Alex Sawyer is the main character of the Escape From Furnace series and is featured in all books excluding the prequel, The Night Children.
Alex is a bundle of nervousness, wise-cracker, and confidence that all managed to convene in the same person. He runs by the principle of 'leap before you look,' which lands him in trouble with the gangs in Furnace on multiple occasions, but also fuels his plans to escape. Alex also has a big heart, and for much of the time (excluding when he's full-on brainwashed Blacksuit) has a hero's complex, demonstrated when he saved Toby from falling to his death and when he fought a Skull for Monty. Despite the 'leap before you look' personality he has, when Alex wants to be, he's also a strategist, demonstrated when he robbed houses and mapped out the layouts so he could escape, and having done the same thing with Furnace.
Alex struggles with himself a lot. He feels guilt at bullying kids at his school, especially since in Lockdown, he was introduced to being on the receiving end. As he becomes a Blacksuit, he starts to question whether he is a good person and whether he can defeat Warden Cross and Alfred Furnace or whether he is doomed to join them.
Alex considers Zee his 'best mate' in Furnace and after they escape. Zee's personality melds well with Alex's, with Zee's rash, passionate optimism fueling Alex to be a good person and saving him from falling to the 'evil side' many times throughout the series.
Donovan starts as a cellmate a mentor to Alex and ends as a friend. As they grow close as cellmates, Alex looks up to him and becomes his peer. [SPOILER ALERT] Even after Donovan's death, he existed almost as a guardian angel to Alex, with Alex dreaming him up and that encouraging him to go on living in his stories. Donovan ends up being taken during a Blood Watch and is eventually turned into a Black Suit.
After saving Alex from solitary confinement, he, Alex, and Zee form a band of friends who tries to escape Furnace, again. Simon's tough love works well on Alex, especially when combined with