Death Sentence (Escape From Furnace #3) by Alexander Gordon Smith

Death Sentence (Escape From Furnace #3) by Alexander Gordon Smith

Goodreads Synopsis
Alex's second attempt to break out of Furnace Penetentiary has failed. This time his punishment will be much worse than before. Because in the hidden, bloodstained laboratories beneath the prison, he will be made into a monster. As the warden pumps something evil into his veins--a sinisterly dark nectar--Alex becomes what he most fears . . . a superhuman minion of Furnace. How can he escape when the darkness is inside him? How can he lead the way to freedom if he is lost to himself?

The last 20% of the book redeemed it for me. I found the beginning of the novel, where Alex was undergoing his change and process to be quite boring. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if the nightmares and images he dreamt about had more to do with is life -- a sort of character expose of Alex Sawyer. Instead it was a character expose of Furnace Penitentiary but the reader didn't realize that until way after the fact. While it was happening it seemed to be just a bunch of random images that Alex was seeing and I feel like I needed more of an explanation that it would be important in the future.

The characters felt extremely static from the last book to this one. There was minimal Zee and Simon again and their parts, again, were focused mainly on making Alex look better. The only difference is that Simon is in the middle of the spectrum between Zee and Alex since he has some nectar in him, but not enough to make him a full blacksuit like Alex. 

Again, wasted potential with Gary and Donovan. Considering they had the most interesting back stories when they were introduced to the story, it is a shame that they were wasted on stupid plot lines and had no real character arcs. Their stories seemed to end in the middle of where they should have.
The most interesting character in this novel was Bodie. He was a real leader and stepped up when he had to. I would like to see more of him in the next novel, but I'm afraid that if we do it will just serve to support Alex as a character instead of being his own person.

I feel like since this is the middle of the series it needed to close out the original story arc (escaping from Furnace) and tie into the next arc (ensuring no one else gets sent to Furnace), which it did and the story did it in an effective manner, in my opinion. I liked that there was more background information about how and where Furnace got its start and that we were introduced to the overarching villain Alfred Furnace. The introduction to Alfred was engaging and the ending message from him was horrifying. I felt like I could hear it in my mind that he was coming for me. If nothing else, this book has its horror down pat. 

I feel as if there isn't much more to say on the matter. It was a good segue between Alex entering Furnace and Alex leaving Furnace; however, his main purpose hasn't changed since he stepped foot in the hell and horror of Furnace: he wants to escape and ensure that no one has to experience what he has gone through. I am really excited to start the next novel and see where the story takes us!
Overall: 3.5/5 stars. I found it hard to get into because there was so much focus on the "nectar" and not enough character development. Again, the background characters felt like they meshed into the background while Alex really stood out, but was still really static.

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