres
We'll I just stared reading this book and it's very good for me and I'll think I'll finish by 3 weeks
First thought: Oh, a cute little YA book about boys in a spooooooky prison.
Second thought: What?
Third thought: What?
Fourth thought: WHAT?!




Honestly, this isn't a full on horror book. It is YA; although it's very disturbing YA.

Ivie ✩Born to Magic-Forced to Muggle✩
Fast paced and bloody brilliant.

“Don't go looking for snakes, you might find them..
Don't send your eyes to the sun, you might blind them,
Haven't I seen you here before?
There ain't no heroes here....”

This is a shit-meet-fan kind of book. There are no sugary bits glossing over events because of the main character's age. It's actually adds to the horror, when you are forced to see kids as adults and surviving trough ordeals you are certain most adults wouldn't survive trough.

It has it all. Underg
NiNe Gorman
Aug 10, 2015 NiNe Gorman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J’ai mis longtemps a me lancer dans cette lecture, en premier temps parce que l’âge du personnage me refroidissait un peu, Alex Sawyer a 13 ans au début du récit, et 14 ans quand il intègre la Fournaise, du coup je craignais une écriture trop jeunesse, et une histoire trop édulcorée pour la thématique de l’histoire, mais la réalité est tout autre et je suis ravie d’avoir tenter cette lecture !

Parceque en réalité Alex est mûre pour son âge, il m’a d’ailleurs fait penser à plusieurs reprise à Thom
Jan 14, 2014 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Thoughts While Reading
(just my opinions, others may disagree)

pg. 89 of 521
PROS: plot & the creepy and suspenseful aspects
CONS: though completely fictional,thought the way the main character was tried to be a little too dramatic and far fetched
- The judge laughed at him
- The jury laughed at him
- The judge was sarcastic and rude, to a 13 year old boy mind you, saying things like he wishes he could 'hang him for his crimes'
- Where the hell was this kid's attorney?
- The jury's decision only t
Jun 17, 2011 Isamlq rated it liked it
The writing is very descriptive up to the point of being tedious but that’s fine because the plot’s simple enough to follow: Alex is not a good kid. He is a bully and a thief. His life of petty crime changes once he is sent to the Furnace. Now consider the tag line:

Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace.

Scary? Yes? No? If this were one’s first foray into the world of YA horror/thriller (or whatever genre Lockdown can be classified under,) I definitely say yes. But is it sad that I d
Cindy Newton
Oct 18, 2015 Cindy Newton rated it really liked it
This book is the first in a series of five altogether, and it starts off with a bang. Society has devolved into a place where there is no quarter given for age in the consideration of a crime, and young children (pre-teens) are imprisoned--for life--in maximum security facilities for serious crimes. The main character, Alex, and his friend Toby, are busted ripping off a house. This is a problem for them, but the even bigger problem is that they are not caught by the police--that would have been ...more
Ruth Turner
Aug 24, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it liked it

The beginning of this book dragged me in, and by page 37 (on my laptop) my stomach was tied in knots and I was thinking that this is gonna be one helluva read!

And so it was...until we entered Furnace. And then the wheels kind of fell off for me.

I loved the whole idea of Furnace, a privately owned maximum security penitentiary for young offenders, built underground, with no visitors, no parole and no way out. But it didn't live up to my expectations.

I found the "Blacksuits", the "Wheezers", the
Jan 12, 2012 1JuneO rated it it was amazing

Lockdown escape from furnace is an amazing thriller by Alexander Gordon Smith; I love this book so far. In this story a boy named Alex Sawyer and how he was framed for the murder of his best friend Toby.Alex is a complex individual he was a good kid until one day he stoled money from a kid his friends were bulling . After that day he felt consumed by guilt but motivated by greed. He is a teenager and considers himself a criminal.
All he had to do was "one last job." Toby
Ashley Arredondo
Oct 01, 2014 Ashley Arredondo rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been blamed for something you did not do and get a punishment ? Well Alex has and he has been sent to an underground juvenile prison for the rest of his life . This book is fantasy because in the juvenile there is dogs that are inside-out , there are also these creatures call wheezers that choose your last day on Earth , and weird guards that for some reason you can't look at their eyes . I like this book because it says that Alex can't take when a "gang" call the Skulls bully othe ...more
Action packed Young Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopia/Horror/Thriller

The pros:
* This is my first time to read this writers work, and I have to say, I really like the writing style
* This was an intense read - I think my 12 year old will enjoy this one just as much as I did (even though this book had a horror feel to it, the language was relatively clean, and there was no sex etc.) - it never felt geared towards young adults. It's just one of those books that a wide variety of readers will enjoy.

The cons:
* Q
Haley Nguyen

*** Short Rambling Alert


So... I wasn't able to power through Lockdown in one sitting because of this thing called "real life", and I totally am holding a grudge against myself for that. Sound irrational it does, I know. But that's what I'm currently feeling.


I wouldn't say this book is perfect, 'cause it's not. However, its breath-taking wondrousness is absolutely undeniable.


Very rarely does a first installment in a series just downright ease its way into my all-time favori
Jul 23, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
cliffhanger ending, but good overall story of underground prison and several kids falsey accused; add in grotesque creatures and some blood, and it is on!
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Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series of young adult novels, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he ...more
More about Alexander Gordon Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Escape from Furnace (5 books)
  • Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)
  • Death Sentence (Escape from Furnace, #3)
  • Fugitives (Escape from Furnace, #4)
  • Execution (Escape from Furnace, #5)

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“Don't make the mistake of bringing your heart down here with you, there is no place for it in Furnace.” 61 likes
“When you're locked up in here for life, you learn to welcome the little freedoms.” 48 likes
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