After a final battle with the warden whom everyone thought in Lockdown to be the main goal of the story, aka executing him would mean a happy ending for everyone, a new antagonist is in town. There's still Alfred Furnace that Alex and his friends have to take on. In just a few days, the wheezers infected and killed millions of lives and the only way to destroy them is to kill the origin, Alfred Furnace. There may be something else behind this problem but with all the fear it's hard to care. The new new antagonist is Alice Panetierre, who at first seems to be on the same side as the group, even when Alex wakes up in a brand new infirmary. What's new is that now that Warden Cross is gone, Alfred Furnace is disappointed in him and he needs a new leader for his giant army. It could be a curse that he lays on you or it could need a ritual, but one way or another, it will lead to Alex. A solution in a situation like this massacre can't happen without a final battle. The thing is, it'll be who against who and will Alex be able to protect all his friends, notably Zee, who seems to be immune to the nectar and therefore a big target for the authorities and scientists?
The first book Lockdown was a great surprise, toilet humour and a naughty lesson about friendship and trust helping it flow better than I imagined. Solitary was not quite as positive but unforgettable nonetheless. Death Sentence was a giant dose of sunshine stuffed in flesh and threw me around as much as the nectar threw Alex's emotions everywhere. Fugitives was good but didn't seem to realize how the characters were free. Out of all the books though, I think Execution may be the saddest. Who ever thought a book could be horrifying and tear-jerking at once? I remember I was at a presentation from a Holocaust survivor named Eva about a year back whose family was murdered by the Nazis. I think she's ninety now. I almost asked her which she'd choose if she had the opportunity to bring back:
a) Her family
b) The other hundreds of millions of Holocaust victims
I'm very glad I decided not to ask that. Choosing something like that can be very hard. The answer may be obvious to some, but it wasn't for me or for Alex, nor was it easy for him or me during a scene in Act 2 that calmed down enough to have a moment where Alex is transported back to his past and walks through a world he thought he lost forever back before he went down that elevator or even met Donovan. As far as I remember, it was the first book to make me cry. (Yeah, I read it before Marie Lu's Legend and Prodigy.)
The only thing I had against this book was Alex seems to think that killing Alfred Furnace is the only option and mentions it so much that it's hard to keep agreeing with him. But maybe the scene with a tear-jerking note had made me like that during the scene and took me out of it while the characters were still in it, scared out of their wits. Heck, seeing a blacksuit going back to human and remembering his name is worth reading the whole series over. While I can't recommend this book for anyone under the age of 10, do I think the series is for boys, only for boys, and amazing nonetheless? Yes, no, and yes.