|Author||Alexander Gordon Smith|
|Published by||Square Fish|
The gripping third instalment in Alexander Gordon Smith’s epic series about Furnace, a terrifying underground prison for teenagers – now with the bestselling US cover.
We had one last shot at freedom and we failed. This time our punishment will be much worse than before, because in the bloodstained laboratories beneath Furnace lies the horrific truth behind the warden’s plans.
Down here, monsters are made. I’m changing – something evil is being pumped into my veins. How can I escape when the darkness is inside me?
Plot Summary Edit
After a near fatal encounter falling from the incinerator's chimney and into the waiting flames, Alex, Zee, and Simon are retrieved by the Warden and sent off to the infirmary. Alex nearly dies, but is quickly hooked up with an IV of nectar, under the Warden's demand of making sure they stay alive. The nectar overloads Alex's senses and he quickly passes out into a nectar induced fever dream. His first dream is about being dragged into the mud by the hands of corpses. He sees a mirror of himself trying to communicate remembering his own name (something a blacksuit Monty told Alex before dying) before being completely pulled in and buried alive. For a moment after waking up, Alex doesn't remember who he was.
When Alex awakens once more, the Warden questions him about the dreams he had in his sleep and mockingly praises Alex for attempting to escape twice. He leaves Alex to the wheezers in order to have his eyes worked on. After slipping under the nectar's influence again, he has a second dream. In this one he is in a bare room with six other people kneeling against a wall with uniforms branded with swastikas. The boys begin to twitch and convulse violently before literally splitting open, turned into rats. Before they can attack Alex, the six rats are gunned down. The dream ends with Alex himself shot and executed.
Alex awakens alone this time his eyes blindfolded and in great pain as he realises that they've been surgical altered into those of a blacksuit's. He calls out weekly to infirmary for Zee and Simon and is met in reply by someone whispering for him to quiet down before he is noticed. Despite this warning, Alex calls out for them again and is targeted by a wheezer who knocks him out.
Between periods of waking up and passing out, Alex is approached by the Warden again, who asks why Alex fight's against the nectar. He claims to be offering Alex power in exchange, and has him open his eyes. With his new surgically enhanced eyes, Alex can now see in the dark every intricate detail of the room in outlines of grey. The Warden guides Alex to the experience, trying to coax him once more into embracing the power of the nectar and to rise into a dominant position of power. Alex continues to struggle against him, outright screaming his refusal and chanting his own name to keep a hold on himself.
The Warden has Alex's eyelid pinned wide open and his head strapped into place, forcing the boy to watch a reel of footage on loop for a day. The footage first starts off with animals of predator hunting killing prey, but the reel progresses itself to much more brutal deaths and into outright human massacres, executions, and genocides. With the nectar running in his veins, Alex can't help but fall into the Warden's trap, becoming much more remorseless and sadistic as the footage plays.