Monday, January 10, 2011

Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith

The book's synopsis from the publisher's website:

Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2Furnace 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, the Wheezers, and something much, much worse.

The clock’s ticking. Because if we don’t escape soon they will turn us into freaks - like them. For ever.

In the darkness of the hole your worst nightmares come to life.
This book rocked!!! I thought that maybe because it's a sequel, it wouldn't quite live up to the first book, Lockdown, but it definitely did and then some. Solitary has everything a reader may look for in a good, action packed thriller. It's full of nasty characters you just love to hate and want annihilated almost as much as the good guys do, it's very fast paced, almost not allowing a reader to surface for even one intake of breath, and  the protagonist, Alex Sawyer along with his friends (old and new), are such likable boys that you can't help but want them to succeed.

I have seen this series (Solitary is part two of the Escape from Furnace and there are apparently three more coming our way, yay!) being pitched as 'boy and reluctant reader' books and while it's certainly that, Solitary should be really read by all YA fans and even reader of adult thrillers. It asks important questions (How much authority is too much? How much punishment is too harsh?) and definitely makes a reader think. I like that there are some introspective passages in Solitary that were missing in Lockdown and that a little more is revealed about the Warden. It looks like the curtain of secrecy will be lifted every few inches with each book, until the grand finale. Besides the great, roller coaster fun, the secrets will make you want to come back for more.

BENEATH HEAVEN IS HELL
AND BENEATH HELL IS
FURNACE 

*******
Special thanks to Ksenia W. and Macmillan publishers for sending me a copy of this book for review.
Make sure you check out the website for Furnace Penitentiary and the author, Alexander Gordon Smith. They're both awesome, just like the series.