Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace.
Furnace Penitentiary: An underground hellhole. A place of pure evil with walls soaked in blood. Murderous gangs and vicious guards rule the darkness. Horrific creatures steal people away in the dead of night. And the impossible – escape – is the only hope.
Steve, do you want to start another series? Sure! So here we are, beginning the Escape from Furnace series. The first book is titled Lockdown and went by quickly. A boy is sent to prison (falsely accused and convicted), he tries to make some friends (there are some nice people in prison!), and tries to plot an escape (why would he want to go and do a thing like that?).
Sure, the plot isn’t the most interesting one, and definitely not the most original plot ever thought up. However, the little twists on reality (ie mutant guard dogs, unstoppable huge guards, and the prison itself which seems to ooze evil) are where this book makes it mark. Labelled as a thriller (with good reason) the fast plot picks up in the first chapter and rarely slows.
You guys know me, I’m all about characters. I like reading about characters that make me feel something. I honestly was very borderline on this area in Lockdown. I liked the main character, and he goes through a lot. The death, darkness, and general strife that he endures almost begins to have a numbing effect though. It is expected, and oft times not surprising. That being said, I like Alex, I like the friends that he makes, and the evil of the prison itself is a character that I’m willing to bet will become more and more developed as the series continues. Who wants a points scale? Oooh, me, me, pick me!
Title: 4/5 – There was significant locking of the down.
Cover: 2/5 – I actually really like the cover. The dude on it is menacing, the effect grand, and the typography attention grabbing. But seriously, why did they put that reflecting face on the goggle lens? Ew, I almost gave the cover a 1/5 because that is so ugly and detracting.
Plot: 6/10 – They were in a very scary prison, they made some friends, they try to escape. Not the most imaginative but a fun ride.
Characters: 7/10 – The main character Alex tells a pretty good story, some of the people he meets inside are also pretty interesting fellows. And the villains, well I’m banking that we are just touching the tip of the iceberg with them.
Writing: 7/10 – Good story Mr. Smith.
Ending: 8/10 – Great ending but as all things that deal with the Furnace prison, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
Total: 34/50 – A quick entertaining thriller. I wasn’t overly sucked in by it, but it held my attention the few short hours it took me to finish. Mr. Smith certainly does not reinvent the wheel with this book, but he gives that wheel some interesting accessories. I’m ready to see what happens next?