Thursday, March 6, 2014

Solitary: Escape from Furnace #2

*Changed My Spoiler Policy*

I spent a lot of time thinking and realized that it was sort of dumb that my reviews were containing spoilers… So, from now on my reviews will be spoiler free.  But if a book is in a series the review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.
Now, I know that I sometimes enjoy reading another bloggers in depth views on a book, so if you want to chat more about something email me at

Title: Solitary: Escape from Furnace
Series: Escape from Furnace #2
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: December 21st, 2010
Format: Library Copy
Genre: YA; Horror; Dystopian
Rating:  ✎✎✎

Alex Sawyer and his mates should have known there was no way out of Furnace Penitentiary. Their escape attempt only lands them deeper in the guts of this prison for young offenders, and then into solitary confinement. And that's where a whole new struggle begins—a struggle not to let the hellish conditions overwhelm them.  Because before another escape attempt is even possible, they must first survive the nightmare that now haunts their endless nights.

My Thoughts and Reflection:
*This is Book Two*
Review for Lockdown here.

After I finished Lockdown the same friend who made me read that pestered me until I picked up the sequel, so here we are!

Solitary began with a bang, starting right in the moments that Lockdown ended.  Alex and his buddies are high on the prospect of escape, and the possibility is just in their grasp.  As always, The Furnace thwarts the groups plan again.  Zee and Alex end up in Solitary confinement, and that is where things get interesting.
I enjoyed the plot of Solitary, but moved less with fact paced ferocity that Lockdown did.  Although the horror aspect was certainly upped, something that I was not expecting.  Smith was able to incorporate more character development into Solitary than in Lockdown, which was something that I except from a sequel, and was satisfying.  Donovan, however, we see very little of.   I was disappointed by that and missed the sarcastic rebellious elements that he brought to the story.  Zee becomes more developed as a character, revealing resourcefulness and faithfulness that he hadn't shown before.
I think that the most important thing that the character development showed us was how Alex felt about himself.  Very early on the reader comes to the realization that Alex believes that while he did not kill his friend Toby, he does deserve to be in the Furnace.  Those emotions lead to some dire situations and add a layer of rawness that Lockdown didn't contain.
The end of the book left the reader as breathless and on edge as Lockdown did.  However, I'm not as compelled to continue with the series as I was with Lockdown.  Smith lost some of the beautifully worded passages that I loved so much.  I was so excited to receive more of that as a reader, and was disappointed to find that Solitary was primarily character development, and some plot movement.  
This book is completely targeted toward a male audience, which is funny, but understandable.  The only girl mentioned between the two books is Alex's mother!!  Despite this male centered content, I think that this series is not something that a girls should just pass up on.  


I will likely continue with the series for the sake that I am curious about more explanation.  I really want to know what the general public would think if they knew about what really goes on in the furnace.  I really want to see Alex reunited with his parents again.  So, despite the let down this book was, I am not completely ready to give up on the characters. 

Dust Jacket Ramblings:

I like how the door scheme has continued from one cover to another.  I also like the focus on one face, this one I suppose must be Alex?  The texture of his skin and the darkness of the background add to the spooky affect.  The font, of course, adds to the military style prison aspect that the book revolves around.  

In Other News:

The week is almost over!  I've been doing a lot of reading, and I found this cool poem that I'd like to share!

He Loves the Rain 
by Shinji Moon 

I think we all speak a different kind of language
than each other, but you sound a whole lot like coffee on a
Sunday morning and the rain is falling bitter against the windowpane
and your elbows are making holes in the countertops, and
I only want to tell you that I wish I was as close as the threads of your
t-shirt, and if I can’t be that, then I’ll be content with
drinking my drink beside you, with the rain sloppy open mouth kissing
the roof, trying to dismantle the etymology of a conversation
that falls out of the realm of words.


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