Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Children of the Furnace (#1)” as Want to Read:
Children of the Furnace (#1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Children of the Furnace

(Children of the Furnace #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  55 reviews


When half the world is a furnace
When fanatics rule with terror, fire and blood
You run
You fight
Or you die

Wil is captured and press-ganged into a “Redukayshun Centre” of young people labouring to undo the effects of generations of climate change. There he discovers that he’s marked as a Heater, one of the old-
Published January 1st 2018 by CopyPress (first published September 23rd 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Children of the Furnace, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Brin Murray When I read Chaucer and Shakespeare at school, I used to wonder: would we understand them now? And it seemed to me that the way language changes over …moreWhen I read Chaucer and Shakespeare at school, I used to wonder: would we understand them now? And it seemed to me that the way language changes over time is fascinating. I read Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue, and though apparently linguists say it’s not really an accurate piece of research, the way in which English has evolved is still incredible.
But the most important influence was Mad Max Thunderdome (yup, that kind of a linguistics scholar). I remember reading somewhere that the director employed linguists to predict how the language of a bunch of Aussie kids, totally isolated from adults after an apocalyptic event, could evolve. The results – the cadences of their speech, the mutated vocabulary – seemed absolutely plausible to me, and brilliantly realized, and kind of fun.
So then, when I was thinking about Wil in the future, living in an isolated Sekkerstrayshun land with mostly uneducated jackers, cut off from the outside world, I just seemed to hear his voice in my head…
Brin Murray Partly the difference is education, but it’s more to do with the Sekkerlander/Southem divide. Sekkerlanders speak in dialect, Southemers in convention…morePartly the difference is education, but it’s more to do with the Sekkerlander/Southem divide. Sekkerlanders speak in dialect, Southemers in conventional English (Revout Sachs and the Governor, for example, also speak in conventional English). But as only Southemers have access to education, the language divide does fall along those lines as well.
It always interests me that language is fluid, and how people pick up accents and vocab from the people around them. Realistically Wil and Leah would start picking up each other’s idioms and peculiarities of speech over time , which would be fun to try and write but opens a whole new can of worms!

As for your other question: it has surprised me a little, to be quite honest, the strength of reaction to Wil’s voice. I suppose if I were thinking – this will put a lot of people off, maybe I should play him straighter because it would make him more accessible – then yes, there is an argument for that. But I love his voice, it makes him come alive for me. I can’t see writing him any other way, now.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Children of the Furnace (#1)
B.B. James
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though YA/dystopia is not my favourite genre, I was completely gripped by this book.

The author’s style took some getting used to, but after four or five chapters I was immersed in the flow of the story and coming to grips with the phonetic language used by the feral kids of the prison camp. By then I was also feeling emotionally protective of the book’s hero, Wil, an orphaned and uneducated boy exposed to the harsh realities of an abusive environment controlled by the Revouts: evil and pow
Frank Parker
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children of the Furnace by Brin Murray.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review and I am very pleased to have done so. Sometimes it is good to step outside your usual genre of reading and try something different.
This novel is fairly obviously aimed at a teen/young adult readership. I read somewhere recently that many adults enjoy such works, witness the success of Harry Potter so there's no shame in a septuagenarian straying into territory more suited to his grand daugh
Kilby Blades
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This worthy post-apocalyptic dystopia follows Wil, an orphaned young boy who is unwittingly captured and placed into a colony of other "heaters" like him to be groomed into a life of warrior-slavery under an oppressive regime. In the early parts of the book, Murray paints a vivid picture of Wil's bleak, new world and follows him as he adjusts to the senseless brutality suffered by other young boys in their exclusively-male colony as they are bullied into submission. As in all great stories of th ...more
Robin Peacock
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children of the Furnace. Brin

Global warming has wreaked havoc on the planet. World gov’t rules that carbon dioxide, (Helgas) must be sequestered and trees planted, everywhere! Vast labour/education camps use children/teens as forced labor. Punishment with Tazers and beatings are routine. This is a solar powered world, solar and batteries. This is the necessity of saving the planet, so the gov’t must be the good guys, right?
Wil, about fourteen, is captured and taken from his isolated and cloist
D. Peach
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my. Did I ever enjoy this story and enjoy it for a whole lot of reasons. In fact, I bought the second book in the series within a minute of finishing the first. It’s only February, but I expect that this will be one of my favorite reads of the year.

The story takes place in the future after a close call that almost destroys the planet. And I don’t want to say much more about it because one of the most fascinating things about the book is the total lack of backstory. The reader only gets tiny g
Dominique Kyle
This is a decent start to a series. Think concentration camp/forced work camp/political ‘re-education’ centre for boys in a post-climate change disaster world. Those in power are hysterical about the ‘Heaters’ who caused global warming. Young Will bears a tattoo that marks him out as one of those, and they are determined to break him. There is a lot of explicit physical brutality in this book, but no sex. And plenty of uplifting messages about how to survive cruelty, stand up to deviant authorit ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recap: Branded as a Heater, young Wil is taken to Ferule, the redukayshun centre. There, the devout try to break him but he survives and together with Leah and Jace discover a new truth about Sekkerland and the Heaters.

