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Death Sentence: Escape from Furnace 3 Hardcover – August 2, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Escape from Furnace Series

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Editorial Reviews


“In this third installment of the Furnace series, Gordon-Smith has pulled out all the stops. It is a tour de force of action and adventure… Honestly, this reviewer could not put this book down, having thoroughly enjoyed all of the novels in this series, and will anxiously await the release of Fugitives: Escape from Furnace 4 due winter 2012. Please continue to wow us, Mr. Gordon Smith--your books are a pleasure to read.” ―VOYA

“Fresh and ferocious, Lockdown will hook boys with its gritty, unrelenting surprises.” ―James Patterson

Furnace is hotter than hell and twice as much fun! Sign me up for a life sentence of Alexander Gordon Smith!” ―Darren Shan, author of the Demonata series

“This nightmarish start to a new series is unrelentingly bleak, uniquely horrifying, and strangely compelling.” ―Realms of Fantasy magazine on the Escape from Furnace series

“A great next choice for fans of The Maze Runner, The Grassland Trilogy. . . or Lord of the Flies . . . Recommended for dystopia, thriller, and horror fans, or anyone looking for a fast-paced, spine-chilling ride.” ―Jennifer Robinson's Bookpage on the Escape from Furnace series

“Readers will be turning pages without pause, and the cliff-hanger ending will have them anticipating the next installment. Most appealing is Smith's flowing writing style, filled with kid-speak, colorful adjectives, and amusing analogies. Fans of James Patterson's ‘Maximum Ride' and Darren Shan's ‘The Demonata' series will find this satisfying fare.” ―School Library Journal on the Escape from Furnace series

“Not for the faint-hearted, this dramatic British import is both a page- and stomach-turner. . . The pacing is superb, building on the tension as each horror is revealed while saving the ultimate monstrosity for the cliffhanger ending.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books on the Escape from Furnace series

Lockdown is a beautifully written book that builds itself up on violence, suspense, and mystery.” ―A YALSA YA Galley Teen Reader

About the Author

Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he first explored his love of publishing. Along with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a groundbreaking magazine and press that promotes talented new authors. He also started writing literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. The endless research for these projects led to countless book ideas germinating in his head. His first book, The Inventors, written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the U.K. in 2007. He lives in England.


Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 11
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Escape from Furnace (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1 edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374324948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374324940
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the third book of the ESCAPE FROM FURNACE series, Alex Sawyer must confront the worst enemy of all - himself.

The Warden of Furnace should be furious with Alex. Alex has tricked him, defied him, and tried to escape - twice! However, the Warden views Alex with something worse than rage: he sees him as a good candidate.

Suffering from injuries and burns from his second escape attempt, Alex is taken to the infirmary where the wheezers inject him with the starry midnight nectar that keeps him from feeling pain, but also infuses him with a building anger. As Alex's body tries to heal, the Warden and blacksuits begin poisoning Alex's mind with words, with films, and with promises of what life will be like when he is one of them.

Slowly, Alex begins to turn into what he has fought so hard against - an inhabitant of Furnace.

The third novel of this series was awesome! Smith has managed to turn the series on the reader. For the first two books, I was anxious for Alex, hoping he'd survive Furnace with his life intact, then his sanity. In this book, I was simply hoping Alex would be able to keep his own identity! The non-stop action keeps the story rolling right along, and leaves with a cliffhanger that makes the wait for the next book so hard to bear!

Reviewed by: Hayes aka Haute Librarian
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Furnace Penitentiary is a fortress. A mile beneath the surface, with walls of chiseled rock, escape is not a viable option.

Not when there are cameras everywhere, mounted machine guns ready to take aim at the first sign of rebellion and black suits more than happy to deliver their brand of justice.

But when your only other choices are to die or become a monster, trying to find a way out seems worth the risk.

Even if it means unleashing an evil that you can't control. Even if it means enduring the Warden's wrath. And even if it means that Alfred Furnace will be coming for you.


Death Sentence is third, pulse-pounding, action-packed and bone-chilling installment in the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. With each new book, the series gets darker, the dangers to the main character Alex become exponentially greater, his chances of survival grow slimmer and the need to escape is even more critical.

Readers were first introduced to the blood watch, the dogs, the black suits, the wheezers and the Warden. Then they got to meet the rats. But there are things that are even more terrifying, even more deadly. Things that even the Warden can't control.

They are the berserkers. These terrifying creatures that were once human are Alfred Furnace's creations. Experiments gone wrong. Beings so devoid of humanity, filled only with rage and tremendous power, that their bloodlust knows no bounds and their loyalty is to no man. They will kill without thought, slaughter without mercy. And if they were to be let loose, there would be almost no hope for survival.

In Death Sentence, author Alexander Gordon Smith takes readers to new parts of Furnace Penitentiary and introduces them to all sorts of new horrors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a massive wild ride. My eyes hurt from reading the words so fast, my fingers hurt from turning the pages so quickly, my mind hurts from the unbelievable story this book threw at me. Yes, this is book 3. When I thought the horror couldn't get any worse, this was the best most awesome horror read ever. This has got to be the best horror series EVER!! Addictive, totally adrenaline pumping. Reading this book was like being on a treadmill on high speed with the inability of never being able to stop.
The story will flood into you like a cold rush. Wow, Mr Alexander Gordon Smith. He could be the next King, even better than King ever could have thought to be.

Yes, mighty powerful words, but read it for yourself, starting from book one and I am confident you will see it my way here.

In this read without giving too much away, Alex the main character has been caught, again and as far as the prison sees it, the last time he will ever outwit this horrid hell that is Furnace. Its his turn to become a Black suit, a monstrosity. What happens to him is just gut wrenching. BUT...there will be HELL to pay...Ive gotta know what happens next, on to book 4.
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By Conan on September 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
My 11 year old says this is the best series he has ever read, and he has read most of them. He mentioned them to a friend and within a week all his friends were reading them. The aftercare program at his school, getting wind of the books, banned them as "too violent," but we complained to the principal who stood behind the kids and against the usual obese brainless morons who love to exert control where control is not needed. Go for it, these are better than anything out there.
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Format: Hardcover
"Death Sentence" is the third in Smith's ESCAPE FROM FURNACE series and it is definitely the most action packed - and violent. I have read the previous two books - Lockdown: Escape from Furnace 1 and Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2. I think this is a great dystopian series and I had a hard time tearing myself away from this third glimpse into a frightening future where youth are jailed for all types of crimes - and are given life sentences.

"Death Sentence" answered quite a few of the questions that came up in the previous two books but also came up with a whole slew more.

Alex, remember your name; wheezers, blacksuits, the dreadful warden, nectar, pain and causing pain, mayhem and death, old friends, new comrades in terror, Nazis, brainwashing, death, violence and Alfred Furnace - all combined for a "bloody" good time in this mayhem marathon.

NOTE: I am an adult of 50+ years. I have enjoyed this series and will continue to read it until I get all my questions answered but I don't necessarily agree that this is a Young Adult book. Each book of the series seems to have gotten progressively more violent, bloody and gory. Something I've written before - just because the protagonists in a book are young does not necessarily make the book appropriate for young readers.

There are two more books planned in this series (they already might be out in England). These are Fugitives: Escape from Furnace 4 and "Execution: Escape From Furnace 5".
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