Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Fugitives by Alexander Gordon Smith

"Fugitives" is the fourth installment in Alexander Gordon Smith's "Escape from Furnace" series. If you haven't read the first three books, you might want to skip the Goodreads description.

Goodreads description:

Forever altered by his experience in Furnace Penetentiary, Alex has done the impossible and escaped. But the battle for freedom is only just beginning. Charged with his superhuman abilities, Alex must uncover the last of Furnace’s secrets—the truth about the man who built the prison, the man known as Alfred Furnace. And to do that he must stop running and finally confront his greatest fears.

It has actually been a couple of weeks since I read the last page of this book, but I have been having a really tough time writing my review. When I read the first three books in the series, I hadn't been a blogger yet, so I want to make sure my first ever review for a "Furnace" book will do it justice.

There have been a few book series I have fallen in love with during the last year, but none has gripped me like this one. I still remember how I felt when I picked up "Lockdown" for the very first time. Just looking at the cover had given me the chills, and I can honestly say, those chills never went away - not once - while reading all four books up to now. At times, I actually had a hard time breathing - especially during "Solitary" - because I felt like I was right there with Alex, and with me being a tiny bit claustrophobic, imagining myself  so deep down underground is not where I want to be. Even though I wasn't actually down there, Alexander Gordon Smith has this amazing gift with his writing that he practically propels you into the world he has created. Just thinking about it, makes my chest tighten and feel really heavy. There aren't a lot of books which have had this kind of an effect on me...

I finished "Death Sentence", book three in the series, with mixed feelings - part of me was ecstatic and jumping around happily, but the bigger part of me was incredibly worried about what was to come. It turns out, the bigger part of me was so right to have been worried. Things happened I never would have imagined. I thought I had seen it all, seen the worst things Alfred Furnace has ever created, but boy, was I wrong.

As if Alex, Dee, and Simon hadn't been through enough already, they now find themselves on the run, fighting not just the Black Suits, but also Berserkers, and a whole new "demon" Alfred Furnace has unleashed.

Words to describe Alfred Furnace's mind are easy to come by - dark, disturbed, sick, twisted, insane, and I would take the liberty to say he is extremely delusional. I can't even fathom how a person like that can even live with himself.

With everything seeming so hopeless, the introduction of a new character actually shone a little bit of light - not a big flashy light, but still a light in this dark, gut-wrenching world. It gave me hope for at least one of my beloved characters.

After reading "Death Sentence", I really thought for a little while Alex had the worst behind him - that it could only get better from there on out. Little did I know of what especially Alex had still to face. All of the author's reminders that Alex really isn't all that good of a person, didn't make facing his struggles with him any easier. Even though I knew from the start what he had done in the past, I could never really see him as a bad person, which might make me sound like a crazy person. He made a wrong decision and it spiraled from there. He will now have to make another decision which will not only determine his own fate, but also the one of everyone he loves and cares about.

What Alex has to encounter next is almost unbelievable and I am extremely scared for the fifth and final book - not only because of the title being "Execution", but also the cover for it. It's the creepiest of them all and freaks me right out.

Overall I devoured this book the same way I did all it's predecessors and I am relieved I will not have to wait until November to read "Execution", since my amazing friend in England got it for me already. I am sure you can imagine how I have been stalking my mailbox and will continue to do so until it gets here. Even though I prefer the US covers over the UK ones, I don't think I could handle the wait until November. I need to know how it all ends - NOW!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Finding a quote or passage to share is really, really hard, because there are so many I would love to write down, but most of which are very spoiler-y. In the end I decided for this one:

My ears began to ring, and for an absurd moment I swore I could feel that building searching for me, like a giant eyeball scouring the city. The ringing grew more intense, unbearable, like a high-powered drill working into the flesh of my brain.


"Fugitives" is available right here:

Amazon                              Barnes & Nobles                              The Book Depository


Some places where you can stalk Alexander Gordon Smith:

his amazing website

twitter: @AGSmith_Author

He is an incredible author and is always super nice when he is interacting with his readers. I am still completely stunned and ecstatic that he likes the countdown widget I made for "Execution".

If you haven't already, go check out this fantastic series - whether you buy it or borrow it from your library, 
you will not regret it for a second, I promise.

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