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Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2 Hardcover – December 21, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Escape from Furnace (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374324921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374324926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10–Alex Sawyer, 14, is in prison for a murder he didn't commit. He tried to escape the horrors of the underground prison known as Furnace in Lockdown (Farrar, 2009), and now he must battle the nightmare that is solitary confinement. The cells open from the top through a sort of manhole cover, and they are more like coffins standing on end than cells. Alex must fight the monsters and mutants that are his captors and tormentors, including the dreaded wheezers that have gas masks sewn to what should be their faces and the vicious rat and doglike creatures that spoiled their escape attempt. Alex's friend Donavan was thought to be dead, but as it turns out is part of the horrors going on in the infirmary. There are several disturbing episodes when Alex is alone with his thoughts in his cell, and his fatalism or depression leads him to contemplate suicide. The rest of this story is fast paced and packed with nail-biting scenarios, and the gross-out factor is high in many sections. Alex is coaxed into a leadership role by some of the creatures and his friend Zee, who occupies an adjoining cell, and through their attempt at another escape, discovers what is really happening to inmates in the infirmary. This is a dark story with a dark ending, but the gritty action and compelling characters will have reluctant readers enthralled.–Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In a sequel to Lockdown (2009) that is just as breathlessly paced and soaked with blood, mucus, and less savory substances, teen jailbird Alex’s escape from the futuristic underground prison and experimental lab called Furnace leads first to recapture and then to a second flight that involves frantic chases through dark caverns and tunnels, face-to-face encounters with flesh chewing human-rat hybrids, and visits to a gruesome “Infirmary,” in which prisoners are modified into hideous monsters. Readers who relish lurid imagery and melodramatic prose will continue to be riveted and left eager for the next disgust-o-rama episode. Grades 6-9. --John Peters

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Customer Reviews

I love this series and cannot wait for the third book to come out.
Shawn Kovacich
I appreciate that the author maintained a consistency with his story and his characters that keep my suspension of disbelief at bay.
Kurt G. Schumacher
I read Lockdown in one sitting and pretty much held my breath through the last fifty pages.
J.Prather

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Solitary is a good follow-up to Lockdown and an enjoyable read that will appeal to any fan of horror or dystopian fiction. I read Lockdown in one sitting and pretty much held my breath through the last fifty pages. Solitary is still full of action, but somehow it never seemed to capture the level of intensity present in Lockdown. It's a quick read that held my interest throughout, and I was somewhat surprised at the direction the story seems to be taking. Alex's confession that starts the book struck the perfect note and set the tone for the rest of the story. I also thought the author did a fantastic job describing Alex's despair and depression while in Solitary. These scenes added much more dimension to his character. It strikes me that amidst all this action and gore there exists quite an impressive coming of age story developing as Alex comes to terms with who he is and what he actually wants. I didn't appreciate that in the first novel, so if we lose a bit of intensity and suspense, I think we gain what is working out to be a series of some unexpected depth.

This continues a story that holds great appeal for teen reluctant readers. Be warned: the images are powerful and gruesome. This one ends in yet another cliff hanger and I simply can't wait to read the next one. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Randa on August 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The cover:

Poor Alex :s.

I love this cover. It shows exactly how shocked, sad, depressed and lonely Alex felt in solitary.

The storyline:

Usually when the first book in the series is really good, you fin the sequels to be a bit disappointing, at least that's what I experienced. Not in this series.

I loved this book more than Lockdown, I didn't think it could get any better but it did! Mr. Gordon blew me away with this book. I was amazed and in love with every aspect of this book.

So, let's go for a short Summary:

So Lockdown ended with Alex, Zee, Gary and Toby jumping into the river and making a run for it.

Solitary starts from where Lockdown exactly left off. I'm not going to spoil this for you. But here's what happened in short phrases.

Alex continues to tell us what happened, in detail, after they made the jump. After he barely survives the river, he gets taken to solitary (as you might have guessed from the title) for a month as the Warden orders. In that period of time, Alex, sees and experiences for the first time the real horrors of Furnace. He thought that general population was hell, he had no idea that the real hell is under the cells.

While he's in solitary, he gets to experience the madness first hand. He finds new friends, looses ones too and gets to meet the worst creatures he had seen yet. Alex goes through the worst of it all and faces a deadly end.

What I loved:

- The writing as in the first one, was amazing. It was well paced and everything was in enough detail and yet it had some aspect of mystery. So although there was enough decryption, there were moments when you could sense something was kept hidden.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Reader on February 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Solitary was an amazing sequal to Lockdown! It was non-stop action and I could feel the fear and dispare that Alex felt.
There was so much emotion! I loved how Alex and Zee cryed...which may sound weird but it was sooo realistic.
The humor was perfectly placed!
I didnt know if Alexander Gordon Smith could top Lockdown and I wasnt sure where Solitary would go but I loved it!

Cant wait for the third book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on January 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alex Sawyer thought his plan worked, but temporary escape from Furnace Penitentiary didn't mean that he was actually free. Just when he and Zee thought they would make it, the unimaginable happens and they are recaptured. Just like that, Alex and Zee are prisoners once more, but this time, Furnace has a lot worse planned for them--solitary confinement. If thirst doesn't kill them first, the unraveling of their own minds surely will. But Alex has not come this far just to give in this easily. But what can one boy do? His friend Zee is also trapped in a hole in the ground while Donovan is being subjected to the horrors of the infirmary. Alex is going to need a lot determination and inner strength or at least some unexpected help if he's going to take on the hellish horrors of Furnace again.

Solitary, though not nearly as good as its prequel Lockdown, is still a pretty satisfactory read. Readers can expect a decent amount of action, but, as the title of the novel suggests, a large portion of the story takes place while Alex is in solitary confinement, which doesn't allow for much movement in the plot. This is both good and bad because while it often seems like nothing is actually happening, it allows for the development of Alex's character in this lull. I still enjoyed the story, but I felt that everything in Solitary was not nearly as well put together as in Lockdown. Alex's "confession" that he really is a bad person within the first chapter of this book felt inconsistent with the character that is presented in Lockdown and indeed the rest of Solitary and just out of place in the grand scheme of things. The pacing of the plot felt awkward at times and the ending of this novel makes the reader wonder where Smith could possibly go from there.
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