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execution

The whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master. Monsters rule the streets, beasts of pure fury that leave nothing but murder and madness in their wake. Those who do not die are turned, becoming slaves to Furnace's reign of cruelty. It is a war to end all wars, one that will leave the planet in ruins. I am a monster too. I am one of Alfred Furnace's cThe whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master. Monsters rule the streets, beasts of pure fury that leave nothing but murder and madness in their wake. Those who do not die are turned, becoming slaves to Furnace's reign of cruelty. It is a war to end all wars, one that will leave the planet in ruins. I am a monster too. I am one of Alfred Furnace's children. And I am the only one who can stop him. I have to find a way to use my powers to destroy Furnace, but in doing so I risk becoming the very force that kills us all. I don't know if I am the executed or the executioner. I don't know who will die: me, Furnace or the entire human race. All I know is that one way or another, it all ends today....

Title : Execution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571259403
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Execution Reviews

  • Brittany
    2019-05-09 14:04

    This series is really too amazing. I probably cried a little too much reading this book. I won`t reiterate what I have been saying about it in my reviews of the previous books. It`s been a while since I`ve read a series as memorably impactful about human nature and the bonds that tie us together in life. I felt like the story enabled me to empathize with the characters` journey. I could feel their pain, their desperation, their despair, and most of all, their growth. They were just children. But they weren`t just children at the end. I enjoy reading books on a large scale. It`s hard for me to name one my favorite. number one. the best. Since there are so many books focusing individually on a variety of different topics: Friendship. Life. Humanity. Loneliness. I don`t really know what category to put this series under.All I can be sure of is that it was so bittersweet. So awfully, beautifully bittersweet.

  • Lucija
    2019-05-21 13:21

    A great conclusion to the series, even though I bawled during the whole thing.*SPOILER*"I pictured him scampering along the corridors beneath the prison, evading the blacksuits and the rats, staying alive. He'd never abandoned us. He had always come back.Not this time, though.We never saw Simon again." Can I just die now? I loved their friendship and they had been through so much. This was just so heartbreaking for me. *SPOILER END*What was the best in these series were the characters. I connected with them deeply and I missed them all, even Sam the blacksuit. I cried (again) every time Donovan was Alex's anchor, keeping him from drifting off to madness. How he was his guardian angel, and it's so sad he had to die. Maybe if Alex hadn't killed him, he would remember his name and be with them now. *sobs* The idea is sick, but very original, and I loved every gruesome bit of it. Anyway, you can read the epilogue here:www.alexandergordonsmith.com/epilogue... All in all, a journey through hell and back with Alex, with tears but laughter as well. And I would join him any time again.

  • Josiah
    2019-05-20 10:29

    When the time comes to wrap up a story, Alexander Gordon Smith usually delivers. Every Escape from Furnace book, though the first three in particular, brings readers tantalizingly near the sweet freedom we crave ever since Alex Sawyer is framed for the murder of his best friend and sentenced to Furnace Penitentiary, stowed more than a mile underground where no inmate has a realistic chance of seeing daylight ever again. It's tense and claustrophobic, and many kids sent there crack under the pressure and opt for the permanent relief of suicide, but Alex, Zee, and the friends they make in prison refuse to give up. In defiance of reality a flicker of hope burns within, and this prods them to engineer an escape so improbable as to border on impossible. The daring young cohorts reach out to take their freedom time and again at the end of the first three books only to have it snatched away, but that pattern has changed by the fifth and final entry in the series, Execution. This is Alex's last opportunity to set the world right, to defeat the powers that run Furnace. Only a finish for the ages could do justice to this magnificent series, but Alexander Gordon Smith is the one in control, and I trust his writing instincts. We're about to find out Alex's fate.Eliminating Warden Cross at the end of the previous book makes it clear to Alex that nothing but the death of Alfred Furnace, the man behind Furnace Penitentiary, can end the nightmare now facing the world. Furnace's monsters are everywhere, destroying homes and businesses, killing innocents by the thousand. The military bravely resists, but humans aren't strong enough to fight the nightmarish beasts of Alfred Furnace's twisted creation. When Alex is captured and brought to a government research facility, he encounters Colonel Alice Panettierre, who intends to experiment on Alex to learn how the nectar coursing through his veins changes humans. Panettierre's goals appear noble, but her experiments grow more and more demanding until Alex's life is in jeopardy. As Panettierre resorts to threatening Zee, Simon, and Lucy if Alex won't cooperate, Alfred Furnace's elephantine minions raid the facility and break Alex and his friends out. Suddenly Alex finds himself in control of Furnace's berserkers and blacksuits, his commands relayed to them telepathically. Panettierre won't relinquish her precious test subjects without a fight, but with Alfred Furnace on their side it's only a matter of time before Alex and company are on the lam again, headed toward the private island where Furnace lives in his gothic fortress. Alex is dead set on killing the founder of the prison where he suffered, but Furnace doesn't seem afraid, making it easy for the posse of fugitives to come to him. "We are all puppets hanging over an ocean of madness...All it takes is one simple snip and we fall." —Execution, P. 62 The island holds enigmas that Panettierre and the rest of the world wouldn't have a clue how to solve, but Alex has seen enough to know nothing is impossible. Panettierre doesn't even believe this could be the real Alfred Furnace, who would be hundreds of years old, but Alex knows it's him. Threats from within and without will test Alex on the island as never before, ripping at the weakened fabric of his conscience. Can he keep from plunging into a bottomless moral abyss, victim of his own appalling actions while under Furnace's influence? Can he stop himself from gorging on the power that Alfred Furnace offers and hurting more innocents himself, becoming as irredeemable as Furnace? The battle for Alex's freedom and the freedom of a world under siege by evil will come to an end one way or another in this book. It's up to Alex and his friends to write the story they want told about them."But I'm starting to understand that you don't have to be perfect to be good. You can do bad things and still be a good person." —Execution, P. 309 The Escape from Furnace series is often about people being grossly misjudged, reviled for what society presumes them to be when they are not, in fact, guilty of the charges brought against them. Alex and Zee are the main examples, juveniles who dabbled in minor criminal mischief but are not murderers. Alfred Furnace's minions are kids, too, pumped full of nectar and forced to commit atrocities, and Alex understands this better than ever now that he is their temporary leader. When he sees one berserker languishing on the roadside after an attack by Panettierre's men, Alex is moved to help the pitiful creature, dying alone and unloved. "It's only a berserker", Simon points out, but Alex knows that isn't the whole story. "(I)t was more than that. It was a child. Torn open and patched back together too many times to be recognizable, yes, but it had once been like me, like all of us." We're all kids who have mutated and been torn and haphazardly sewn back together. We bear the scars, but that doesn't mean we don't deserve mercy. A child regarded only as a deplorable berserker needs the compassion of others more than ever. Figuring out what's true and what is cleverly disguised falsehood is a difficult game when people have been transformed as profoundly as Alfred Furnace has transformed his dark army, but only we ultimately control our own thoughts, and as long as we remember that, the game can be won. An old ally reminds Alex of this when he's on the verge of crossing a line that can never be uncrossed. Alex alone regulates how things work in his own head, his dearly departed friend says. "My head, my rules," Alex repeats to himself to stave off Alfred Furnace's manipulative tactical advances. Keeping that simple truth in mind is the way to win any mental game, even against the world's most despicable power master. Execution emphasizes in no uncertain terms that Zee is the reason things have a chance of turning out okay in the story. Alex has other friends who come and go along the way, some who survive to the end and others who perish for the cause, but Zee is the bright spot in every midnight that Alex endures. His survival is by no means guaranteed—so many other bright spots are extinguished suddenly and brutally within Furnace Penitentiary—and the dread of something happening to Zee is ever-present in the series. Zee isn't just another kid; he's someone we can't bear to see die, and the other characters reflect our feelings for him. Panettierre zeroes in on Zee as a valuable test subject because of his immunity to the nectar, and her fixation on obtaining him puts Alex and the others at risk once they're on the run. How far would they go to protect their friend? "What if Zee was the key to discovering some kind of antidote to the nectar? What if killing him meant curing every other kid in the world? Would I seriously sacrifice the future of humankind just to save one kid—a kid I hadn't even known for that long, when it came down to it? Would I trade a billion lives for one? The answer was as inevitable as it was illogical: yes, of course I would. 'Yes, but it's Zee,' I said." That's the answer we wanted to hear, an affirmation that Zee is as important to the series as he is to us. As long as Zee hangs around, so does hope. Lockdown (book one) is definitely the best Escape from Furnace novel, in my opinion, a work of brilliant atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates the power of hope. Death Sentence (book three) is second best, followed closely by Solitary (book two), then Execution and then Fugitives, but all five are good. I'd rate Execution two and a half stars, but the margin between rounding up or down is thin, and I could have rounded up. The ending of Execution has its poignant moments that do right by the series, honoring some of my favorite characters (such as Ozzie) who died trying to break out of Furnace and confront its founder's evil agenda, but the greatest reward is the simple sweetness of Alex's liberty after society had written him off and threw him down the deepest, blackest well it could find. To experience freedom after Furnace is a miracle we shouldn't take lightly, and the narrative builds to it in a gratifying crescendo. This series is special, and I'm eternally grateful to Alexander Gordon Smith for it. I am stronger and better because of these books. "Hope. It is the most important thing in the world. I believe that now more than ever. Hope is what saved my life, hope is what gave me the courage and the strength to carry on. Hope—that unshakeable, golden belief that things can get better—is why I'm here talking to you now. Without it, we are nothing." —Execution, P. 311

  • Kimberly
    2019-05-12 16:26

    I have truly enjoyed this series, immensely! I have seen every word, phrase, paragraph, every action, every character and every location all very CLEARLY in my mind when reading these freakin' awesome books. I am in love with this author now. This book was the ending to our adventure or rather misadventures and horrors with Alex and the Furnace Penitentiary, along with its monsters and horrid occurrences. One day I could see this series making it to the big-screen. I would love to beg people to read these and give them a chance. Each book is better than the one before it. I have no fingernails now after reading the entire series. A lot of what happened will stay with me and Ill think about Alex the main character and his friends and the horrors they went through for a long time to come. I dont think Ill forget any of this.Bravo to you Mr Smith! This was phenomenal. A superb author! I think it will be hard for me to find any books to top these. You have set the bar very high Alexander. Thank you for taking us on this amazing roller-coaster of a journey. I saw it all, you spin a story like you own a golden word loom.

