Alexander Gordon Smith

Faber (2010)

ISBN: 9780571245611

Reviewed by Kaitlyn Fall, May 2010

Furnace: Death Sentence is the third book in the Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith, and it deviates to a place the last two books feared to go. This is saying something, because those books went far.

Alex was so close to freedom, he actually caught a glimpse of daylight through the chimney. Unfortunately for him (and we readers), it was never to be. Caught once again, Alex is dragged to the infirmary, where his worst nightmare comes to pass. He is turned into the very monster he has been fighting against since entering Furnace. Poison of the worst kind flows through his veins, his body is ripped apart and sewn back together with additions to his insides, and worst of all, his mind is lost to the darkness.

But those who guard the prison didn’t count on one thing. Alex is strong. Stronger than the rest. And by turning him into a monster, they may have just given him the tools he needs to escape…

If the summary of this book has already turned you off, you probably shouldn’t read it. It’s just as gruesome as the first two, but if you’ve made it through the beginning of the series, you’ll make it through this one. Possibly because this time it feels there is a real chance that Alex is finally going to suck in that breath of fresh air he’s been longing to do for so long now. I won’t go into too much detail lest I spoil the story, but I will say that Smith delivers some of the answers we readers have been waiting for, and gives an ending that has long been coming, while still promising more story.

I probably don’t have to talk anyone into reading this book. If you’ve already read the first two, you’ll be lining up to read the third.