Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.
Together with a bunch of inmates — some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers — Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.
Alexander Gordon Smith (born 1979) is an author of books, mainly for children and young adults.
Between 2000 and 2003 he studied English literature at the University of East Anglia, where he set up a small poetry press called Egg Box Publishing. Egg Box published a number of new poets, including Richard Evans, Ramona Herdman and poetry collective Aisle16, and continues to add to its list of books.
In October 2004, Smith published a creative writing guide, "Inspired Creative Writing", for Infinite Ideas Ltd. A followup guide, "Writing Bestselling Children's Books" was published in July 2007.
Photo: Alexander Gordon Smith at a signing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 2008.