Sunday, November 13, 2011

Solitary- Escape from Furnace 2 by Alexander Gordon Smith

The second book in the Escape from Furnace series, Solitary, is just as creepy and vivid as the first.(See review here) Published by Square Fish, it ends at 225 pages.

The Story- At the end of Lockdown, Alex escaped the Furnace into the raging river underground. Too bad it didn’t go anywhere. Now he is imprisoned in Solitary for one month, and oops, the longest anyone has ever survived is one week.

Alex will do anything to prevent himself from going crazy in the pitch black confines of his cell and works out a code with another inmate, his friend Zee. But, the horror continues as rat like creatures, mutants made by the Wheezers, keep trying to break into his cell and eat him. Alex is confused when another mutant, Simon, saves him and asks for help in escaping the prison and telling the world about what is happening. Though he’s a creature, Simon has retained his human intelligence and introduces Alex and Zee to the real behind the scenes horror of the Furnace.

In this second book we find out what happens to all those kids that get taken from their cells, never to return.

My Thoughts- Just like the first book, Lockdown, this book is full of violence, disturbing images and nightmares. I only recommend it for older YA.

That being said, the author, Alexander Gordon Smith, is amazing. The images he brings to life will haunt you. I think the thing that gets me the most is the horrible things that happen to these boys. I keep thinking, there’s no way anyone could get away with that. In fact, the injustice made me livid. There is one scene where Alex has to hide in a chamber full of dead bodies, mutant children that didn’t make it. So creepy.

Thrown into the mix is Alex’s story with his friend Donavon, a character from the first book. The reader can feel Alex’s despair as he struggles to save his friend and does, but not in the way you’d expect, but definitely in a way that fits with the helplessness of the story. But somehow, the reader feels hope, and I can’t figure out why, because the author is always snatching it back.

And the ending, wow! There is no way I’m not getting book three. Alex is just a normal kid, how will he survive?  In fact, at the time of this posting, I am anxiously waiting for my package from Amazon to arrive with the 3rd book.

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