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Lockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1) - Alexander Gordon Smith I got this book ... must have been last year; I can't even really remember, but a while ago. And I kept flipping right past it every time I was looking for something new to read, because I had this idea that I wasn't actually going to like it.

Well, I was wrong. I have no idea why it engaged me so, but engage me it did, so much so that I could hardly put it down before I was finished (and have already bought book two). It's not quite a five star book - I didn't adore it, and I did feel some of the background of this very-near-future semi-dystopian setting was a bit far-fetched (although I've read books that have stretched my suspension of disbelief further), but, yeah, it hooked me like a... hooking thing. And then I was hooked.

The author got the pacing just right (for me anyway), as well as the tone. Characters, too - it's not often that I can empathise and care for and like a self-confessed bully and small-time burglar and thief right away, but Smith managed this with Alex, the protagonist/narrator. The rest of the cast were well drawn, too; not particularly original, any of them, but they all felt like real people.

I'm genuinely curious about what is going to happen next, and not just because the book ended with a cliffhanger - I want to know more about the plot, too.