[[caption-width-right:199:The original cover for the third book. It was rejected for being too scary.]]
->''Beneath heaven is hell. Beneath hell is Furnace.''
--> -- ''The Warden'' (series tagline)
''Escape from Furnace'' is a series of five books written by Creator/AlexanderGordonSmith detailing the adventures of [[AuthorAvatar Alex Sawyer]] in [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin escaping Furnace]] - an underground penitentiary for teenage criminals.
The books are:
* ''Death Sentence''
!!This novel features the following tropes:
* ActionGirl: Captain Annabel Atilio
* AdultsAreUseless: Kids are being dragged down to be tortured for life at an underground penitentiary and nobody even cares. Alex vaguely mentions about there being protests, but mostly, adults are just glad to get rid of the problematic kids. TeensAreMonsters is a common belief in that world, though, which explains the mentality.
* TheAlcatraz: Furnace. Together with HellholePrison, it defines the plot.
* AirVentPassageway: A previous escape attempt had been made by an inmate named Scott White who sneaked into the air vents during a lockdown and managed to find his way onto the elevator up. However, he had gone delirious from dehydration and starvation and was easily caught by the time he made it up. The Warden had Scott brought out into the courtyard and devoured by dogs [[MakeAnExampleOfThem for everyone to see.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: And how. Just don't get too attached.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Zee sure was into Alex after [[spoiler: he became a Blacksuit.]]
* BigBad: Alfred Furnace.
* BiggerBad: [[spoiler: The Stranger.]]
* TheBigGuy: Donovan, Gary, [[spoiler: Alex after becoming a Blacksuit.]]
* BigThinShortTrio: Donovan, Alex, and Zee respectively.
* TheBerserker: [[spoiler:The Berserkers, Gary and Alex.]]
* BoisterousBruiser: [[spoiler: Alex, after becoming a Blacksuit, really comes to like fighting.]]
* BloodKnight: [[spoiler: Alex tries to not become this but when his BerserkButton is pushed, watch out.]]
* BodyHorror: The series runs on it, basically.
* TheBully: Alex himself used to be one.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler: Supposedly Alfred to his brother Jószef, but really it was all a set up by the stranger]].
* CatchPhrase: "All for one, and let's get the hell out of here!" A phrase shared by Alex, Zee, Simon and Donovan.
* ChekhovsGunman: Jimmy is an inmate who is first introduced at the same time as Alex, Zee, and Monty who swears with them that they'll all break out of Furnace together. He doesn't particularly show up again for the majority of the book [[spoiler: until he overhears a conversation Alex is having about breaking out. He asks Alex to be a part of the plan again, but Alex denies it. The next morning when the escape plan is in motion, he catches Alex and crew in the act and alerts the guards.]]
* ChildSoldiers: [[spoiler: The Blacksuits]]
* ContemplateOurNavels: Particularly in Solitary, for obvious reasons, and in the beginning of Death Sentence.
* TheCorruption: [[spoiler: The effect of the nectar to turn the inmates into [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil power hungry, sadistic Blacksuits]], that gets stronger as they continue to feed on it.]]
* CrapsackWorld: While somewhat [[JustifiedTrope justified]], it's incredibly dark how quickly English society was willing to sentence children to life sentences, never to be heard from again. Turns even more into this after [[spoiler: Furnace's berserkers and rats flood the streets, killing thousands and destroying most of London.]]
* CrazyEnoughToWork: Many of the plans Alex improvises count as this.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: "You funny now, but dead men don't laugh too loud."
--> '''Alex''': I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. It sounded like some terrible Sunday afternoon horror film.
* DarkIsEvil: Played straight from the name and look of the Blacksuits, to the colour of the nectar, the entire being of [[spoiler: The Stranger]] and metaphorically resisting the darkness of evil.
* DarkLordOnLifeSupport: [[spoiler: Alfred Furnace.]]
* DeadlyEnvironmentPrison: The prison is still a mile underground, with only one way up. Donovan does toss out the suggestion of picking a spot and digging a way out in the span of about a thousand years. But even in the chipping rooms, there runs the risk of a complete cave-in which previously reduced Room Two to rubble. [[spoiler: Even though Alex tries to exploit the underground river in Room Two, it only takes him deeper into the bedrock of the prisons tunnels and into the hands of bloodthirsty rats.]]
* DeusAngstMachina: Just about all the inmates.
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: The Warden's punishment for the entire prison after a nasty canteen fight and one of his hellhounds being put down [[spoiler: due to Alex and Zee tricking it into jumping off one of the high platforms.]]
** Donovan notes it's not an unusual punishment, that the longest they'd gone without food was for three days after a riot.
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: [[spoiler: The spectral visions of Simon and Donovan waving and smiling at Alex cliff side, as Alex leaves the island.]]
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Literally played straight when [[spoiler: Alex]] lands a punch on [[spoiler: The Stranger in the orchard.]]
** [[spoiler: He then actually kills The Stranger by transferring its blood into Panettierre, causing both of them to disintegrate.]]
* TheDogBitesBack: The warden learns it the hard way.
