Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)” as Want to Read:
Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Escape from Furnace #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,804 ratings  ·  809 reviews
Furnace 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.

Paperback, UK Edition, 272 pages
Published July 2nd 2009
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Solitary, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Solitary

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,804 ratings  ·  809 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)
Paige  Bookdragon

This book will mess your mind and emotions.

This little shit is amazing and Smith is a genius for giving you one hell of a roller coaster ride. The suspense never ends in this book and you can't help but hold your breath every now and then because the author wants you dead.

Wait no, sorry that's wrong.

He just wants you to have some difficulty in breathing.

Solitary is the second book in the Escape from Furnace series and if you want a fast-paced book that causes emotional and mental destruction,
Vanessa J.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2016, young-adult
I'm gonna tell you something: I am not easily scared with books.

... And yet, this book kept me afraid all the time. Because now I finally imagined myself in the characters' place, trapped in a prison for a crime I didn't commit knowing I'll probably die in there.

Just like the first one, this book is incredibly fast-paced. The action never ends, and the thrill just increases with every passing moment. Add to that the fact that each minute the characters have to face yet more horrible things that
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

This second installment was just as thrilling as the first, and even went deeper into the creepy than Lockdown did! I devoured this book in one sitting, and the only thing stopping me from tearing into the third is ability to get it right now. I had a pretty lengthy review for Lockdown that can be seen here and most of what I said still applies.

One thing that I was bothered by in this book though was the switching of terms (slang?). Sometimes I would be jarred from the story because of
Emily May
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horror, 2015
This series just plays on all my deepest, darkest fears.

There's the fear of being framed for a crime I didn't commit, of telling the truth and having no one believe me. There's the fear of the supernatural - of things that come and get you after dark. Of friends being taken and changed into something unrecognizable and horrifying.

But with this second installment, there is also a new fear. A claustrophobia caused by being locked in a tiny, dark space. Shut away without companions or even light. L
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
So I'm listening to this book on Audible, and I'm thinking, "We've just spent half an hour listening to Alex's inner monologue whilst he's stuck in a coffin-sized solitary confinement hole. But I haven't been bored once."

*slow clap*

That's really impressive. Truly. I've really enjoyed this series so far. The author stays just north of the horror genre, but still dabbles a toe in it periodically. Overall, the feel is thriller, which I appreciate. I don't typically enjoy grimdark for the sake of gr
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is blowing my mind. It is intense and extremely engaging. Solitary is more of a psychological journey with slightly less action than the first book, Lockdown, but definitely still as gratifying.

We are introduced to new characters in Solitary and learn more about the secrets hidden in the depths of Furnace. While we catch glimpses at these new characters, Alex learns a lot about his self and has to fight many personal demons. His mind is pushed to it's limits, showing him he was just
I love it when authors include a chapter that brings you up to speed with the plot.

I didn't need it in this case. But I sure appreciated the gesture. And how well it fit with the plot

Solitary continues from Lockdown, like the next episode in a tv serial. As if I had never finished book one, and was flipping a page.

After trying to escape, their plan falls short. Unable to find a safe route out, the boys land back into the Warden's hands.

This time, their cell is the hole.

Solitary confinement.
Cindy Newton
This is the second installment in the series Escape From Furnace, and the hair-raising adventures continue. The book begins where the first left off--the boys have been recaptured after their first failed escape attempt. Keeping their hope alive is how much further they got than anyone expected or dreamed possible. Alex and Zee are thrown into solitary for a month, a length of time that no one has served under those circumstances without going mad. The two boys find ways to maintain their sanity ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horror
Solitary, another great book to the horror of the Escape from Furnace series, begins where the first one left off. I’m telling you, this is one of the best YA series I’ve read in a long time. I don’t think Solitary was as good as Lockdown, but it still was a wild ride!
Ivie dan Glokta
I have to be honest, I've been on a bit of a binge. I inhaled “Lockdown” and “Solitary” in one day.

It has left me on a downer, though. Smith writes such brilliantly gritty stuff, that I know that the chances of seeing Furnace in any other format except written are slim to none at best. I mean there is so much high quality entertainment in books that slowly trough past few years TV kind of lost it's meaning. Truth be told, it never offered much anyway, but I lost the taste for the watered down Ho
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought the first book in this series was rough, scary, horrid..but this book two was deff its match. These are so good. I cant turn the pages fast enough.

