Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Solitary: Escape From the Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

April 18th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 2, 2009

Publisher: Faber and Faber

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from Furnace Prison – Where death is the least of your worries. Escape is just the beginning. We thought we’d made it, we thought we were free. But we should have known there was no way out of Furnace. All we did was slip deeper into the guts of the prison: into solitary confinement, where the real nightmares live – the warden, and something worse.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Lockdown, so I’m not sure why I waited so long to read book 2.  This book did not suffer from the sequel slump for me.  I was immediately pulled back into Alex’s plight and could not wait to see what awaited them underneath the Furnace.  Alex opens up this story by telling how horrible of a person he really is and why he feels he deserves to be in the Furnace and not be pitied.  However, as you follow his attempt to escape and also rescue his friends you cannot help but feel sorry for him.  Despite doing some pretty terrible things he does not deserve this horrible fate.

Donovan was a favorite character of mine in book 1 so I was a little worried we wouldn’t see him in this one since he was taken away in book 1.  So I was surprised at how deftly the author brought him back as a subconscious figure that keeps Alex company when he is alone and despairing.  It comes off almost as if Donovan was still there without seeming cheesy.  We also see the introduction of a few new characters that provide a new level of intrigue to the story line.  There is also the revelation that the head bad guy isn’t all that first thought.  There are a few surprises that are going to leave you eagerly waiting to get your hands on book 3.  The whole story was an exhilarating roller coaster ride that had me immediately wanting to dive into the next book.

I won’t say this is a “guy” book per say because obviously I really enjoyed it but if you have a teenage, male, reluctant reader this might be a great series to start them out on.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

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