* DontFearTheReaper: [[spoiler: In the end of ''Execution'', both Alex and Donovan play this role. Alex projects a vision of Donovan to all of Furnace's creatures, who in turn embodies all the love and happiness they could be a part of. Adding onto this, Alex refers to Donovan as the "shepherd of lost souls" guiding everyone from a hateful, pained life into a peaceful ending while Alex himself speaks words of encouragement to follow Donovan.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Alex fights tooth and nail to get out of Furnace and goes [[spoiler: above and beyond to release his fellow prisoners as well and to seek retribution on Furnace and The Stranger to end what they have created. He didn't quite keep his promise to Lucy to make things normal again, but the ending is on a note of recovery from the aftermath.]]
* EldritchAbomination: The Stranger.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Again, the Stranger.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Being taken by the Blood Watch.
* FauxAffablyEvil: The warden. Sometimes, Alex notices that he's being genuinely affable, but it doesn't last very long, and most of his smiles are all acts.
** The Skulls all wear black bandannas with a crudely drawn white skull in the centre.
** The Fifty-Niners have black stripes drawn underneath their eyes.
* GasMaskMooks: The Wheezers.
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler: Simon, realising that Alex's plan to kill off all of the Blacksuits, rats and Berserkers would include him as well, he leaves Alex, Zee and Lucy behind with one last smile and laugh, never to be seen again.]]
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Summer of Slaughter, namely to establish the creation of Furnace Penitentiary.
** Warden Cross [[spoiler: (up until ''Fugitives'').]]
** [[spoiler: Colonel Alice Panettiere in ''Execution'']].
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Alex: during the first book after he gets thrown in Furnace, again in the third book after he becomes a Blacksuit, and again in the same book when he recovers from the warden's brainwashing.]]
* HumanoidAbomination: Alex describes many of the horrors of gen pop as being that. What makes the rats, Blacksuits, wheezers, berserkers and even the warden so scary for him are the fact that they look like people [[UncannyValley who came out very wrong]].
* InterruptedSuicide: [[spoiler: Played straight as Alex rushes up to the eighth floor to stop Ashley and Toby Merchant from jumping. Inverted however, when Ashley [[TakingYouWithMe tries to pull Toby down with him]], but is punched by Alex and completes the deed by himself.]]
* IWantThemAlive: The warden to Alex, but mostly because death is an easy way out.
* KickTheMoralityPet: [[spoiler: Ozzie's death by Alex' hands.]]
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Alex, Zee and Lucy are the only surviving characters of the main cast.]]
* MasterRace: The Blacksuits.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: While Escape from Furnace explains its horrors through science, The Night Children uses creepy lore to explain the same things.
* MedicalHorror: Particularly associated to wheezers with [[AfraidOfNeedles hypodermic needles]] strapped to them, and down in the Infirmary [[spoiler: where they perform surgery on inmates taken during the Blood Watch who are StrappedToAnOperatingTable to become Blacksuits.]]
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: Donovan, by Alex who [[VorpalPillow smothers him]]. Zee tries to do the same thing to Alex, and asks Alex to do it for him as well.]]
* MilitariesAreUseless: Easily wiped and gunned down by Furnace's creations in Fugitives and Execution, [[spoiler: to the point where only after Alex kills all of Furnace's creations that they can actually help]]. Captain Atilio [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] this by explaining the British army had been completely unprepared, with most of their troops overseas and leaving the home reserves to the fighting.
* MixAndMatchCritters: Many of the berserkers and leviathans look like this.
* MonochromeApparition: Averted, in a few of Alex's hallucinations he describes [[spoiler: Donovan]] as being very bright, but with multicolour patches of light glowing throughout his body.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: [[spoiler: Furnace and Warden Cross were actually Nazis, which explains their desire to create a Master Race and rule the world.]]
* NoOSHACompliance: Furnace Penitentiary. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by a few of the characters.
** In the kitchen, Alex remarks on how up to safety standards it seemed, only to realise they cook up MysteryMeat and literal garbage for the prisoners.
* NoSwastikas: Partially subverted. While Furnace's symbol is rather a blatant stand-in (especially on its flag: red backdrop, white circle, black symbol), swastikas are directly mentioned in [[spoiler: a dream Alex has while becoming a Blacksuit in ''Death Sentence''.]]
* NobodyPoops: Averted. Played for laughs, Zee is painfully aware of this due to all his time spent cleaning the toilets in gen pop.
** Also between Donovan and Alex sharing a cell.
---> '''Donovan''': Sorry, Alex. That's the other thing you never really get used to. Pooping in public.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Zee reveals he's this in Fugitives [[spoiler: when it's revealed he used to carjack.]]
* TheOldConvict: Donovan.
* OneLastJob: Alex's last heist with his best friend Toby, where he is framed for murder.
* PeerPressureMakesYouEvil: [[spoiler: The Blacksuits to Alex while he undergoes surgery, assuring him once it's all over he'll be accepted into their [[BrotherhoodOfEvil Brotherhood.]]]]
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: Hilariously between Zee and Alex, with Zee stating that Alex, with his worn out, ragged, ill-fitting prison outfit, is looking "practically indecent".
