Review: Fugitives

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: FugitivesFugitives by Alexander Gordon Smith
Series: Escape from Furnace #4
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on February 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository

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

At the end of Death Sentence, Alex Sawyer and the rest of the prisoners, well, the ones that survived anyway, finally break out of Furnace. And then everything was sunny and happy; Furnace was shut down, the Warden jailed, and the boys accepted lovingly back into the bosoms of their families. Or not.

Through the previous three novels the primary goal of the inmates of Furnace has been getting the heck out. Upon coming up to the surface, though, they promptly realize that just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re safe. Plus, the conspiracy and experiments were not just in Furnace.

So, for some reason, I totally expected this to be the conclusion to the series. Note: it’s not. As I was reading, I was like how on earth is he going to wrap this up in the ever-diminishing pages that remain? Answer: he’s not. Okay, so don’t expect to get answers to everything. Still, there are way more answers in this one than all of the others added together, so hurrah for that.

In Fugitives, Smith leaves the relative literary safety of Furnace, and has to really step up his world-building. In this book, there are new horrors, worse than any found in Furnace. For example, a kind of zombie/reverse vampire. If that doesn’t make sense to you, read the book.

I definitely loved the fact that escaping didn’t make anything better. Obviously, I thought law enforcement would be against the escaping convicts, but the broadening of the scope of what was going on made it pretty epic. I look forward to finding out just exactly what Furnace has been doing in the next book; Alex’s view and knowledge of what’s happening is limited, and we can only know what he does.

Smith’s bread and butter is monsters and mayhem. He does that well, and comes up with such strange and creepy creatures that I do not envy him his dreams. Anyway, I want to give him props for also drawing attention to the fact that regular people can be just as bad, possibly worse, than the monsters. Certainly I tended to find those scenes most discomfiting, probably because they seemed much more realistic and pertinent to real life than the rest of this series.

Although I’m somewhat concerned about how long Smith is going to drag this series out, I am willing to continue reading along when the next installment, Execution, comes out later this year. For those who have enjoyed the series thus far, it only gets more crazy and exciting in Fugitives.

One response to “Review: Fugitives”

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