  • Julianne
    2019-04-26 12:16

    I liked this book and wanted to give it more stars but there were some MAJOR holes in the plot that I just can't overlook. I really did enjoy this series though as a whole, and I really like the author's writing style. I will definitely check out some of his other stuff.Plot holes:(view spoiler)[1. When Alex made all his "children" die, if he could only control his "children" as a whole, and not make an exception for Simon, then why didn't Simon fight when he commanded the entire group to fight the army?2. Why couldn't "the stranger" live outside Panettiere? He lived outside Alfred Furnace before Alfred became his host.3. I thought once you had nectar in you, you'd die without it. Yet in book 5, Alex never "feeds" yet stays strong. And eventually all the nectar is removed and replaced with human blood. We were led to believe that would kill him so I don't understand how it's suddenly possible. (hide spoiler)]

  • Carie
    2019-05-14 12:09

    Maybe more of a 3.5. This is probably my least favorite book of the series--it really did get a bit over-the-top crazy at times, but I still thought it was a satisfying ending to the series. I liked the attempt to explain why Furnace was the way he was. I LOVED the friendships throughout this whole series and the shows of emotion from the characters. I also liked the pervasive theme of hope in each book (though a lot of faith, patience, and long-suffering are required of the reader in this series!) and that I was never able to predict what would happen next. There were a few things I didn’t like (see SPOILERS below), but overall it’s a solid ending. I really liked the epilogue on the Furnace website, too!! (The usual warning: still tons of violence and gore in this installment.)**SPOILERS**: There were entirely too many “near death” moments. And, overall, I thought things really went too far with Alex--very nearly beyond the point of no return and he seemed to continually have to make the same choice over and over again throughout the series. I guess the idea was “how low can you go--how far can you go--and still pull yourself back?”, but it was really too much for me at times. I found it hard not to constantly despair at all that Alex had lost and that he could never have any semblance of normality in his future. The last 3 books of this series started to remind me of the “Uglies” series by Scott Westerfeld, but Furnace was better IMO because Alex never truly lost his core self--no matter what happened to his outside or any temporary insanity he underwent. I didn’t even recognize Tally inside or out by the end of SPECIALS. Very, VERY sad about Simon. LOVE Zee!! LOVED when Alex went home!! Not sure about all the crazy draining of blood and that Alex’s fate at the end was at all realistic, given everything that had happened physically, but it was a good and satisfying ending for me! Much better than I expected it would all turn out when I started this book! Yeah!!!

  • Adam
    2019-04-24 12:27

    In 2004, the year I graduated from high school, "young adult" was a wishy-washy label attached haphazardly to all sorts of books, the most popular being Harry Potter, that were, yes, geared towards younger audiences but were also clean and slightly patronizing. Sure, Harry Potter learned some valuable life lessons, faced down seemingly invincible foes, and grew as both a wizard and a person--what teenager can't relate to that in some way?--but overall the books in that series, as well as most others published at the time, were pretty inoffensive; if you weren't a complete idiot who read too much into wizardry, Harry's journey was almost quaint in a way, like a bedtime story expanded over a few thousand pages. Rowling's series was all the rage when I was in high school, and while the subject matter didn't appeal to me, I gave the first book a shot: I read it in a few days, thought it was a perfectly acceptable story, and never read the rest of the series, content that my prejudgments about "young adult" or teen-oriented literature were accurate.*Five years later, I found myself standing in front of teenagers eight hours a day, five days a week, attempting to teach them some of the "serious" literature I so enjoyed when I was their age. Sometimes I succeeded, more often than not I failed...but a source of pride that first year was my avoidance of anything "young adult." So patronizing, I told myself, writing down to teenagers. I thought it was disrespectful to my students--all those authors writing in a certain style about certain topics that were appealing to some stereotypical 16-year-old out there somewhere; they should be reading books by adults, for adults, because that's what they were destined to be. That image of "young adult" that was so thoroughly welded to my brain as a teenager wouldn't come undone, even as student after student talked about their newest book with such wide-eyed enthusiasm. The books they read--for pleasure, not for assignment--were about dating, drug abuse, car chases, demons, zombies, possessions and exorcisms, sci-fi adventures, and on and on. I was caught a little off-guard, and I had a choice: adapt, or be stuck in the past with my strange book prejudices.Eventually, they wore me down, and I began reading so-called "young adult" books. At first there were one or two, checked out skeptically and with a little embarrassment from the local library, and soon there were more...so much so that by my fourth year as a teacher, I was reading books that were either recommended to me by students or presented through book reports and projects and sounded too interesting to pass up. They were different, well-written, and mature in their own ways--not patronizing, but clear, straightforward, and driven almost exclusively by plot instead of meaning or academic ambiguity. The authors knew their audience and what they wanted to read, which made the stories all the more enjoyable; for someone whose love of reading had been thoroughly debased by five years of constant undergrad analysis and literary theory, it was like being led out of a prison from which I could've escaped at any time.This inevitably brought me to Alexander Gordon Smith's Escape From Furnace series, which I began reading in December of last year and finished this past week, April 2013. What began as a simple, albeit strange and ominous story of a young boy--Alex Sawyer--who is falsely arrested and imprisoned in the titular hellhole, Furnace, became over five books the fascinating, horrifying, and consistently surprising story of Sawyer's transformation--physically, mentally, emotionally--into something far more than the skinny hoodlum he began as. There's very little I can do review-wise to explain what makes Smith's series such a good read, other than to just list the reasons one by one.1. It's Honest. Life sometimes sucks. It's a fact teenagers know all too well and adults are too willing to forget. Their own experiences are shrouded by embarrassment and faded by time, and they dismiss the problems of adolescence as little more than the complaints of lazy whiners who don't understand dedication, hard work, and perseverance. But life does suck, undeniably so at times and never more clearly--or unfairly--than during those teen years when adults lecture on and on about preparing their kids for "the real world" without actually ceding any sort of real freedom or responsibility. Sawyer's experiences are beyond anything the average teenager would have to face--by the end of the series, he's literally a Frankenstein's monster, a shell of what he used to be--but he still faces adults who take advantage of his sub-status in society, manipulate him emotionally, judge him by his mistakes, refuse to trust him, and so on. He takes on leadership roles to the point that, by the fifth book, he has become the entire world's one and only savior...and afterwards, in a fantastic epilogue, earns the trust and respect of every adult he encounters. Yes, life sucks--and being a teenager doubly sucks--but Smith shows his readers that, at the end of the road, there is freedom from it all.2. It's Graphic. J.K. Rowling...Lemony Snicket...Christopher Paolini...not a single one of them would have ever even considered including one-tenth of the graphic elements Smith includes in his book. These range from scenes of torture, vivisection, Frankenstein-style dismembering and reassemblies, and cross-species transformations to murder, visceral to-the-death fight scenes, decapitations, bombings, immolations, and near cannibalism. And Smith writes them with an increasingly normalcy to his style, which is perhaps the most unnerving aspect to the whole thing. By the fifth book, this is the world Sawyer lives in now, and he's used to it...so we should be, too. Because, after all, we live in a world that is just as hideous and dispassionate towards others, and it's important for everyone, even teenagers and "impressionable" young people, to understand this: there are people out there who are violent, vengeful, and downright evil, and they do unspeakable things to other people. The key is not to avoid these things; the key is to acknowledge that they exist, resist the immediate gut reactions that say "turn away" or "this doesn't concern you," and decide how it can be stopped, how it can be prevented, how it affects even those of us who live half a world away from it. We cannot keep these events hidden in the shadows, like a mutated young boy in a below-ground prison; they must come to the light, and with it, the solution. Otherwise, we will face the consequences of our ignorance and inaction.3. It's Surprising. Can't kill off main characters in a book? Smith begs to disagree. It's almost unnerving how willingly Smith dispenses with his characters, even those who have been with Sawyer since the beginning. In a way, it's refreshingly honest--see #1 above--and also the way a good story should be told: without predictability, willing to do what the reader doesn't expect--maybe even what the reader doesn't want--for the sake of advancing the plot, forcing the characters to adapt and grow, and building the tension in search of a thundering climax. Any shock I felt over Sawyer's torture and transformation--becoming the Frankenstein's monster--was quickly overpowered by a dozen more shocking moments in the book...related to their escape, to the nectar, to London itself and the plague, to the Warden, to Albert Furnace. I finished one book, thought about how the next book would most likely proceed--based on cliches and little else--and was happily proven wrong every time, and almost always from the first two or three chapters.4. It's Hopeful. As one of my students said to me, "It ends with one of the best speeches about hope in all the books I've read." I don't disagree, but it's not just the closing speech in Smith's fifth book that offers hope to the readers--it's the entire series. By the closing pages of Execution, Alex Sawyer has endured more heartbreak, torture, violence, hatred, isolation, war, and death than...well, just about anyone. (This is a sci-fi book, after all.) There are more than a few moments where he turns himself over to the darker side of his nature, often far past the point of no return, and still he comes back. He remembers his friends, his name, his parents, the mistakes he's made, and the journey he's endured...and all of it gives him strength when virtually the entire world is against him. It's a clear message that, even at the lowest points in your life, when everything and everyone around you seems to be working against you, when you feel like something other than the good and decent person you are--maybe even when you feel like a failure, a loner, a freak, a monster--you have the strength and attitude to rise above it.5. It Doesn't Talk Down. Alex Sawyer is a teenager, beginning to end, but other than the stupid decisions he makes that get him in trouble in the first place--mistakes that, honestly, can be made by anyone, regardless of age--he doesn't talk or act stereotypically. Had Smith interrupted the story at any point and written passages intended to lecture or teach a message--moments of the author banging his message on the heads of his readers--all would have been lost. But when Smith feels the need to do this, he has his characters embody these epiphanies--slowly, quietly, almost like a sunrise coming over them and warming their faces. And more often than not, we see them coming, too, sometimes from miles away, but still we wait for Alex to realize them with anticipation: it's yet another turn in the story, another chance for this transformed young man to grow by yet another small degree. Sawyer is allowed to be a full character--a person--rather than a soapbox spouting cliches or words of wisdom. And really, that's what "young adult" literature is: not literature for "young adults," no, because that would be patronizing; rather, it's about all the little changes we undergo when we're young--the everyday triumphs, the moments of understanding and overcoming, the failures and lessons that come with failing, the leaving behind of who we once were and gradual becoming of who we need to be--and how those changes never truly leave us. We all become adults one day, but by keeping the memories and lessons with us, constantly reminding ourselves of where we came from, we stay young.*Even as a teenager I was a lit snob, my locker filled with books by Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, and Jerzy Kosinski.This review was originally published at There Will Be Books Galore.