** RunningGag: Just about once each book someone's caught with their pants on the ground.
* PluckyComicRelief: Zee.
* PrisonRiot: In Death Sentence, Alex manages to overpower the guards with a prison riot powered by the sheer rage that had been repressed inside the inmates for years.
** [[spoiler: In Solitary, Simon reveals that when Alex and crew escaped in Room Two, the Skulls and other gangs rioted to try to break in and use the same route.]]
* PrisonersWork: Prisoners in the eponymous 'Furnace' prison are forced to use pickaxes to mine out new rooms in order to expand the place (the prison is located underground).
* RapidFireNo: The only sound piercing the silence during a Blood Watch [[spoiler: when wheezers mark an inmate's door to be dragged into the Infirmary.]]
* RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver: The main colour composition of Furnace Penitentiary.
* ResistTheBeast: [[spoiler: Alex]] as he continues to spiral down a path of darkness from [[spoiler: consuming too much of the nectar.]]
** In Death Sentence, when [[spoiler: Zee begs Alex]] to kill him quickly so he can finally go [[TriggerPhrase home]]. [[spoiler: This clears Alex's mind of the nectar's urges and turn against the Warden.]]
* RockPaperScissors: Alex, Simon, Pete and Ozzie do this [[spoiler: to determine who acts as rat-bait.]]
** Alex and Simon turn to this again [[spoiler: when realising that between them and Zee, someone would have to stay behind to operate the ventilation door mechanics so the other two can leave. They begin to do it, but are interrupted by Zee who insists to stay behind.]]
* SacrificialLamb: Toby, when shot during Alex's last heist.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Donovan.]]
** While talking about books and movies, Alex references [[TheSagaOfDarrenShan Darren Shan]] and it's movie.
** Zee mocks Alex with a StarTrek quote to mock Alex's ideas to escape.
---> '''Zee''': A transporter! Beam me up, Scottie.
** Zee also does this again while trying to pull off [[TrojanPrisoner the Wookie Gambit]].
---> '''Zee''': Christ, Alex, what have they done to your brain? You don't remember StarWars?
* SinisterShiv: The Skulls wield shanks they can make out of anything: rock, metal, and even bone.
* SoProudOfYou: The warden to [[spoiler: Alex]]. Of course, it turns into DisappointedInYou very quickly.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Played straight. From the Skulls, to the hellhounds, to the Blacksuits and wheezers, then Warden Cross, [[spoiler: Alice Panettierre]], and Alfred Furnace.
* StartOfDarkness: A good deal of Death Sentence and "The Night Children" short story are about that.
* StarterVillain: Kevin Arnold, for as much of a fearsome gangster and antagonist to Alex as he is, actually turns out to be a relatively insignificant fry in the grand scheme of the story. [[spoiler: Even in the same book, in which Gary humiliates and dethrones Kevin.]]
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Lucy.
** Furnace was founded in reaction to the "Summer of Slaughter", in which the rate of major crimes (especially murder) skyrocketed.
** Inside Furnace, some particularly... exciting inmates fit this trope perfectly.
* TeenyWeenie: Simon remarks [[spoiler: when helping a Blacksuited Alex getting changed, THAT was the one thing Furnace didn't make bigger.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Alex [[spoiler: after becoming a Blacksuit.]]
* TransformationHorror: [[spoiler: The inmates inbetween surgey when becoming a Blacksuit.]]
** In Lockdown during a Blood Watch, when the Blacksuits bring in a grotesque mutilated creature [[spoiler: that was actually Monty from just nights ago.]]
** All of the rats.
* VerbalBackspace: Zee does this, when considering reasoning with [[spoiler: Panettierre]].
--> '''Zee''': We might be able to bargain with her. I mean, you know where [[spoiler:Furnace]] is now, right? Maybe we can give her his location or lead her there, something like that. Let's just see what she wants.
--> [[spoiler:'''Panettierre''']]: Just give us Zee and you can go!
--> '''Zee''': Okay, maybe not.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Often the case of StressVomit, a notable example being Alex rushing to the toilet on his first morning due to nightmares plaguing his sleep.
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler: Every horror in Furnace Penitentiary. ''[[KickTheDog Except the dogs]]'']]
* WardensAreEvil: To put it lightly. The man sees the inmates as a hivemind, starving them all out as the punishment of one persons actions. Could not care less if said inmates are killed by his guard dogs or by each other. Even in his first introduction, Alex notes that he couldn't stare Warden Cross in the eye, that there was some darkness that refused to let him do it. Later it's revealed [[spoiler: Cross is actually a century old Nazi who drags inmates away in the night surgically transforms them into his guards in order to make a new master race.]]
** In Lockdown, during a bloodwatch:
---> [[spoiler: '''Alex''': On the creature's arm, distorted and pale but still unmistakable, was a birthmark. It was Monty.]]
* WhyWontYouDie: Subverted. Donovan to Alex every time Alex [[BerserkButton brings up the idea of escape]] and rushes into trouble.
--> '''Donovan''': [[ArmorPiercingResponse Why are you so desperate to die?]]