Alex tries to escape Furnace one more time, just having the hope of doing so keeps him going hour by terrifying hour in solitary confinement. He forges a new pact with new friends. What will happen this time? How can they try again? Where? Will it work this time?

Read it and find out. Im on to book 3 soon. You just cant tear yourself away f
Edward Jamieson
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Boring. Sometimes I could skip one or two pages of reading and then I knew I didn't miss anything. Being locked in a hole, the author makes you to feel everything Alex feels in darkness, but the real actions are very slow. In whole book Alex does only two real tries to escape. And he almost does it. ...more
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Michelle by: Book Smugglers
Shelves: ya, dystopian, 2009, own
After putting down Furnace: Lockdown - which effectively stopped right on a monumentally massive cliff-hanger ending - wondering if Alex Sawyer actually, really and truly escaped from the underground prison Furnace, I simply took a deep breath, cracked open Solitary and plowed on ahead. You see, Alex has witnessed horror upon horror during his stay in Furnace and just when the possiblity of escape is dangled right in front of him, he's brought back to grim reality by the evil Warden and his soul ...more
I think I just died a little inside.

This is the second book in the Escape from Furnace series (one of my favourites may I add) in which our protagonist Alex, after accused of murdering his best friend, is convicted and sentenced to life in Furnace prison - basically, as close to Hell as you can go. This series features mainly his desperate desire to escape.

I feel so gullible. At the end of the first book when he found the river to escape in I LITERALLY thought he would make it. Again,
This was as action packed as the first in the series.
This was as creative and creepy as the first in the series.
This was as "on-the-edge-of-my-seat" as the first in the series.

And yet I couldn't love it as much as the first in the series.

I think there was more repetition - in solitary, out of solitary, in solitary, out of solitary, etc. etc. ETC. - than there was in the first book. I also think the (almost complete) absence of my favorite character, Donovan, was what was really missing for m
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solitary is the second installment of Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith.

Alex Sawyer failed in his attempt for escape and other than that he was put in solitary confinement, he faces much greater horrors hidden in Furnace's belly. He will meet some unlikely companions, and together they will plan again another strategy for escape.

This volume has so much grittiness in it. I've read worse, but not in young-adult fiction, and this kind of gore is my thing so I definitely enjoyed it. Bein
Ashton Last Name
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this book Alex finally escaped but he has been caught and brought back. he is put in solitary for a month and when he comes out he will be turned into a monster. this book is really descriptive and has lots of surprises. I would recommend this book to people who like a little bit scary books because this is a little bit scary.
Haley Nguyen
4.5 stars

Not as good as the first book, but still freaking amazing.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four bellissimo stars!!!

So...this is the second book in the series.  And I read the first book a year ago...Don't get me wrong.  I loved the first book.  I kept telling myself to pick up the second book soon, but there are always so many other books that I've been dying to read.  #UnMontonDeTBR Yes.  My TBR pile is probably as high as the highest mountain in Taiwan, 3952m.  Looking forward to become Everest (JK).  The problem is...I keep buying books even though there are a lot of books I haven'
Menglong Youk
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

Holy sh*t. Sorry for the language, but this is nuts. Solitary, the second book of Escape from Furnace series, explores my fear of claustrophobia. Following their escape in the first book, Lockdown, Alex, Zee and Gary were recaptured by the warden and the Blacksuits after only a short moment of freedom. (it's not actually freedom if you're in a mile beneath the Earth surrounded by man-made monsters and hideous prison.) Alex and Zee were then separately sent to one-month solitary confin
Red Lace Reviews
Delving further into the bowels of Furnace Penitentiary, Alex Sawyer desperately tries to hold onto his fleeting sanity. After a failed attempt to escape the underground horrors, being thrown into solitary confinement is a fate worse than death. A hole in the rocky earth becomes his coffin, yet it won't save him from what roams the corridors, in search of warm flesh to eat.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

With this second installment I desperately tried to overcome my primary issue
Brianna Kortesmaki
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response:

I really liked this book. It was a thriller, mystery, and it was intense. I never got bored and had to force myself to keep reading. It was a pretty easy read as well.


