Teenager Alex Sawyer has been framed for murder, and he's going to the most brutal prison imagineable. Except at this prison there are horrors lurking in the dark and in the shadows that nobody (not even the sadistic cruel prison guards) can possibly explain.
This is the set-up for the teen fiction book "Lockdown" by Alexander Gordon Smith.
Our hero Alex is actually a bit of anti-hero: he is caught early in the story stealing items with his buddy. But Alex is not evil, and he is certainly not a murderer. But that's what happens when he is framed and sentenced for murder. Alex will spend his days in Furnace, a massive underground prison built in rock and miles from civilization.
The horrors that await Alex are beyond imagination. he juveniles are required to slave away all day with pick axes as they build new rooms, and sadistic guards can torture and hurt them at will. The facilities leave nothing to be desired: blood soaked cells, sloppy bug infested food, murderous gangs, and oh yeah, genetically mutated killer dogs and people roaming the hallways at night dragging victims for unspeakable terrors.
It's a pretty exciting book!
Lockdown is riveting from start to end. The outlook seems bleak and there appears almost no hope for anyone, although there are glimmers of hope as Alex finds possible ways to escape. The characters come alive with a great balance of terror, action and horror. Alex turns out to be a young man of good character and morals and despite the previous crimes in his life, nothing seems to justify the world he must inhabit now.
This is the first in a 5-book series called "Escape from Furnace." The writer Alexander Gordon Smith is from England although you wouldn't really know it from the writing or the dialogue.
This is a great series for fast paced thrills. Following Alex on his attempt to escape from Lockdown makes for engaging reading. It is a book you will find hard to put down.