Review: I loved it. I really enjoyed the setting, a world threatened by global warming where technology is only available to some and children are garrisoned for work duty and to became Watchmen. I thought the brutality was spot on. I liked the slight mis-spelling of certain word
Cecily Wolfe
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible and terrifying dystopian tale that will please readers of The Hunger Games and Pacifica (Kristen Simmons). Dark, brutal, with mesmerizing character development, even with the secondary characters. The crafting of a frightening future is very cleverly done, down to every detail. While this is dark, it still shows how endurance can get one through impossibly difficult times. Very highly recommended.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I’ve read this year.

This story is basically about decency and humanity versus fanaticism, which seems to be to be quite relevant at the present time. It’s set in a world which is more hinted at than explained, but it still felt incredibly real and vital.

There are two pet peeves that I knew in advance this book would have to overcome for me to get into it.
1. I’m not that keen on made-up or even real dialects and idiom. To me, it just makes the book hard to read. Usually.
D.J. Reid
This novel is a gripping read, set in a post-apocalyptic world partially destroyed by global warming.

It took a while to get into. Both the dialogue and first person viewpoint of Wil, the main protagonist, is written in dialect. That’s fine, because it’s not difficult to get used to a dialect, if it doesn’t stray too far from standard English, or is easy to understand in context. However, I don’t see the point in phonetic spellings of words like Revelayshun, Inquizzishun and speshal. They don’t
First, an intro of boring semi-relevant info under spoiler tag:
(view spoiler)
Michael Salmon
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I was provided an of E-copy of 'Children of the Furnace' in exchange for a review.

I'm tossing between an three and a four star review here, but I have eventually landed on four due to this book being YA fiction.

'Children of the Furnace' is written from the perspective of Wil, a young lad living in a small lumber worker community. He is fairly uneducated which influences spelling, narrator voice, and speaking style. On the one hand these factors remain constant throughout the writing. On the othe
Bill Blake
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoyed knife of never letting go, the Hunger Game
"I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an objective review, but my opinion is my own."

This is a compelling and well-written novel with a unique and well thought out world. As well as having a compelling plot and great writing, it also has some very good characters. Wil is incredibly sympathetic and you get a great sense of his strength and his compassion for others. Leah is harsh at first, but gradually the reader gets to know her and sees that her toughness is not exactly a façade
Jamie Hazel
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t know anything about this book when I was asked to review it by a friend. She said it was really good so I should give it a go. It didn’t grab me at first, TBH, maybe because of the dialect. It wasn’t that hard to get into though, and after a while I got to see it kind of fits. Wil is a kid brought up in the bush, in a kind of logging camp, with no schooling, so the dialect definitely works, after a while you can kind of hear his voice in your head.
And then the book starts off kind of de
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to noor by: Brin Murray

This is my very first review so I apologize if it is not on par :/

The Children Of The Furnace is an interesting, layered novel. However, it definitely was not something I would often read. The first thing I noticed about the book was its language. It is quite different from the language of mainstream books or just common, everyday language and phrases. The writing and spelling of certain words also portrayed this difference. I felt a tribal sense and feeling throughout
David Murkowski
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling story of a future world where children are forced to labour by a vicious and cruel regime and live without hope. When Wil, an uneducated but charismatic innocent, is captured and delivered to Ferule the atmosphere in the camp slowly begins to alter. The downtrodden children and their brutalised guards begin to believe that there may be a chance to change and that The Way of the Strong is not the only way.
This is a complex and brilliantly written novel set in a completely believable w
Children of the Furnace by Brin Murray was both a gripping and harrowing read.

It is a YA dystopia set in a world devastated by global warming, with only the polar regions suitable for human habitation. Will, brought up by his step-father in Sekkerland (Greenland) is sheltered from the realities of the world until he is discovered by the Revouts and sent to Ferule - a re-education camp for boys - as a hated Heater. The regime he finds there is brutal and his optimism and grit is tested to the li
E.M. Swift-Hook
Dystopic and Dark YA

‘While people care about each other more than Anthems and Justice and Revelayshuns – while we hold on to that, they can’t win.’

Will and Leah are children growing up in a dystopian world. Will has no idea who his parents are but he has been raised by Ty. When the Revouts come Ty tells him to seek the Midwife. Leah is on a ship being transported somewhere. Her mother died of a sickness and her father is awaiting trial in prison so now she is alone. But the last thing her moth
J.P. Willson
This is going to be hard to explain.
I did enjoy this book, this story. I would recommend this book to fans of the genre of which I am not one yet that does not make any difference in my review.
Let's just say I am a stickler for grammar. When I see spelling mistakes, intentional or not- it bothers me. I am not an English major, I have no degrees whatsoever just to be clear.
With this read I had a difficult time getting through it, even though I was enjoying the story-to have to constantly think a
Stuart Aken
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This novel tackles some pretty fundamental themes. Told through the experiences and voices of two young people, Will, an innocent boy from a rural settlement, and Leah, a rather more worldly and sophisticated girl from a city, the story is woven through their separate adventures in their different worlds until the two collide.
Excellent imagination details this dystopian society where, as so often in a catastrophic situation, those without a moral compass rise to the top through sheer terror, oft
G.J. Griffiths
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, fantasy, ya
I began reading Children of the Furnace with some trepidation as I thought it was a dystopian fantasy narrated in the first person and aimed at Young Adult readers. I am certainly nowhere near the age of young adults and find most fantasy novels lacking when I compare them to those of Tolkein and Mervyn Peake. Generally I prefer fictional tales told in the third person since it allows other scenes to be portrayed in a different time and place without obvious errors in the telling of either portr ...more
Alice Cradle
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some moments of very good storytelling here as well as some lovely, lovely turns of phrase and a rich, cloudy mystery to draw the reader in. I am going to discuss the wonderful things done and the overall storyline as well some personally-identified key issues that struck me as a reviewer/reader.

