“… I was so tired and scared that my mind was delirious, and the more I lay there thinking about it the more I was convinced that Furnace was Hades, Gehenna, the pit where sinners are sent to rot away for all of eternity. It made perfect sense – the warden and his devil eyes, the Blacksuits with their superhuman strength, the Weezers that looked like tortured ghosts of Nazi storm troopers…”
Alexander Gorden Smith’s Lockdown had officially been honored a place on my bedstand around a year or two ago and I remember thinking (before I read the book) that Lockdown would either live up to the awesome cover, that built a sense of fear before the book was even opened, or it would crash and burn trying to create something frightening that was obviously not. But the greater forces prevailed and the book turned out to be what my father would call a ‘page turner’. The main character Alex is an anti-hero who grew up living a life of petty crime which eventually grew in into burglary then ironically Alex was sent off to Furnace for a crime he didn’t commit. This is around the time in the book when Alex encounters his foes and friends. These boys are forced to brave the horrors of Furnace with a single united hope of freedom which they all share and strive for. This combination of clear characters, interesting plot and a great mixture of horror, action and hope build a compelling story that I couldn’t put down.