"Beneath heaven is hell, beneath hell is Furnace"...Creepy, disturbing, gross are all words that describe this story, but it's the creepiness that pulled me in. How DOES a person deal with an impossible situation and false imprisonment? How does a pretty ordinary kid go from being a bully at school to a criminal? When 14 year old Alex is framed for murder, he becomes an inmate in the new teen prison, Furnace, which is worse than maximum security prison, and worse than anything your nightmares can dream up. Furnace is home to brutal inmates where gangs kill kids, sadistic guards oversee forced labor and escape is impossible.
Despite Alex's desperate situation, he becomes sickened enough at his experiences he takes action against the "unspoken and expected" that other inmates have managed to ignore, and is very nearly killed for his effort.
A fast-paced thriller of a book with relate-able characters and an "OMG" cliffhanger of an ending that had me pre-ordering the sequel soon after I finished reading Lockdown so we could find out what happens next.
Not a book I'd recommend for younger readers, or those who are disturbed by mildly graphic or gross description.