  • Steven R. McEvoy
    2019-05-18 14:20

    It is always a little sad when you come to the end of a series of books that you really enjoy. That is how I approached this fifth and final book in the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. It has been a wild ride as we have followed Alex Sawyer go from a young child really, being framed for murder, to seeing him challenge Alfred Furnace for control of all who have been infected with the Nectar. This series was dark, gripping and compelling. Every time I started one of the books in the series it was like being drawn into a dark vision of a possible future. It is set in a future that starts by living in fear and reactionary responses to that fear. This story was amazing and wrapped up the series nicely. There is however an online epilogue available that appends another chapter to the story.In the first book we were told, 'Beneath Heaven is Hell, and beneath Hell is Furnace'. Now all of Alfred Furnaces' creatures are on the loose and rampaging across the country. In this book Alex and his friends realize that they thought when they got to the Army everything would be ok. But Furnaces' rats and berserkers are tearing through the army across the continent and if rumors are true, even off-continent. Alex feels drawn to Furnace for the confrontation he promised. And somehow the Black Suits and other creatures of Furnace are heeding Alex's wishes. England is devastated by this war between creatures of the nectar and normal civilians. And it is a war that Furnace is winning. Throw in the mix a scientist who is losing her mind or already has. Alex and his friends must once again fight to escape their captors and hunt down Furnace for the final confrontation....Read the rest of the review and with links to other reviews by the authors on my blog Book Reviews and More.

  • Aidan Hall
    2019-05-20 16:11

    This book was a very good book, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrilling adrenaline filled books! But in order to fully understand the book, reading the previous 4 books would help for you to fully understand this book. In this book, Alex, (the main character), searches to find Alfred Furnace but as Alex is trying je encounters the government who offers him help for his sewn together body, but the government turns on him and tries to kill him but Alex is saved by a blacksuit, (one of Furnaces guards), and Alex and his friends, the ones who are still alive, and they set out to find Alfred Furnace. Alex also learns that Alfred Furnace has control over anyone with the "New Nectar" and the "Old Nectar" inside their veins. Once Alex reaches the island where Alfred Furnace is, he find the true about why Alfred Furnace wanted Alex to come to the island, and Furnace has planned this all along. To read the rest of this book and find out the end, read this book, it ends with a twist you'll never see coming!

  • Shandra
    2019-05-04 14:29

    Another wild ride in the Escape from Furnace series!!! I'm sort of at a loss of what to say about this one. I'm sad to see the series come to a close, but I'm also perfectly content with where it ends. I'm also happy that characters I've come to care for finally have closure, good or bad. This book gave a lot of back history on Mr. Alfred Furnace and helps to put a lot of pieces in place. I really enjoyed this series for a lot of reasons. None of the books disappointed me and I just love Zee!!! Poor kids really went through a lot during this series!!

