Book Reviews · Young Adult

Book Review: “Escape from Furnace: Solitary” by Alexander Gordon Smith

Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith
Solitary (Escape From Furnace, #2)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m so glad that I finally got around to reading this book because whenever I thought about how the first book ended, I got a pit in my stomach about what would happen next. This book was not as suspenseful as the first book was for me, although there are more aspects of horror and gore in this one as well as a well-thought out investigation on mental health and the extent of the abilities of the human body.

My thoughts on the characters:
Alex Sawyer is much more grounded in this book and I felt like his loss of his past is well portrayed. He’s much less hopeful than he was in the first book and I was surprised by what he was willing to do to survive. I love that he takes risks and that he accepts the consequences of what he does, but there were times when I was annoyed with him for being so easy to convince.
Zee is fantastic, although most of the time I felt like he only gets in Alex’s way and slows down the plot because he isn’t as helpful as other characters in their quest to get out of Furnace.
Donovan just breaks my heart I literally cannot talk about him.
Simon is an interesting character and he sheds light on so many mysteries that are outlined in the first quarter of the book as well as provides information on whatever Alex doesn’t know or can’t figure out. I like his input in the story, but I can’t say more without spoiling the book.

My thoughts on the plot:
This book does well to follow the course of events from the first book and has wonderful continuity. It starts off from the exact moment that the first book left off on, which is *spoiler if you haven’t read the first book* when they blow up the second cavern and plunge into the river to escape Furnace. The beginning of this book is harrowing for Alex, Zee, and Gary and I’m surprised by how well they do to get away from the dogs and the Blacksuits. There are definite plot twists in this book that I loved because it follows the idea of “Oh my god, that can’t possibly be happening. But, actually, it makes a lot of sense. There couldn’t be any other explanation.” The story follows Alex’s attempt to escape only to be caught and thrown into solitary, which is an inmate’s worse nightmare.
Alex’s stay in solitary is interesting and practically terrifying. Although there were moments when Gordon’s writing seemed more like an essay than a fiction story, but this is due to the fact that there is literally nothing for Alex to do in solitary. The story, however, is incredibly action packed and I will let the reader find out how instead of telling you myself. As for the ending, I didn’t feel the same desperation or terror that I did when I finished Lockdown, the first book in the series, although I do understand that Alex’s fate has gone from bad to worse.

Overall, this book explored more than action, unlike the first book, and it was a pleasant read. I’ll be looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon.

View all my reviews

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Escape from Furnace: Solitary” by Alexander Gordon Smith

  1. That’s a very thorough review. I’ve never heard of these books but I’ll certainly be investigating. I’m always on the look out for things to read. Although this does backfire sometimes as there aren’t enough free hours to enjoy them all.

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