Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2
By: Alexander Gordon Smith

Picking up where the first novel left off Alex and his fellow escapees are soon recaptured by the evil warden and his henchmen and whisked off to ‘Solitary’ confinement. This was pretty much given away by the title and the fact that this is a trilogy, they were going to get away that easily.

‘Solitary’ is somewhat better than the previous novel ‘Lockdown’. The suspense and tension are ramped up much higher and done better but the dialog and character development still suffer from a lack of depth. There are plot holes and inconsistencies in the story but they’re not glaring so much as merely noticeable. As an example; some of the physical feats (long runs, high climbs, extreme exertion) later in the story would certainly be impossible due to the physical condition the prisoners are in.

This novel is recommended for readers in grades 7 – 9 and I think that’s a good fit though it would probably also hold the interest of older students and adults. ‘Solitary’ and the rest of the trilogy probably won’t win any literary awards but they’re worth reading.

Three Stars.

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