Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith

Death Sentence (Escape from Furnace, book 3)
by Alexander Gordon Smith

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (August 2, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Alex's second attempt to break out of Furnace Penetentiary has failed. This time his punishment will be much worse than before. Because in the hidden, bloodstained laboratories beneath the prison, he will be made into a monster. As the warden pumps something evil into his veins--a sinisterly dark nectar--Alex becomes what he most fears . . . a superhuman minion of Furnace. How can he escape when the darkness is inside him? How can he lead the way to freedom if he is lost to himself?
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Death Sentence is the third book in the Escape from Furnace series and just like the previous books I was blown away with this one.
This series is amazing and grabs the reader's attention from the start which makes it perfect for reluctant readers (especially boys). Alexander Gordon Smith is one of my favorite authors and writes such a brilliant story that there really is no age limit to who would enjoy these books. This is a young adult series and remains appropriate for that age group but as an adult reading this series I don't feel like I am missing out on anything just because it is YA.

The author's descriptive writing really drew me in. From the beginning I could feel the evil of Furnace like a great weight settling on my shoulders. I felt like I was there with Alex experiencing all the horrors that Furnace had to offer. The Warden has Alex pumped full of the vile dark nectar that transforms him and most of the book is about this horrifying change...both physical and mental. It was shocking and terrifying to read. My absolute favorite part of the book though is learning about how Furnace and these "experiments" started. I can't believe that I never really wondered about that. I just took it for what it was but now that I know, the story is even more intriguing and I am dying to learn more secrets of Furnace.

So many times while reading this I was filled with despair for Alex. He had gone so far only to be dragged back to be turned into a monster. The dark nectar erases who you are and I was worried what would happen to Alex. Would he be able to fight back the darkness or would he fully succumb to it, even embrace it? Part of me was in denial with what was happening. I just kept thinking there was no way the author would do this to Alex...turn him into this thing that was no longer him. But he went there and I love this book all the more for it. In a place like Furnace how likely is it that someone who caused that much trouble walk away unscathed? Alex HAD to go through this. He HAD to experience the wrath of Furnace. If he didn't then the story would be flat and lack the raw grittiness that makes it so enthralling. This macabre story will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Other books in the series:

Lockdown
Solitary

5/5

I was provided a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

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