  • Whitney
    2019-04-29 12:14

    We have finally reached the conclusion of Escape From Furnace and what a wild ride it's been. From blacksuits, mutant dogs, wheezers, and the warden, to murderous gangs, berserkers, and rats, we've made it to the end. Since this is the last book in the series this review will be a mix of me reviewing the series as a whole and of Execution.In the final installment of Escape From Furnace, we follow Alex, Simon, Lucy, and Zee as they seek to destroy the monster who started this all; Alfred Furnace. In the process Alex has turned into a monster, but he's managed to hold onto himself. Alex is also the only person who can destroy Furnace. But can he do that before Furnace destroys him? Will the executioner become the executed?PlotThe plot in Execution is a continuation of the later half of the plot from the previous book, Fugitives. Now that Alex and friends are out of Furnace they deal with the new threat that is Alfred Furnace and his horrifying beasts that he unleashed upon the world. The main plot now is to kill Furnace before his virus spreads across the entire world. The original plot from the first three books was wonderful. It felt like Lockdown, Solitary, andDeath Sentence were already somewhat planned out when Smith started working on his series. It was very simple; escape from Furnace Penitentiary. The problem came when Fugitives was published. The two final books felt less refined and they read as if there were a Part II to the original series instead of a continuation of the previous books. Maybe if the five books had been split apart into different series, the first three being one series and the last two being another. The plot doesn't flow as well from Death Sentence to Fugitives and Execution as it did from books one, two, and three. It's probably because the plot suddenly got more complex. You can't go from a simple plot to a complex one without giving some hints to what's in store for the readers.This was the biggest problem I had with the plot int the last two books. It felt... disconnected from the rest of the books. I think this was because of poor planning on Smith's part. In the Q&A's in the back of the series he admits that he didn't do a lot of planning and it shows. Smith says he didn't plan out Alex's escape and let his characters to what they wanted. That was a very good decision on his part. The first part of the series had that organic feeling. He messed up when he let the story flow without direction when the plot got heavier. That was when he should have taken the reigns a bit and planned out a little more. You can almost see him scrambling to tie up loose ends with the introduction of Panettierre and the Stranger. I felt like they were both created with the sole purpose of making sure that everything was tied up at the end and it gave the plot a very hollow, unreal feeling, unlike the beginning of the series. The scrambling he did plot-wise is what made me bump Execution to four stars. Execution being the final book is what saved it from getting three stars, honestly.WritingI've practically sang from the rooftops about Smith's writing all throughout this series. The writing was emotional and very gripping. Things weren't over or under explained at all. Smith, more times than not, knew the right amount of words to use. I did have some problems picturing things he described but that might have been a personal issue as I haven't really seen anybody else complain about it. In Execution Smith's writing skills have really been put to the test. The urgency, the emotions, the horror, are all there. These feelings are so interwoven into the pages of the book that you can feel yourself physically reacting to them. He did such a good job at writing these feelings that he deserves an award.Make no mistake, though. There are some faults to his writing. When the scenes aren't full of action they tend to get very boring. Nearly all of Solitary and Fugitives was slow and dull. And the first half of Execution seemed to drag along as well. It took me nearly four hours to get through the first half of Execution but only around two to get through the second half. There's also this weird thing he does where he uses the same descriptors over and over again. Every wheezer had "piggy eyes" or eyes like coal. And every berserker was "impossibly big". His editor should have caught those and squirted him with a water bottle. As I mentioned above, Smith had a very "go with the flow" approach to Escape From Furnace, where he didn't plan a lot out and let his characters do what they wanted. His writing reflects this. The writing flows very well (up until it hits Fugitives, that is). I've compared Smith to Darren Shan and this is one of the reasons why. Shan makes his writing flow wonderfully as well.CharactersFor the whole series we had a total of five major characters: Alex, Donovan, Zee, Simon, and Lucy. Lucy isn't a character who gets a lot of development. She doesn't get any, really. Donovan was a great character that, unfortunately, didn't make it past the first book. I feel like even though Donovan had the shortest run he was the most developed character. He was fun-loving, a wee bit of a slacker, and an all around good person.Alex, Zee, and Simon had the most characterization second only to Donovan. They're our three musketeers in the series. They're the ones we're supposed to care about the most and I feel like Smith did well in making us care for them. Any time I thought Zee or Simon were going to die I had to stop myself from flipping ahead to see if they were going to live. Despite Alex's characterization, I didn't like him as much as I was probably supposed to. I think it was because how Smith wrote the things that happened to Alex. Even though he did have a rough time throughout the series, he still got out of things relatively "easily". This is just a personal thing and I don't think other people share my sentiments.Still, with all I've said over my other reviews, I still love these characters. They are well written characters (with the exception of Lucy) and I would have loved to go on other adventures with them. Things I Didn't LikeDespite my love of this series there were quite a few things I did not like. I will list them and then go over them in more detail: Furnace's backstory, the feeling of the lack of actual planning, Donovan versus Zee, the too "perfect" ending, plot holes, and Panettierre/the Stranger.The first thing I didn't like was the lack of planning that went along with the story. The lack of planning wasn't all bad. In fact, it worked well when Smith wrote the first three books. When he go to Fugitive, though, he should have been more decisive. The plot for the later two books was more removed from the first three in a way that pointed to lack of planning. If Smith does another series then he need to take the reigns when it comes to more complex plots. Not planning things worked well for the simple plot of escaping from Furnace but not for the more complex plot of defeating Furnace.The second problem was Furnace's backstory. This goes hand in hand with the lack of planning and the Panettierre/Stranger issue. I honestly feel like the whole Furnace/Stranger thing was created to try to explain the mystery behind the nectar. And then Panettierre was created to try and tie up the loose end that the Stranger created. All of this points back to Smith's lack of planning. If he would have planned this then it would definitely come out better. This was a very weak spot in the series and it could have done a lot better.The third problem was the ending. Let's be real, it was too perfect. Yes, (view spoiler)[Simon (hide spoiler)] did die, but there have been stories where nobody's died and they haven't felt like Smith's ending. What happened here, I believe, was a case where Smith liked his characters too much to kill them but he knew that somebody had to die so that the ending wasn't too, too perfect. Our little group escaped relatively scot-free. I mean, yes, there was the psychological damage, but other than that, they made it out of the series pretty well off. Smith needed to realize what he was doing and make the ending more realistic. As much as I like the characters I felt like they all should have died. The fourth problem is the plot holes. The Stranger/Panettierre were created to fix the biggest plot hole, but Smith still let some slip by. For example, if Simon didn't obey the command to fight then why did he have to obey Alex's final command? This made no sense and it ties in with my problem above. Another example is why could Alex suddenly survive on human blood? He stated earlier in the book that switching out nectar for human blood was slowly killing him, yet in the end, when there's no more nectar, he's allowed to survive on regular blood. There's also the whole thing were Alex said multiple times since his transformation that nectar erased memories but when it became convenient to the plot he remembered things that had been erased. There are probably more things but these were the plot holes that I could think of.My final problem is what roles Donovan versus Zee have. I would have liked the series ten times more is Donovan and Zee's roles were switched. If Zee was the one to be taken away by the blood watch and Donovan escaped with Alex and Simon. Donovan was the only character of color in all five books, yet he was the first one to die. And even then, only one other main character died! Alex had an equally strong friendship between Donovan and Zee. It was only Donovan's death that made their relationship that much stronger. So why shouldn't have Donovan lived instead?DiversityOne thing that was in the Escape From Furnace series that normally isn't shown is mental disorders. While not outright stated, it's very easy to understand that there were multiple mental disorders at play with our characters. There was depression, delusions, and PTSD, to name a few. You could probably argue the case for a few others as well. This is nice because mental disorders are rarely shown, but you also can't give Smith too much credit because he never actually addresses them.There were two female characters that got names and lines in the series. Lucy and Panettierre. Lucy wasn't really that important of a character. She was just there for the last two books. And Panettierre seemed like a good female character until you get the feeling she was just create to tie up loose ends. She also ends up becoming the "goes mentally disturbed for power" character. This is a trope I find many female characters are pushed into. Smith doesn't get any brownie points for adding these two ladies to his story.And then we come to our possibly two characters of color. The first is Donovan, Alex's old cellmate who doesn't make it past the second book. He's described as having dark skin so I'm pretty sure he's black. The other character is Simon Rojo-Flores. Simon is the other possible POC. He has a Spanish last name but it's never confirmed if he's Indigenous South American or just a white Spaniard. Since it's not confirmed our total number of characters of color stay at one, for the first book only.There isn't a lot of diversity to speak of in this series. You have one confirmed character of color, non-mentioned mental disorders, and two female characters that aren't even proper characters.OverallI highly, highly recommend the Escape From Furnace series to anybody. Especially those who like Darren Shan's books. The books do have their bad points where things get boring or don't make much sense, but I suggest you power on to the end. I don't think you'd regret it much. I enjoyed the ride and I thank Alexander Gordon Smith for taking me on it. He created a great series that was unique and fun to read.

  • Kaleb Schoenick
    2019-05-07 16:11

    Personal Response:The book that I read was Execution the final book in the Escape From The Furnaces series. I was really excited to read the final book, knowing how long the journey was to get to this point. Each of the characters have grown in their own way. Each character has a unique personality that enhances the story. The book answers a lot of the questions I had from the previous books. I especially like the way the author tied the books together at the end with a callback to the previous books.Plot: The story continues from the last book almost exactly where it ended. Alex has been captured by the army. Who begin to conduct test on him, not caring whether he lives or dies. Ironically, Alex is saved by a blacksuit, who tells Alex he is the new general. Alex and his friends escape with the help of a blacksuit and two berserkers, who Alex can now control with his new powers. The blacksuit leads Alex and his friends to an isolated island where they must have one last confrontation with the real Alfred Furnace.Characterization:Alex is at the final chapter of his story, and has grown significantly since his first book. Alex is now at the height of his power, possibly one of the strongest characters in the book. Alex has become somber from the brutal past events. However, when he is with his friends he feels like a regular kid. Alex has a deep devotion to his friends, and will do whatever it takes to get them through the events of the book. Major Panettiere is the new antagonist who is hellbent on acquiring Zee, to hopefully cure the nectar. Panettiere is a cruel and calculating leader, obsessed with winning the war by any means necessary. She is willing to sacrifice lives to accomplish her objective.Setting:The story of Execution takes place in an apocalyptic Britain, set in modern time. The world has been ravaged by fighting between the government and the Blacksuits. The story takes the reader from a military complex, to Alex’s home, and finally to an isolated island for a final showdown.Recommendation: I would recommend this book to 8th-12th grade students, both male and female. I recommend this age group due to the even intense violence and gore. I am giving this book a five out of five stars for being able to effectively end a huge series.

  • MATT ABHOLD
    2019-05-13 14:17

    "Execution" is the final book in the "Escape the Furnace" series. All of the books tie together very nicely and make sense. They kept me interested, and not many books can do that. Alex is a very easy character to relate to in the sense that he has some problems with his life, but he tries to get over them.The story started off in present day America, in a small town outskirting a city. It then moved its way down the Eastern Coast. After the coast, the group goes to a mansion on a small island. Finally, they go to an army base in the Rocky Mountains. The time affects the group because advances in technology make the journey for Alex and Zee much harder, as there are many setbacks.By this time in the series, Alex was over 7 feet tall and much bigger than anybody else. He had a blade for one arm and three massive fingers on the other. They had found the army and promised that they were not dangerous. They explained everything that had happened to a woman named Panettierre, who wanted to study the nectar and how it worked. Alex and Simon agreed, until she starts to drain them until they are practically dead. They tested Alex by putting him in a pool with a berserker and a few other nectar infused creatures. Alex is drained, and the berserker can sense it. Usually, berserkers are on the opposite side, but here it realized to stay alive, it must work with Alex to try and escape. After the creatures started to attack Alex, the berserker kills them but takes a few blows along with it.To make Alex stronger, he drank the berserkers nectar-infused blood. Alex went crazy. They ended up knocking him back out with tranquilizer. After that, they drained him again so he is powerless. Alex woke back up to doctors around him trying to study his body and why it reacts to the nectar. A huge explosion rocked the hospital and a Blacksuit came to Alex’s aid and untied him. All of the doctors fleed and Alex demanded to find Simon and Zee. The Blacksuit showed the way to Simon’s cell, but told him also that they took Zee with him. Alex went mad, because throughout the whole thing, Zee was the person that reminded him who he was so he never turned into a complete monster, like the berserkers. Alex went on the hunt for Zee, and found out he was with Panettierre in a helicopter. Alex realized that he could control the berserkers so he sent one to bring the helicopter down to save Zee. After he saved Zee, Alex decided to finish his mission, so he had a berserker lead him to Alfred Furnace. On the way, Alex suggested they stop to rest, and one place he can remember going to was his house. Being there brought back many old memories and he gained more strength from it.They left at the break of dawn and kept heading towards Furnace’s Island. When they reached the island, one of Furnace’s creatures lead them to the front door, where only Alex was allowed inside. While he wass searching for Furnace, Panettierre and her army showed up and started to attack. Alex realized that the only way to stop all of the fighting was to kill Furnace once and for all. There was one catch; the only way to kill Furnace was to take the nectar in his blood. Alex did not hesitate, because he believed he could tame the beast that is in Furnace. After the fusion was complete, the remains of Furnace lay on the floor, and Alex commands the army that he took over to stop. He tells anybody with nectar in their veins to let themselves go easily. All the work that Furnace had put into building his army were demolished but for a better cause. Anyone with the nectar had taken their own lives in order to make others peaceful again.After the fighting was over, Panettierre broke in to the mansion and demanded to be the commander of the already dead army. Alex explained to her that the only way to do that is to have a young enough body to handle the nectar, but she does not listen. The nectar that used to be Furnaces completely destroyed Panertierres' body. Two more soldiers come into the mansion and called their general in. He wanted to help Alex and Zee and apologized for all that the army had done to them. After being taken care of, Alex was asked to retell the whole story of how it all started. He has the blade on his arm removed and the army made him a prosthetic. The world was back to normal.In this book, Alex shows he has a lot of heart and determination. He overcomes any obstacle in his way with the help of his friends. He had rough points in the book, but always got over them when he thought about who he truly was and what he was like before he was changed. He kept those he loved close and those he hated, he killed which is not the best thing to do, but it worked.Zee is Alex’s best friend that he met in the prison before they broke out. Zee was one of the masterminds behind it all, but he is very small and scrawny so nobody thought anything of him. Zee keeps Alex down to earth through it all and stays with him no matter what. Nothing seemed to frighten Zee except for losing his friends. Zee was the most fearless person which shows a lot about him because from his stature and outward personality, you would not realize it. I recommend this book to anybody who can enjoy a book with a lot of plot twists and violence. I would give an age on this from 13 to 17 years old. I think mainly males would enjoy this book more, but females could too if they like science fiction books.

