Series: Escape From Furnace #4
on February 28th 2012
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Boys & Men, Law & Crime
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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.
“We haven’t escaped from our prison, we´ve just moved into a new one. And although there are countless places to hide, there´s nowhere to run.”
Fugitives picks up immediately following the events in Death Sentence. Alex and his friends are now out of Furnace Penitentiary, and try to make their way to safety to hide from Alfred Furnace’s minions. However, now that Furnace has unleashed hell on the escaped inmates and civilization as well, all bets are off. In order to stop Furnace from taking over the world, and finally be free, Alex must learn the truth about Furnace and his secret agenda before time runs out.
I really enjoyed this book. It was like The Fugitive meets 28 Days Later. Alex, Simon, and Zee are on the run with the U.S. Military, Furnace soldiers, and all of Alfred Furnace’s monsters on their heels. Alex thought things couldn’t get worse, but Furnace’s plan extends beyond the prison. This book was non-stop action, and had lots of surprises and scares that really kept the pace flowing throughout. Even though this book felt like only the climax of the series, there was still a lot of character development taking place. The boys meet new people, contend with new monsters, and the new urban setting is a complete game changer. Now, the boys don’t just have fellow prisoners and guards to run from, but the average citizen as well.
While I enjoyed many of the scenes, I didn’t really care for Alex’s story arc. I had a sense of his outcome from the second book onward, and this book left me feeling as if that would not come to fruition. The thought of this filled me with dread, as I wondered if Smith would create a Hail Mary save for Alex by the finale. The whole series has been very enjoyable because of its dire tone. The idea that there will a happily ever after for all the characters is not realistic to me, and not something I want. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t fathom a happy ending for a story of a madman using Nazi science for world domination.
If you love action-packed stories, then you’ll definitely want to check this one out, but it won’t do to read it as a stand-alone. The story begins following a cliffhanger and ends with one. New readers won’t understand everything happening without beginning from the very beginning. Having said that, despite this one not being my favorite book in the series, I still thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t wait to see how this series ends.