Furnace is a series of books written by author Alexander Gordon Smith. The books are written from the point of view of teenage protagonist Alex Sawyer, and are about his containment in the prison known as Furnace. Four books have been published so far, with one more to come. Furnace: Lockdown is the first book in the series, followed by Furnace: Solitary, Furnace: Death Sentence, and Furnace: Fugitives.



Furnace is the most secure prison in the world, buried a mile beneath the ground. After a massive murder showdown between adolescent gangs, there is no longer tolerance for teen crime. Alex Sawyer is a teen who got into a bad habit with his best friend, Toby. What started out as shaking down kids for money at the playground soon turned into breaking in and robbing houses. Alex and Toby are on their biggest heist yet when something goes wrong. Alex is confronted by a huge man in a suit while raiding the husband's room. Thinking it's the police Alex drops what he has and escapes barely. He runs downstairs to find a group of huge black-suited men hovering over Toby, who is shaking with fear. In the middle of them all is a wheezing man in a rusted gas-mask, who appears to have no emotions. The black-suited men shoot Toby and throw Alex the gun. He runs but is eventually caught. At his trial he is convicted and sentenced to a life in prison without parole. Now, he must face the most gruesome place he has ever seen, and it is called Furnace.


Zee- There aren't that many people brave enough to stand up to the gangs in Furnace, but Zee is one of them- at least when his friends are in danger. He was framed for murder and sentenced to Furnace on the same day as Alex, and they have been friends ever since. And when Zee has as many enemies as he has, he has no choice but to escape with Alex.

Donovan- A very strong and well-built prisoner of the Furnace. One of the only people allowed to use the weight room besides the Skulls and 59'ers. Since he is so strong, he can often do what he wants without having anyone to get in his way. He is sent to Furnace when his mothers boyfriend is beating his mother. He snaps after taking it for so long, and hits the boyfriend upside the head with a candle stick. It was a lucky hit, and killed him.

Monty- Monty was brought to the prison the same day Alex and Zee. Monty was framed for murdering his own sister. He becomes room-mates with Kevin Arnold, leader of the Skulls. Shy and self-conscious, Monty keeps to himself in Furnace. He does not want the help of anyone, not even Alex. When Alex risks his own life to help Monty, he does not even care. Monty later becomes some-what friends with Donovan, and Alex. He makes them the best meal they have had in a long time. Of course, he didn't know what fate awaited him behind a cold steel door...

Toby (Alex's Best Friend)- Toby was Alex's best friend and his right-hand man with his crimes. During a burglary, Toby is shot and killed by a guard of Furnace who is nicknamed 'Moleface' by Alex. Alex is blamed for his murder.

Toby Merchant- Overwhelmed by his life in Furnace, Toby decides to jump eight stories down to his death. Luckily, Alex stops him with the promise that there is a way out. Toby soon becomes close friends with Alex, Zee, and Donovan and joins them on their quest to escape Furnace.

Skulls- One of the gangs in Furnace from the Summer of Slaughters. They wear bandanna's with skulls on them and do not take kindly to the name "Pirates".

Kevin- Furnace is full of cruel, cold-blooded killers, but they don't get any worse than Kevin. Him and his gang, the Skulls, rule Furnace and have no mercy on the people who try to change that.

Gary Owens- Gary becomes the new leader of the Skulls when he takes down Kevin. He takes peoples lives as if they're nothing more to him than and will do anything to show people he is the boss. When some of his gang members are inches away from taking Alex's life, Donovan makes a deal with him- him help Alex survive and Alex will make an escape plan.

Wheezers- Shrivelled figures dressed in filthy overcoats, their faces are covered with ancient gas masks stitched into their faces. There is a lot to be scared of in Furnace, but nothing is more terrifying than the Wheezers marking your cell during a Bloodwatch. If they mark your cell nothing can save you- you're taken kicking and screaming down to the bowels of the prison. And if you're lucky, you die before they bring you back.

Warden Cross- Warden of Furnace, said to have eyes that are impossible to look at and often compared to Satan. Has no sympathy for others and fears no others.

Blacksuits- Guards of Furnace Penitentury. They are actually mutated prisoners taken by the blood watch (wheezers).

Moleface- One of the meanest guards out of all of the Blacksuits. Alex gave him his nickname when he shoots Toby, and framed Alex for the crime. He has a large mole on his chin. Alex often runs into conflicts with him, especially during his escape...

BloodHounds- Vicious blood thirsty dogs, if you're not in your cell by the siren in Furnace, you get the dogs. If that's not enough, they have no skin.