  • Blake Palmer
    2019-05-22 11:27

    This is the fifth book in the escape from furnace series. This one starts with alex turning into a complete monster with his mind snapping. luckily Alex's friend save him and he becomes himself. later on in the book alex finds out that he can control berserkers which he uses to his advantage by using them to track down and murder Furnace. The book ends sadly in my opinion because Alex's friend Simon dies which was my favorite character who was still alive.

  • Tyler
    2019-05-24 12:30

    Personal response- I enjoyed this book very much it was an excellent closing to the series. there is a lot of imagery used throughout this book and it made it seem as if I was in the action and I enjoyed that.Plot -Alex is brought by the army, along with Zee, Simon, and Lucy, to St. Margaret's hospital where he, Simon and other Furnace creatures are studied by Panettierre and others while the plague's spreading through and out of the country. During the experiments, Alex drifts in and out of sleep where he experiences Furnace's memories. With Zee's visit, Alex realizes that he's expendable. He doesn't have any information about the nectar reproduction. So Panettiere kills him but is revived by Sam. After Cross' death, Alex's considered Furnace's right-hand man; therefore, Sam and some berserkers help he and his friends to escape. With Panettiere and her army after them, they spend the night in Alex's house where he finds out that his parents haven't abandoned him as he remembers. They have been trying to get him out of prison, and then they finally reach the island where Furnace is. At last, Alex meets Furnace who's still alive by being attached to a machine and wants Alex to be his heir. Alex is the only one who could handle the nectar and remember his history. That's what the Stranger needs to survive. He accepts Furnace's offer. In doing so, Alex's nectar is replaced by the Stranger's blood in Furnace's veins. Furnace is turned to dust and the Stranger manipulates Alex in continuing the war. However, with his friends' support, Alex ends it by killing all of Furnace's creatures, including Simon, through telephatic images of freedom and peace. When Panettiere finally reaches them, she receives all of Alex's blood and dies while Alex is saved by receiving a nectar transfusion. Alex, Zee, and Lucy are then brought to a military base where he's interrogated about what's happened. As time passes, the three of them and the whole world are trying to live a better, normal life, and Alex goes under the knife in order to become human again.Characterization-Alex Sawyer - The main character. After escaping the army who wants the nectar for themselves, he kills Furnace by becoming his heir and receiving the stranger's blood in Furnace's veins. He's in control of the war now, but with his friends' help, he manages to end it by killing all of Furnace's creatures.Zee Hatcher - One of Alex's closest friends. He's immune to the nectarSimon Rojo-Flores - A failed mutant who assists Alex and Zee He dies at the end of the bookLucy Wells - A girl who tags along with Alex, Zee, and Simon after they meet in Fugitives. Her father was a policeman who's been killed during the Summer of Slaughter, therefore, she hates them at first.Warden Cross - One of the main antagonists whose eyes are so full of madness, hatred and rancid glee that meeting them is like watching yourself die a million times over. He's over 100 years old. He's been 'adopted' by Furnace during WWII and since then, he's regularly taken the nectar. Furnace forgets about him and wants Alex to be his right-hand man. Warden Cross is eventually drained of his own blood by Alex and fed to the wheezers in Fugitives.Alfred Furnace - He is the founder of the Furnace Penitentiary and the main character in the series. He communicates telepathically with Alex and the other creatures through the nectar. He is over 300 years old. He was born in Hungary in the 18th century and he's survived so long because of the Stranger's blood, the base product of the nectar. When he was a boy, he was framed for murdering his younger brother József. The real killer was the Stranger who was crucified by the townspeople. Instead of death he choose the Stranger's offer. He received immortality through the Stranger's blood. For centuries, he traveled across Europe, creating soldiers with his nectar in order to make a world where there's only strength and equality. However, Furnace isn't in control of his actions. The Stranger. In Execution he finally dies and is replaced by Alex. General Hamilton - A general who gives Alex, Zee, and Lucy a lift from the island to a military base.Alice Panettierre - A colonel who attempts to harness the powers of Alex, Simon and other Furnace creatures through blood transfusions, surgeries and other unpleasant experiments in order to create its own army to win the war. She dies when she receives a transfusion of the stranger's blood.The Stranger in the orchard - An unidentifiable being who is the representation of all evil. He's a parasite who feeds off and manipulates his host, who must be a kid in order to survive and destroy all humanity. He dies while his blood's injected in Panettierre.Sam - A blacksuit who assists Alex and his friends in their escape from the hospital. After leaving Alex's house, he is killed by Panetierre and her men while trying to create a diversion to help Alex, Zee, Simon and Lucy escape.Impact of settings- The settings throughout this book really brought a closing to the series. I think if they changed, it wouldn’t have worked with the story line. Recommendation- I would recommend this book to mature young adults, male or female.

  • Gus
    2019-04-30 11:09

    Personal ResponseThis book was amazing. I liked how much action was packed into the plot by the author. I also like the suspense that is on every single page. My favorite part is the last chapter because it lets me know that Alex finally gets closure. I usually do not like science-fiction books but this one was very good.PlotThe book takes place in a war-torn England. After the release of the nectar, Furnace's creations have slaughtered millions of people across the country. The nectar is spread by Furnace's rats to children they come in contact with, causing the plague to increase. After a battle with Warden Cross, Alex emerges victorious and resembles nothing of his former self. The nectar has turned him into a deadly version of the Hulk. He has self healing abilities and he also has a blade for a left arm. When he is captured by the military, he is experimented on by Colonel Panitierre. Alex soon realizes that she is trying to find a way to use the nectar on her own forces, making them unstoppable. He also learns that they have captured his friends and they are trying to find out why Zee is immune to the nectar. Alex is able to break his friends and him out with the help of Furnace's forces. They believe that Alex is their new general after he has killed Warden Cross. Alex and company travel across the country with the military in hot pursuit in search of Alfred Furnace. Alex vows to kill Furnace for what he has done to Alex and the rest of England. Alex is able to see what brought Furnace to his current state because of the nectar and he feels sympathy for Furnace. When they find Furnace, Alex is persuaded into taking Furnace's place as head of the nectar driven monsters he created. Alex accepts Furnace's offer and kills him to take his place. Alex is filled with Furnace's nectar and is able to control all of Furnace's troops as their new leader. Alex is able to fight off the nectar's insistence to kill and is able to end the war by telling all of Furnace's monsters to kill themselves. Panitierre finds Alex but is killed when she tries to control the nectar because it is only able to work in kids. Alex and his friends are rescued by the military and are given care while Alex tells them his story. CharacterizationAlex changes a frequent amount throughout the book. He soon learns to be brave in the face of overwhelming odds and becomes a leader to his friends around him. He also learns that in order to save the world, sacrifices must be made. Alex becomes very selfless with his choices because he cares more about his friends than himself. He becomes very solemn with the series of deaths of his friends and family but he uses each one as fuel to keep himself going. Towards the end of the book he becomes very understanding of what has happened and learns to embrace it as his life.SettingThe setting is very important. The setting in war torn England adds excitement to even the most uneventful parts of the book. The author does a great job of describing the horrors that await a world that Alex once loved. It also adds suspense and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The setting has a feeling of gloom to it but Alex and his friends add an aspect of hope. The setting changes the characters a lot throughout the book, making the reader very interested toward what they will do next and what they will become. Rating/RecommendationThis book is great for both genders. This book has a main character that is female so girls may like it more than the previous books. It is also good for people who like drama filled reading and a science-fiction aspect to the books they read. The transformations that occur to Alex due to the nectar is very scientific. The plot has suspense and drama woven throughout the entire book. The book is a great ending to this series. I think the book is good for anybody in middle school and up because it is very violent so it shouldn't be read by anybody younger. I gave this book five stars because even though it is the end of the series, I still want to read more about Alex and his exciting adventures.

