Beneath heaven is hell. Beneath hell is Furnace. Furnace Penitentiary. The world's most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth's surface. One way in, no way out. Once you're here, you're here until you die, and for most of the inmates that doesn't take long - not with the sadistic guards and the bloodthirsty gangs. 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. Only in Furnace, death is the least of his worries.
Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and as dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates - some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers - Alex plans the prison break to end all prison breaks. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace's deeper, darker purpose, Alex's actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that's hidden from the eyes of the world.
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LIKE WOWZERS MAN!!!
I really liked the premise of this book and kind of had it on the back burner. For some reason I started it the other day and WOWZERS!!! This story completely and 100% KICKS ASS!!!!! I think Smith did a great job making believable characters (the main protag — Alex Sawyer — as well as the other boys in the prison), that I not only care about, but can't wait to invest more time in by reading this entire series. I suspended my usual aversion to cliffhanger endings because I think it really works in this case. The pace steadily increases throughout the book like Evil Knievel racing towards the ramp; faster and faster 'til his motorcycle blasts into the sky like a rocket and......tune in next time. The fearsome Warden Cross and the Blacksuits are great villains, but the Wheezers are beyond disturbing. They added a menacingly nightmarish tension to the story that left me on the edge of my seat in agony. I F'N LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I will read them all and most likely anything Mr. Smith has to offer. My favorite book of 2012 thus far.
- Adam Bailey
Graphic, but excellent suspense