Escape from Furnace 2: Solitary Paperback – 2 Jul 2009
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The thrilling sequel in Alexander Gordon Smith's no-holds-barred teen Furnace series, where the terror has only just begun.
About the Author
Alexander Gordon Smith, 30, is the author of The Inventors, which was shortlisted for the Wow Factor competition. He writes non-fiction books and articles and is the co-writer of the Scooby Doo: World of Mystery magazine. He also runs his own publishing company, promoting and building talented new writers and poets. He lives in Norwich.
Top customer reviews
So in this story if you remember Alex and his buddies went to try to escape via a tunnel that was collapsed. We left off where they got through and that was it, we never learned if they got to see daylight.
Well I guess from the synopsis we learn that they didn't. It seems the boys got caught and they are thrown into the hole. Now Alex has learned before what the hole was about via his friend Donovan and it didn't sound pretty.
Now that Alex has been captured it is a matter of time before he probably ends up going crazy or so you would think, as we read on we learn that there are things deep below that are scary and gruesome and are willing to help Alex get out. It seems that there is something more going on in the furnace besides just framing kids and having them in hell.
Now in the hole we see and feel what Alex goes through and we watch him try to escape more than once. Will he even succeed?
I thought the author could have let Alex stay in the hole a bit more longer than he did and the reason I think that is because it would have been interesting to see how sane he would have been via three days or a week. We get more interaction with the wheezers in this one and we learn about what happened to Donovan and it just makes you feel bad for all the boys that are still in prison.
I am not sure if I liked book one or this one a whole lot more it may be a tie between the both of them. I think teens will really enjoy this book it has the right amount of action and emotions that will have you wondering what will happen next.
This story continues immediately after the first story. Alex Sawyer has just attempted to escape from the prison no one has escaped from. Along with a few friends he has managed to get out of the prison and into an underground river. Soon he is in a maze of tunnels, vaults and caves under the prison. They say that hell is below heaven and that furnace is below hell; Alex is about to find out what is below furnace. As the title indicates, Alex ends up in solitary confinement. There he must battle not only his own personal demons but also he encounters some created by the prison and the staff as they have experimented on the young inmates in their charge.
This book is kind of a cross between Escape from Alcatraz, and The Island of Dr. Moreau but with a sadistic Nazi Concentration camp-like experiments or somewhat like the Saw movies. The book is a compulsive read; you will discover that you cannot put it down. What does hold you back is knowing that it is only book 2 in a 5 part series and that 2 have not even been published yet. The book is dark and as hideous as the experiments depicted. Our main character has fleeting thoughts of suicide and struggles to maintain not only hope, but the ability to keep trying and striving to find a way of escape.
The book begins with Alex telling us "I have a confession. I'm not a good person. ... I stole from the people I loved, and took the things that meant the most to them. ... So don't go fooling yourself that I'm an innocent victim, someone who didn't deserve to be locked up inside the hell on earth known as Furnace Penitentiary." His time in isolation forces him to honestly evaluate himself and his worth. And he finds himself wanting.
I am not sure I even want to imagine what being locked in a hole carved in rock would be like, yet Gordon Alexander Smith seems to not only place a character there, but enters his mind and that confined space, and gives us an incredible experience of it. In this book we learn more about Furnace and what is really happening there, but we are also left with more questions - hopefully some of which will be answered in book 3, Death Sentence.
As stated at the beginning, this book is currently only available in North America by overseas shipping. With how popular the first book is becoming it is surprising that the publisher is not pushing off the US releases to get caught up to the UK releases. This book was a great read, but I would not recommend it for all readers; it is very dark and in some places gruesome, but never to a point that it does not fit the story. I read it twice late at night, and though I do not often remember my dreams, both evenings I dreamed of Alex and his struggles. It is a story well told, and told well in the details. It leaves you cheering for the underdog even though he recognises he is not innocent, not good and has failed everyone who has ever known him. It is a good instalment in what is shaping up to be a great series.
I was impressed as to how this book is crafted. Not only imaginative but delivered with an excellent command of the English.
I'm impressed that my son (an active teenager) was overt at wanting to share the story with us (the parents).
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