  • Kimberly
    2019-05-17 08:24

    PLOT:Execution was about Alex, a prisoner from Furnace that turned into Alfred Furnace’s freak reincarnation in the last book. He began this book with the mindset of Alfred Furnace, the antagonist character in this series, who hated the weak and wanted to build a new land with all strong men. Alex, a weak kid who hated Alfred, had battled through so many “adventures” trying to find Furnace to kill him. He started out the book by telling the readers that he has become evil and that Alex Sawyer is no more. He said that Alex died when he became Alfred, and he needed to tell Alex’s story because Alex had been through so much. He then told the story as if Alex was not a part of him, but through the book, he started telling the readers as though he was Alex and he lived it all.Many events that take place that show that Alex was a good person who has been trying very hard to correct his mistake of letting all of the prisoners go out onto the streets. He has been in many battles and killed many monsters of Furnace’s creation. In the beginning of the book, when Alex is evil, he is captured by the army. The doctors/surgeons in the army had captured a lot of beasts and were dissecting them/putting them into surgery to see how they had been created. They were trying to harness the nectar for themselves to create their own monster army. During Alex’s stay there, he learned that the beasts called berserkers were willing to protect him at all costs. Alex then escaped, with the help of a blacksuit and a few berserkers, and found Zee and Lucy. They all got out before the army could recapture them. Then, the group set off to find Alfred. All along this journey, Alfred has been leading Alex to himself, but according to Alex, he had a sense that could track Alfred. The group found Furnace on an island, but in the distance they saw that the army had, too. An epic battle took place there consisting of Furnace’s creations (berserkers and leviathans), and the army. Meanwhile, Alex and Alfred were hidden deep in the basement of the mansion that was on the island. They fought for a while, but in the end, Alex “plugged” himself into the machine that was keeping Furnace alive in order to kill him. He killed Furnace, but in doing so, he became him. Furnace’s blood was tainted with some evil being that, when it entered Alex’s body, it turned Alex evil as well. The book doesn’t end there, though. The author gives the series as best as a happy ending it could get.CHARACTERIZATION:Throughout this series, Alex has changed a lot. He was a weak, little boy who scared, accused, and alone. His parents left him to the prison, he had no more friends, and he was in Furnace Penitentiary- a hell of unimaginable nightmares. Alex became stronger with everything that happened to him. He eventually made friends, he got smarter, and learned how to get out of the prison. He was very lucky, because with each attempt of freedom, he was never killed. He only got thrown back in prison or had experiments done to him. He never gave up hope, and held on to everything he had. In the end of this series, he became an excellent role model who had become very strong. He resolved many issues he once had and he faced his fears. AUDIENCE/RECOMMENDATION:I think the best audience for this book would be middle school boys because I think it is appropriate for their age and reading level, they can relate to the characters, and they probably like books like these (filled with gore and monsters). Also the book has a slight immaturity to it, which I think is perfect because of the higher immaturity level in middle school boys.RATING:My rating for this book is a 2 out of 5 stars. I did not like it; it did not keep my interest, and I feel it is way below my reading level. The book was not that good, in my opinion, because it felt childish to me and too fiction based/not realistic enough. Some parts were dumb and should not have been included. Other parts did not fit with the storyline or were not relatable at all.

  • Kassi Tews
    2019-05-03 15:10

    Personal Response: I absolutely loved this book. I could not stop reading this because of how intense it was. I think the author ended this book in the best way possible. The series came together and furnace was finally killed. I really enjoyed how adventurous this book was.Plot: Alex has finally killed Warden Cross and was the new warden. The blacksuits would listen to his commands and respect him. Alex and his friends were rescued from the tower by a special forces team. Colonel P made it seem like they were there to help the kids. The Colonel really wanted to figure out how the nectar worked and made her own army. She drained Alex of all the nectar to see if it would kill him. Zee was immune to the nectar so Colonel P was going to kill him in order to make a antidote. Alfred Furnace commanded the blacksuits to save Alex and the kids from the hospital. When they broke out, Alex decided to go back home to search for his parents. He discovered that his parents tried to bring him home because they really did love him. Alex was so angry he sets out to Alfred Furnace and eventually he killed him. Alex ended the war and saved the human race.Characterization: Alex was able to finish what he started and save the world. For how young Alex was, he was very mature and could handle tough situations. Everyone depended on Alex and he always came out on top. His character has grown bigger and stronger throughout the series. Alex took on so much responsibility without even knowing he could end the plaque. He never gave up hope and always kept his friends. Alex will be known as a great leader who saved the entire human race. Impact of Setting:Throughout the story the setting was constantly changing. Most of it was traveling to find Alfred Furnace on some island off a coast. I think it is important they knew where he was or they never would have completed their journey. The time has not changed much since the last book, maybe by a few days. It took place into the future just like the rest of the series.Thematic Connection: The theme of this story was trust. Alex was not sure if he could save the world but his friends trusted him to do the right thing. No matter what his friends never doubted him even when things were beginning to fail. Another theme would be sacrifice. Alex had to sacrifice so much to be able to fight this war and end it. Even if Alex would have to kill himself to save the world and his friends, he would. Audience: I think anyone who likes Science Fiction or Action would really enjoy this book. I would say anyone over 15 years old would really be able to understand the hardships the group goes through. Boys or girls could read this book because it has 2 main character roles with both genders. I would not recommend this book if you like easy to follow story lines.

  • Genna
    2019-05-25 13:11

    Personal Response:I gave this book a four out of five stars. This was a really good book and probably my favorite out of the series. It had a lot of twists in it that kept me reading. I really enjoyed this series and would read it again.Plot:Alex was a fugitive from the Furnace who killed the Warden. He was brought to a hospital/military base for testing after the Furnace breakout. He met a doctor named Panettiere who almost killed him with all the tests she did on him. When she made him face a berserker in a cage, Alex realized he could control what the berserkers did. This helped Alex start a war with Panettiere to get his friend, Zee, back from her. When he got Zee, Simon, and Lucy, they ran away to Alex’s old home. They stayed there for a night until Panettiere found them again. When they got away from her, they went to Furnace Island. There, Alex found out that he was Alfred Furnace’s new partner. He also found out that he never had the control that he thought he did. It was all Alfred in control, so Alex could live to replace him. Alex got “the shadow man” inside him and Alfred Furnace crumbled to death. Alex really liked being in control of everything until his friends talked him out of it. Alex had to send out a message for all of the creatures with nectar in their blood to kill themselves to stop the war. That meant Simon died as well. The new general came and took Alex, Zee, and Lucy to a remote location for them to recover to tell their stories. Alex’s blade arm was amputated, and they started to make him look like his old self again.Characterization: Alex was the main character in this series, and it was told from his point of view. Alex went through a lot of different mental stages throughout the book. He started with a lot of ambition to get to Alfred furnace to kill him. His attitude helped him achieve his goal and stop the shadow man. He went from being his normal self, to being on a high when the shadow man was in him. Zee was a conserved and quiet kid that Alex met when he first got into the Furnace. Simon was a rat that became friends with Alex and Zee in the Furnace. Simon was willing to give up his life to help other people live when Alex needed to kill everyone that had nectar in their veins. Lucy was another important and new character. Lucy saved Alex after the shadow man got out of him by putting nectar back into him.Setting: The time period this book took place in was in modern times. This was shown when they used a motorized boat to get across a lake. Also, when there were battles weapons like bazookas were used. It's important that this book took place in modern times, because if it took place in older times there wouldn't be any guns or weapons. Without them, the Furnace system wouldn't have been exist in the first place. This book took place in England. The book mentioned the monsters spreading all the way to London. Theme:I think the theme of this book is sacrifice. Alex was willing to sacrifice his life to stop the war and so did Simon. Also, Lucy and Zee made the sacrifice to stick with Alex when he went to Furnace Island. Sacrificing themselves to go into such a dangerous situation with Alex helped them come up with the plan to have Alex send out the message to everyone with nectar to kill themselves. Recommendation : I would recommend this book to anyone above the age of 14. I think both girls and boys would find this book good, because it has a lot of different twists in it that keeps the reader's attention. I wouldn't recommend that any kid under the age of 14 should read this book, because it could scare them and it could be hard for them to understand.

  • Kaitlin
    2019-04-26 15:24

    WOW. In all honesty this book made me want to 1.) kill myself and 2.) take over the world... I was in love very happy with this book.This book also made me want to tear it to pieces and then hug it at the same time. Spoilers possibly but not that muchSo, there were some little annoying things in this book, and I'm going to say it first so you can be annoyed at me, and then you read the good part and you feel extremely happy! Yay.I didn't like how sometimes Alex changed emotions so quickly. Like at the beginning, he's like "Who are my friends?" and then he sees Zee and is like "Hi, Zee! How ya doin?" It also happened during the earlier books where he's all angry at the world then he sees his friends and they say "STOP!" and so he stops. But that's minor; it's definitely taken care of during the end.Yeah, I'd say the ending was a little too happy, but I think it's a good ending, too. You might say that it's a little far fetched that a good person would show up all of a sudden, but I mean, there are good people in this world. You may say "I don't believe anybody would love anybody like Alex," (that one nurse at the end who kissed his cheek) BUT THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD. You may also say that killing off the berserkers and blacksuits and everything was too easy and, again, far fetched, but well... I don't.So the amazing thing was that this book was definitely my favorite book out of the whole series. Which kind of sucks because the first two were a little boring, so people who give up miss a lot. Like I bet a nickel my friend will probably give up on the first book because she has. no. patience. It was my favorite book because of the PLOT. The plot was so amazing. When I read the first two books I kept saying "The plot's good, but the writing isn't." That was different in this book. The plot twists were just like BOOM in this series. I didn't expect Alex would become a berserker, and then I didn't expect that he basically became the king of the world, and I didn't expect that Simon would die. :( The second thing are the feelings...ARGLABLARGLABLARG!!! I actually felt sorry for Furnace! Not for Cross, no. But for Furnace. I thought Smith did really well on writing that part. Congrats. And I actually felt the want to take over the world and kill people, and I'm not joking with you and being cheesy. I swear. I don't know how to explain it to you other than it was really intense and boom. I also cried when he was telling the story at the end, and how Lucy had to calm him so he could tell the parts where Donovan ( :( ) and Simon died. It.Was.Intense.Yup. So I liked the book, uh, a lot. :D