Children Of The Furnace is told from the perspective of a group of youths and is separated into chapters told from each of their perspectives. The youths live in a land ravaged by a former war
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book almost one sitting, really gripping and great world building. Highly recommended.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For readers who enjoy dystopian young adult novels, this book will blow you away. For those who don't normally delve into the genre, I think you would love the book anyway. I was absolutely amazed at the character development, and the twists and turns of this fantastic novel. I loved the voice of the characters, particularly Wil and Leah, and how each character had his/her own voice and personality. While futuristic dystopian YA novels are not my usual reading choice, when I do read them, I find ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children of the furnace is a kick-butt post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA fantasy.

Set in a world destroyed by Global warming, people are classified into two categories: Those who are trying to rid the World of carbon Emissions, and those who found the ways of the past still remain a better way of life. Though it seems the perfect set-up to understand who are the villains, and who are the heroes, many surprising twists skew your way of thinking within this novel. And for me, guessing until the end is
Jacqui Letran
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fast-moving story was a fun read, although, somewhat difficult read. The made-up dialect was difficult to follow and I found myself having to read, and re-read some passage to understand. Even with that, it was drawn into the story and characters. This would make an excellent movie.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The way in which the story develops is very well constructed. I found the dialect a little strange at first but quickly got used to it. The main characters are well depicted and bring different strengths that work together well – the sum is greater than the parts. I felt myself drawn into this difficult and violent world, rooting for the good guys and admiring their determination and strength of spirit. It is a wholly believable world where human nature and the fight between good and evil drives
Jon Zelig
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hi, my name is JZ and I’m a Heater (Hi JZ!).

Which is to say: my life relies on the burning of various fuels.

Which is to say that, in the future that Brin Murray sketches, in “Children of the Furnace,” I would be hunted down and either set to forced labor or executed—perhaps tortured a little first: a spectacle on “the scope” to warn others away from the behavior that destroyed the world as we know it.

Perhaps I would be sent to Sekkerland—which bears more than a minor resemblance to Greenland:
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was one of the most enjoyable reads in the dystopian genre. The first thing you come across when starting this book is the dialect. It took me a while to get used to it, but within a couple of chapters, I could relate to everything that the characters were trying to convey.
I liked how Wil is portrayed quite innocent. And that makes the protagonist more vulnerable and realistic. The whole premise of 'Heaters' was interesting and conceptually intriguing.
This was a 'The 100', 'The Lost Boys'
Jeff Harris
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Children Of The Furnace’ by Brin Murray is a must read for fans of ‘Hunger Games’, ‘The Maze Runner’ and epic style fantasies.

Following the tale of Wil from his humble beginnings to then being ‘recruited’, in a polite way of describing his journey, to the tyrannical ‘Revouts’. All the while we are slowly introduced to Leah, journeying to the lands of Sekkerland before crossing paths with Wil. Wil slowly becomes more accustomed to the harsh and brutal life he lives, even developing an understand
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NZ Intermediate S...: Children of the Furnace 1 12 Jul 10, 2019 10:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wynter's Thief
  • Do You Know Me?
  • The King's Nightingale
  • Winter of Fire
  • Hostage
  • Jon for Short
  • A Dangerous Game
  • The Killing (Cherub, #4)
  • Man vs. Beast (Cherub, #6)
  • Dark Sun (Cherub, #9.5)
  • The Fall (Cherub, #7)
  • The Sleepwalker (Cherub, #9)
  • Divine Madness (Cherub, #5)
  • Class A (Cherub, #2)
  • Brigands M.C. (Cherub, #11)
  • Maximum Security (Cherub, #3)
  • Shadow Wave (Cherub, #12)
  • Mad Dogs (Cherub, #8)
See similar books…
I'm a teacher, scientist and writer. I teach at a rural school and kind-of farm in one of the most beautiful places on earth - the top of the South Island, New Zealand. We've just sold off a bunch of feral sheep so we can have a crack at carbon sequestration for real – a no-brainer when you've got a bit of land and that's what your books are about. And your sheep are crazy wild anyway.

I've got thr

Other books in the series

Children of the Furnace (2 books)
  • Crosstrees (Children Of The Furnace #2)

Related Articles

Ryan Douglass has always written books. When he was really young, he wrote and drew picture books. When he was in elementary and middle school,...
62 likes · 4 comments