Alexander Gordon Smith
Lockdown (Furnace, Book 1)
Faber & Faber and Allen & Unwin (UK & AU: 5th March 2009); Farrar Straus & Giroux (US: October 2009, but may be differently titled)
There’s no leniency for child offenders in Lockdown, the explosive first novel in Alexander Gordon Smith’s new series.
The infamous Summer of Slaughter, in which rioting kids killed 69 people, sparked new laws, and the consequences of disobeying them are extreme. Alex Sawyer knows he deserves punishment for thievery, but not for murdering his best friend. He’s been framed, though no one believes him, and he’s incarcerated for life in Furnace Penitentiary.
Alex isn’t the only innocent prisoner in this genuinely frightening setting, and it’s no surprise he’s not the only one who wants out. Together, he and his newfound friends and foes begin hatching a plan to escape…unless they get killed first, which is likelier than one might assume.
The author has created an astounding and outstanding novel. Alexander Gordon Smith has one sick imagination, but it makes for riveting reading, combining realistic and relatable protags with the scariest, creepiest antags I’ve ever read. The blood watches are tense, eerie and utterly unforgettable.
To explain more would be spoilers, but this futuristic horror YA series is set to be an absolute cracker. The only real problem is that this first book ends in a cliffhanger, and Book 2 isn’t due out until October. (Even later in North America, you poor dears.)
I love this book so much. Start pre-ordering now, and get excited. Reading doesn’t get much better than this.