  • Amanda
    2019-05-12 09:05

    Alex Sawyer is a hero. Not only to his mates and the world within the Furnace series, but he's a hero to us, as well. He not only saved himself, his friends, and the fate of humanity, he saved us all when he reminded us that our names, our very souls, carry more weight than any amount of power ever will. Our names define us, define who we are, what our souls are made from. It matters more than a label, more than matching a word to go along with the face. A name means everything because it makes you who you are. Not only was Alex a hero, but he was there to teach us all a thing or two about friendship. Life cannot be bought, it cannot be splurged upon, or upgraded to be the most powerful or more cost-effective. Our lives are only powerful when we surround ourselves by people who matter the most. It gets tough, sure, but we cannot fight for this life we have alone. A voice of a friend, the sheer companionship of that friend is what saves us from giving in to power, giving in to money and the idea of being the best. Comfort from a friend's hug or even just to hear them laugh is enough. Despite the power, despite the nectar and the stranger's hold over him, Alex endured it all by retaining his humanity through a name. His name. And the voices of his friends brought him back every time he was dragged deeper into Hell. Because what his friends embodied was hope. Alex knew that no matter how much we endure in this life, that all wounds can heal. Hope can set you free. And the people we choose to surround ourselves with are that hope. Just a smile, just a laugh, and nothing can hold us down. I will never forget Alex and his mates. No character's sacrifice will be forgotten within Alex's story. These people felt quite real with their genuine emotion and that feeling carries over into the reader. Every tear shed was for the fallen. We cry for Tony, for Donovan, for Ozzie, for Simon, for Zee, for Alex. These people may be fictional, but their stories matter. Take these names, take these individuals into your heart because they will come to mean something to you. Their journey is a long one, but it's worth the time to listen to what they have to say. I will be forever thankful to A.G. Smith for bringing us such characters; giving us hope and the defiance to persevere in the face of evil. This series, while quite painful to endure, means everything. The lessons learned and the themes portrayed within are important ones, and we should not forget them. The imagery, albeit dark and gruesome for a vast majority of the series, was staggeringly realistic, and the sheer breadth of Smith's vision is what carried me onward to the series' conclusion. The world that he created and the characters he set to motion within will always stay with me. This series is a powerful one, and I urge most readers to venture through the gates of Furnace, for the person who comes out the other side will not be the same.

  • Yusuf Genc
    2019-05-23 10:26

    Execution is, in my opinion, one of the top three books in the series (my favorites are Lockdown, Death Sentence, and Execution). There are so many things that make the book good. I really liked the idea of giving background information about Alfred Furnace and explaining why he is so evil. When I read about what happened to him when he was a child, I felt so bad. I also felt really bad when Alex was receiving the Stranger's blood and he described Furnace as having the face of the child he used to be before he turned into dust. Sam was a great addition to the book. Although he was a blacksuit, he started to remember his past and become more human as he spent more time with Alex and his friends. It was really sad that he had to die at the end. Towards the end of the book, when Alex shows all the nectar-infected blacksuits and creatures images of childhood and freedom to end the war between humans and the monsters, they all die, INCLUDING SIMON. HE WAS SUCH A GREAT PERSON. Even though I was really sad and (this part may sound weird) was about to cry when Alex imagined Donovan and Simon sitting together and waving at Alex, I knew that sacrifices like this was what made the book so good and connected the reader to the characters. Even though Donovan died in the first book, he helped Alex stay human throughout the series and was really helpful. Without him, Alex wouldn't have been able to defeat the Stranger and end the war. Alright, enough of the sad parts. I cannot explain how good I felt when Panettierre received the Stranger's blood and died a horrible death. She deserved it after what she did to Alex and her friends. I'm not crazy or anything, but I kind of laughed when I read how she died. Her arms and legs exploded and her face "unraveled." It just seemed so unrealistic, but at the same time it was horrifying to imagine. Overall, this book was great, and just like the other books in the series, it does a good job of horrifying the reader and connecting the reader to the characters. If I had the choice, I would probably choose to join Alex and his friends in the war. I agree with some of the other reviews that the friendships in the book were great. I felt like Alex, Donovan, Zee and Simon were the strongest friends in the world. Other reviews also said that there were too many near-death moments for Alex. I disagree, because reading about how Alex is saved from dying but at the same time becoming one step closer to becoming a bloodthirsty savage is horrifying. It didn't seem like there were too many near-death moments in this book, but there definitely was in the whole series. If you are a fan of action and horror, this will probably be one of the best series that you will ever read. Character development (how Alex changes throughout the series) is excellent, and the plots are also amazing.

  • Dominic Nhan
    2019-05-19 14:02

    Escape from Furnace: ExecutionWritten By: Alexander Gordon SmithBook Reviewed By: Dominic NhanI honestly love this book, this is the 5th installment to the first book called Lockdown of the series Escape from Furnace. I liked this book because it had so many sneak attacks and horrifying details that you would have never guessed. It also was a great thriller. The main setting is a place called furnace which is underground. It captures humans and which the takers would be monsters.The monsters are soldiers that’ll sometimes eat you and. They also bring you/inmates in tunnels and have Deformed creatures tear you from limb to limb and guts to guts until nothing is left of you.The main characters of my book is Alex Sawyer the main protagonist, 14 yrs. Although he's a teenage like others, he makes many bad choices: he becomes a bully, a thief and a liarZee Hatcher- One of Alex's closest friends, he's sent to Furnace at the same time as Alex.Carl Donovan - Alex's cellmate, 16 yrs, one of the firsts to be brought to FurnaceSimon Rojo-Flores - A failed mutant who assists Alex and Zee with and after their escape plan from the hole.Lucy Wells - A girl who tags along with Alex, Zee, and Simon after they meet in Fugitives.Warden Cross - One of the main antagonists whose eyes are so full of madness, hatred and rancid glee that meeting them is like watching yourself die a million times over.Alfred Furnace - He is the founder of the Furnace Penitentiary and the main antagonist in the series. He communicates telepathically with Alex and the other creatures through the nectar but he appears only in Execution. He is over 300 years old - was born in Hungary in the 18th century and he's survived so long because of the Stranger's blood, the base product of the nectar. The main conflicts are that the world is now a prison, monsters rule the streets and Alfred Furnace is their keeper. Alex Sawyer is a monster too, and the only one who can stop Furnace. People will die one way or another. Alex knows it’s the end. He must stop furnace or the world is gonna end. But while trying to escape and save the world. He gets stopped and brought to furnace, but Alex thought he was gonna die but gets an offer to be an solider of Furnace’s army. What should Alex do know.? He accepts it to fool with Furnace. I would recommend this book to others who love science fiction and horror books and also anyone who loves a suspenseful thriller. This book makes you want more, this book is incredibly addicting and that’s another reason why i love it. I would recommend this book to those people because it has a great story line and great characters, good & bad. This is book is Amazing! It’ll make you root for Alex and hate Alfred Furnace.

  • Dylen kicherer
    2019-05-05 10:10

    Personal responseI think that this is by far the best book in the series. The way that it always kept me on my toes wanting to know what's next makes me just keep reading. It is packed full of action and at times can be very irritating. It also has its share of sad moments when a character you get really attached to dies. Plot This book starts out with a kid named Alex Sawyer being captured after killing the warden. Alex was brought to a military base that used to be a hospital. The hospital stored 100’s of Rats, Berserkers, and Black Suits that are now test subjects. The point in this was to completely drain the test subject of its nectar, then store the nectar for the military's personal use. Alex finlay escaped with the help of some berserkers and a Black Suit, Alex later rescued his friends. Alex also found out that he could control the Berserkers and the Black Suits treated him as a god. Alex was finally contacted by Furnace and was lead straight to Furnace. With the military hot on Alex's tail can he make it to Furnace before he is killed.Characterization Alex is the main character and is completely turned into a Black Suit but Alex still remembered his past life and his name. Alex was also able to control some of the nectar’s rage. Ze and Alex are best friend because through everything they are still together. Zee is also immune to nectar which made him a very valuable asset to the military. Simon is a very good friend to Alex and was also changed by the nectar. Simon only had his right arm and his torso supersized by the nectar and the Warden’s surgery. Lucy is best friends maybe even a little bit more than friends with Zee. Lucy is a girl that Alex saved from a Berserker that was about to pump her full of nectar.Setting This book has a weird way of describing and telling what time it is. The book is mainly outside in a city with rampaging monsters around every corner. During the day Alex and his friends traveled from place to place trying to find Furnace and escape the military. During the night they try to find a good place where they could rest because at night the creatures that were outside were even more bloodthirsty.Audience I would recommend this book to everyone 12 and up. This book has some strong language and scenes that some kids won’t understand. I still strongly encourage this series to everyone even though at times I just wanted to stop reading. The series can really feel like it is dragging on but, if you finish the series you will see that the last two books are a great read.

