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Lockdown (Escape from Furnace, #1)
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(Escape from Furnace #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  18,436 ratings  ·  2,377 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 th
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 273 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) (first published March 5th 2009)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  18,436 ratings  ·  2,377 reviews

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Start your review of Lockdown (Escape from Furnace, #1)
Emily May
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Brandi
Shelves: young-adult, horror, 2015
"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 pl
Sean Barrs
Now this was rather damn scary. Imagine breaking into someone’s house one night then randomly you and your accomplice are rushed by a small army of rather large men in black suits. They quickly dispatch your friend and pin the murder on you. All you wanted was a bit of loot. You’re sentenced to life imprisonment at an ominous sounding placed called Furnace, but the prison is run by the same men who framed you. When you arrive you quickly realise this place is beyond normal; it’s dark, oppressive ...more
Dec 16, 2011 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
Vanessa 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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ 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 undergroun
Mada Linx
Oh no, why?
Why it seems like every time I have high hopes for a book it just doesn’t deliver?
I had my eyes set on this one for a long time and I was actually expecting something else. In my mind the MC would be between mid twenties to mid thirties, wiser, smarter and way cooler when he will break out.
But what I’ve actually got is an awkward fourteen year old, among other kids who are a bunch of bullies or in other cases, victims of the bullies.

So disappointed.
Paige  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 yo
“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
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

Jail is wild. The action scenes were the best part. I think there could have been more with the monsters, but that's probably going to be explored in future books. I like all the characters, but I'm not super into them like I would in one of my favorite books. The main character is a bit too normal. Also the author really should of given him a more unique name than Alex. I've seen that name used so many times. People aren't even named Alex that much in real life.
Haley Mathiot
Sep 21, 2009 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
Yin 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
Sep 08, 2014 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
Feb 18, 2016 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
Melissa **Just Really Loves Musicals**
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
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 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this Audible book! For some odd reason, I have an infatuation with book settings based in odd prisons. This particular book was a blend of Resident Evil meets Escape Plan with a reminiscent flavor of the Australian prison colonies.

Speaking of Australia, the narrator is phenomenal if you listen to this on Audible! I actually wonder if I would have liked this as much had I not listened to it. I think it still would have been great, but the narrator added personality to the settin
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My eyes haven’t been this glued to a book in a while. This was so awesome! I hope the rest of the series is just as good!

Alex Sawyer is a high schooler who was framed for murdering his friend. Once accused of murder in court everyone turned on him—his friends and family. He was swiftly taken to Furnace Penitentiary, a hellish underground jail for juvenile delinquents. Except this isn’t just a jail…it’s hell. Masked men come at night and take boys away to some unknown location, some return and so
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
Grace ᵔᴥᵔ
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, series
My TBR shelf whenever I decide to reread an old book instead of picking them up:

Yeah, so. I reread this book; I was in the mood for horror. Despite my OG review being absolute garbage, I don't think I have much to add to it. Or its 4am and I'm just lazy.

This book is really fucked. By the end you're reading about the wheezing beasts with gas masks sewn to their skin dragging kids from their cells and you're like, "Ah yes, a normal day at the office". Alexander does a great job at emp
Jan 08, 2011 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 ...more
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.

Jun 17, 2011 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
Ivie dan Glokta
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. Unde
Cindy Newton
May 06, 2014 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
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
This book wasn't horrifying.

It was that feeling you get going down a rollercoaster. Your gut sinking to endless abyss, where the floor of your stomach should be.

Just the reasoning behind the inhumanities reminded me so much of the Shusterman's Unwinded series. Enough to keep me creeped out the entire novel.

Alex, gets framed with reasons unexplained. No one believes his recount of the story, and he get sentenced to the Furnace.

I always knew that the little room in the basement was evil.

Dwayne Portwine
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I saw it coming at the end but it still got me. RIP. ...more
Zacary Ryan
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should really be like a 3 star, but it's like a YA/Sci-fi/Horror Shawshank redemption, and that's my kinda trash.
Shot out to Reads with Rachel for finding this for me!
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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

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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