Series: Escape From Furnace #5
Published by Macmillan on November 13th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Survival Stories, Boys & Men, Horror, Horror & Ghost Stories, Law & Crime, JUVENILE FICTION, Monsters, Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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. Execution is an Escape from Furnace book from Alexander Gordon Smith.
“You don’t have to be perfect to be good. You can do bad things and still be a good person.”
The final book in Alexander Gordon Smith’s Escape From Furnace series, Execution, finally brings Alex Sawyer and his friends face-to-face with Alfred Furnace. It’s taken five books for Alex to have this confrontation, and though enjoyable I found it a tad bit predictable. Alex has lost a lot along the way, and at times has let vengeance take control of him. This series has been a dark foray into a world where a man desires to stamp out man’s weakness, and in turn becomes the monster he fears.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series. The characters were well-developed, the pace was steady throughout, and the plot was well-written. However, I had some issues with the ending of the series. Before I get to that, let’s talk about the good things that happened. Smith’s characters continuously behaved in character the entire series. Maybe this is why I found the ending to be a bit predictable. Nothing they did was out of character and made perfect sense for who I’ve come to know them as being. After reading four books I can say that I’ve come to know these characters pretty well, so the predictability may not be a bad thing.
“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.”
As for what I didn’t care for was the ending. I thought the ending was a bit too neat as if Smith didn’t have a plan for how he ended the series. With all the horrors these characters faced, I thought it was weird how smoothly things tied up. I don’t want to get too deep into it because that would be spoilery, but the end didn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the series. If you want to know more, check out the spoiler:View Spoiler »I don’t like that Alex survived the ending. He’d been shot, stabbed, and had the nectar pumped all through his body. In effect, he wasn’t human anymore, yet once he got the nectar replaced with human blood he survived. This is after the reader had been repeatedly told that the nectar was the only reason he stayed alive. It seems to me that his organs would have failed, or he would have become susceptible to all the injuries he suffered during the series. « Hide Spoiler
Aside from my feelings about the series’ resolution, I really did enjoy this book and would definitely recommend this series. I enjoyed how Smith tied Alfred Furnace’s science to the Nazis and made this dystopian world a parallel of the Hitler’s Germany. I thought this was well constructed and made the revelation of Alfred Furnace’s backstory tragic. I also found this to be different from other dystopian series I’ve read, in that Smith really makes his readers contemplate our justice system, and how it treats juvenile offenders. If you want a book that’s easy to read, has lots of action and gives you something to ponder long after you’re done, then add this series to your TBR List.