  • Zach Hansen
    2019-05-06 15:22

    The fifth and final installation of the “Escape From Furnace” series which is the book called, “Execution” by Alexander Gordon Smith, is an attention grabbing novel that keeps you holding on tight throughout the whole book. It starts off where Alex and Simon had just had their encounter with the Warden, and Alex was being lifted off the roof of the building by helicopter to a nearby military base. There he met a doctor named Panettiere who was a Colonel in the military. He was contacted by Furnace himself to be elected as the new controller of the nectar infused creatures that ravaged Europe. So with the help of his friends, Alex is slowly but surely managing to get to Furnace to end this epidemic once and for all.Alex Sawyer, a boy who once lived a normal life, was convicted of a crime he never committed. Because of that incident, his life was forever changed. He was cast down to the depths of the earth into a blood-red penitentiary where he managed to find a friend named, Donovan, put into solitary confinement and managed to escape with his friend, Zee, along with the help of a mutated kid named, Simon. Alex himself was transformed into a blacksuit but never let the nectar cloud his mind. Now he is a creature of darkness, but with a mind of his own. Zee was one of his best friends, along with Donovan, who Alex killed back in the prison to set him free. When Zee, Simon, and Alex break to the surface, they found someone named, Lucy, who decided to tag along with them. Now a new threat arises besides Furnace. A woman named, Panettiere, chases Alex to the edges of the country to try and figure out what the nectar is.The story takes place mostly in a city in Europe and also along the coast on a nearby island that supposedly holds the secrets of the nectar. With everything that is happening in the city and around the country, no one keeps track of the time anymore. It’s all about survival now and to see whether or not you will make it to the next day.The reasoning for Alexander writing this, was to teach readers to never let their friends go and to keep them close. Because they will always be there for you and you might find them in the most unlikeliest of places.I recommend this book to anyone who has already read the other four books and to anyone who is at least old enough to understand some of its humor and languages. It is open for all ages to enjoy no matter what gender you may be. I give this book a five out of five and I cannot wait to see what Alexander will write in the future.

  • Regino Leon
    2019-05-20 12:13

    Finally I have completed this book series, and I enjoyed every book equally. Through every book, my mind was always being twisted because of how random and awesome these types of books are. Personally, out of all of them, I would have to say "Death Sentence" was my favorite because of Alex becoming a black suit.The fifth book of the series "Escape From Furnace" is called, “Execution”. This book is an attention-grabbing novel that has your mind crumbling at the suspense throughout the whole book. It starts of with Alex and Simon finishing of Warden, and Alex being lifted off the roof of the building by helicopter to a military base. There he meets a doctor named Panettiere who seemed strange to me at first. He was contacted by Furnace himself to be elected as his new general of his nectar infused creatures that ravage Europe. With the help of his friends, Alex is slowly managing to get to Furnace to end this epidemic once and for all.Alex Sawyer, a boy who once lived a normal life, was sent to Furnace penitentiary after being convicted of killing his friend, which he never did. Because of that, his life became brutal and harsh, and it changed him. In the penitentiary he made a friend, Donovan who was his roommate. Alex is put into solitary confinement and manage to escape with his friend, Zee, along with the help of a mutated boy named Simon. Alex is later caught and is transformed into a blacksuit. However, he never lets the nectar cloud his mind. Now he is a superhuman war machine, but with a mind of his own. Zee is one of his best friends, along with Donovan, who Alex kills back in the prison to set him free. When Zee, Simon, and Alex break to the surface, they find someone named, Lucy, who decides to tag along with them. The story takes place mostly in London and also along the coast on a nearby island that held the secrets of the nectar, along with housing Furnace. With everything that is happening in the city and around the country, no one keeps track of the time anymore. It’s all about survival now and to see whether or not you will make it to the next day.I feel like the main idea of this book is to teach readers to never let friends go and to keep them close. Even if you find yourself in the most terrible of times, they will always be there for you. I recommend this book to anyone who has already read the other four books in this series. It’s a good read for boys of any age to enjoy except for elementary students.

  • Taylor Berndt
    2019-04-30 12:11

    I enjoyed reading “Execution” by Alexander Gordon Smith. In this book Alex Sawyer has escaped prison only to discover the whole world has become just like the prison, and Alfred Furnace has started a war. Monsters rule the streets, killing everything they can. Those who do not die turn into a monster. Alex is a monster too. He is the only one who knows how to end this by killing Alfred Furnace.In "Execution", the story is told first person through a teenage boy, Alex Sawyer. Alex and his friends escaped the prison only to find that the city of London has been turned upside down by the crazy monsters from the prison. Alex is having trouble controlling the nectar (a blood that turns people into monsters) inside of him. It takes a lot for Alex to stay true to him self in the book. The main plot of this book Alex was taken by the army and they said they would fix him, but after they couldn't do anything they tried to kill him. Alfred Furnace, the man who ran the prison had two of his guards break him out of the hospital where the army had him. Once he is out Alex seems to be in charge of anyone with nectar for their blood. Alex is determined to go and kill Alfred Furnace and bring an end to all of this. Throughout the entire series of books Alex has made it a priority to stay loyal to his friends and to others. He feels responsible for the entire thing. From the beginning of the third chapter of the first book Alex has made it clear that he is going to end all of this and he does! Alexander Gordon Smith did a great job with the end of this series. Every single loose end from all of the books were tied off, which really made this book that much more enjoyable!“Execution” takes place mostly in modern day London England, throughout the entire book the city and everything around them is destroyed and it’s very depressing the fact that everything they knew and loved is now destroyed. One of the major themes running throughout the series is team work. All throughout this book there are issues that they run into and the only way to get through is working together as a team to get things through. I would recommend this book to anyone eighth grade or higher only because of all the violence and killing. Alexander Gordon Smith does a great job describing the scene of the story and this could scare some younger kids.

  • Edward Wohlt
    2019-05-15 11:13

    Personal Response: I really enjoyed the book Execution by Alex Gordon Smith. This is the last book I wish that there was more books because this was my favorite series by far. The book kept me on the edge of my chair. Plot: The whole city is full of furnace's army monsters everywhere if you're not dead then you were turned. Alex was going to kill furnace or he would die trying. Alex, Simon, Zee, and Lucy are on their way to kill furnace, but they found out that he was on an island full of monsters. When they got to furnace's house Alex had to go in alone. He did it, he found Furnace and killed him, but in killing him me took all of furnaces blood and had his powers. Furnace is dead, but he lives in Alex in his blood and controls Alex. When Simon, Zee, and Lucy found Alex they were able to help him remember and he looked out furnace and was in control. The only way for Alex to end the war was to command furnace army to take their life's but that would mean Simon would have to, because Simon was part of furnaces army and he would have to take his life too. Characterization: Alex was the main character he had been through a lot in all of these books lost a lot. Zee is Alex's friend whom he arrived at the prison with , who he escaped with also. Donovan who was Alex's cellmate that got taken the night before they escaped. Simon who was the one who helped Alex and Zee escape from the prison. Lucy was a girl that they saved from one of furnace's freaks in the subway station. Setting: This book took place in modern time in the city. The city is hell, nothing but monsters and murder. Recommendation: I would recommend this book to both boys and girls eight grades and above. i gave it a five out of five stars. it was a wonderful book and it will keep you on the edge of your chair.

  • Chandler L.
    2019-05-21 10:24

    Personal Response:Execution Escape from Furnace is an excellent ending book to the Escape from Furnace series. This book had some action that kept the book lively. Alex had to command two Berserkers to escape the hospital, and there was a lot of shooting and dodging.Execution Escape from Furnace made me second guess my assumptions. Plot:This book had a lot of possible alternative ways it could have ended. Alex could have been lead to a trap at Furnace’s island or Alex could have gone crazy and killed everybody. Simon had shone bravery in this book. Alex had to kill every nectar-filled creature to end the war, but Simon was also filled with nectar. Despite this, Simon was willing to die for the greater good of humanity. This book had a lot of foreshadowing events. When Alex defeated Panettiere to escape the hospital, Alex had let her live. There was this feeling that she would come back and she did. She was responsible for Sam’s death. Sam was a blacksuit assigned to protect Alex. Alex had treated the Berserkers like they were people, while everybody else treated them like monsters. This showed the Alex had showed more compassion and thoughtfulness. Everybody had a right to blame the Berserkers, but Alex lived through Furnace Penitentiary and understood what happened to make the Berserkers.Recommendation:I recommend this book to males ages 10-16. Females would like this book less, because this book has some gorish details. Anyone younger than 10 would not take interest in the book, because the vocabulary is complex for that age range. People older than 16 would think this book is below their reading level.

  • Desiree Roe
    2019-05-24 10:06

    Alex Sawyer has escaped his underground nightmare to discover the whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master. Monsters rule the streets, leaving nothing but murder in their wake. Those who do not die become slaves to Furnace’s reign of cruelty. Alex is a monster too. He is the only one who can stop Furnace but in doing so he could destroy everything. Is he the executed or the executioner? Who will die? All Alex knows is that one way or another, it all ends now.In Execution, Alex and his friends escape only to find that Alfred Furnace has followed them out into the rest of the world. Alex once again is faced with mortifying decisions that could the world as he knows it. Will he choose to keep fighting the nectar or will he give in and let the world become a slaughter house? The books are written from the point of view of teenager, Alex Sawyer, and are about his incarceration in the fictional London prison known as Furnace Penitentiary. This book takes place in modern day London, England. In each book the setting is very depressing and serves as a constant reminder to the characters that they shouldn’t have any hope. One of the major themes running throughout the series is learning to accept those who are different. Once this is done, working together as a team anything can be accomplished, even escaping from Hell. I recommend this book to teens and young adults, though because of the graphic scenes kids younger than 13 should shy away from this book.