"Solitary" is the second book to the series "Escape From Furnace". Alex and Zee got caught trying to escape from The Furnace. The warden put them both in the hole for their first part of their punishment. The hole is a very small cell that is underground with a door on top that can only be opened from the
Nathan Togstad
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Personal response: Solitary was the second book to the exciting series by Alexander Gordon Smith. The book was full of action like I expected, but it was not as exciting as the first. I thought that this one was going to be better than the first but most of it was just Alex sitting in a cell. If the next book in the series gets worse, I would probably stop reading them. Although the book was not as exciting as the first, it shows a lot more of who Alex is. It lets you get to know him a lot bette ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Hayes aka Haute Librarian for

Sentenced to life without parole in the hellish prison known as Furnace, Alex has come to know the horrors the prison holds - the black suits with their shark-like grins, the wheezers and their gas masks, the dull red wash of the bloodwatch light.

However, Alex attempted the impossible. He tried to escape.

In this sequel to LOCKDOWN, Alex's jump for freedom into the raging underground river takes him to a new gallery of terrors.

Alex must fa
Mitchel Broussard
Less fun, scary and entertaining than Lockdown, and being about 50 pages shorter than that book (which was already under 300), I'm getting tired of the mini-cliffhangers. And of Alex's snide trying-so-hard-to-be-funny-in-the-face-of-terror narration.

Oh, and really? 3/4 of this thing takes place in a hole. I'll give the author credit for trying, and I know it services the world of Furnace, but C'MON! That was NEVER going to be exciting. Alex's "oh no I'm going crazy, oh no I'm seeing ghosts, oh n
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I picked up the first book in this series about a year ago, looking for something different, as I read YA from time to time.
The first book was a departure from most of the YA fare, being gritty and dark. The setting of the prison, ranks as harsh an environment that you find in literature.
This second book picks up immediately after the end of book one, with our main characters in the midst of an escape. Not to continue here to spoil anything.
We meet some new characters, and revisit and find out
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
you never know what to expect when going into a series. Book 1 may be awesome and subsequent books may taper off but guys so far, this book is still on a winning streak.

Look my emotions were all over the place. Alexander Gordon Smith really does a good job of pulling you into Furnance. You're practically at the edge of your seat, rooting for Alex and gasping at all the (i want to say scrapes but phew it's basically life or death there so its so much bigger than scrapes)- crazy situations he fou
Paige  Ingemunson
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was a good book but the first was better. This book was all about escaping the prison, and it stuck to the story line, but it was dragged out and it wasn't as good as i thought it would be. I would recommend this series to someone as i thought that up till the end of this book it was a series to read. ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: escape-books, 7dla
This book is an upgrade from the first one with them finding out the truth about the guards and the warden and how it all came together. In the first one, they think they escaped but the warden gets them before they can get out. They get food once every two or three days and no water because he and his friend Zee are being punished for escaping.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
3 questions about Solitary (Spoilers) 1 4 May 22, 2018 09:21AM  
Mrs. Anderson's E...: Solitary 1 7 Oct 22, 2015 07:16PM  
Who thinks Donovan should come back in Death Sentence? 2 13 Nov 02, 2014 06:23PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nightrise (Power of Five, #3)
  • Slawter (The Demonata, #3)
  • Feedback (Variant, #2)
  • The Sacrifice (The Enemy #4)
  • The Fear (The Enemy, #3)
  • Runaway
  • The Dead (The Enemy, #2)
  • The End (The Enemy, #7)
  • The Enemy (The Enemy, #1)
  • City of Stars (Stravaganza, #2)
  • The Hunted (The Enemy #6)
  • Everwild (Skinjacker, #2)
  • The Body Institute
  • Downsiders (Downsiders, #1)
  • Variant (Variant, #1)
  • Everlost (Skinjacker, #1)
  • Black Tattoo
  • Summer Wars, Part 1/2
See similar books…
Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series of young adult novels, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he ...more

Other books in the series

Escape from Furnace (5 books)
  • Lockdown (Escape from Furnace, #1)
  • Death Sentence (Escape from Furnace, #3)
  • Fugitives (Escape from Furnace, #4)
  • Execution (Escape from Furnace, #5)

Related Articles

  Whether you love the horror genre or just tiptoe into it ahead of Halloween, we have book picks for every level of scared you want to...
447 likes · 281 comments
“The human mind is a powerful thing in many ways, but in others it's endlessly fragile—it takes only a single moment of pure terror to tear a hole in it, like a finger through a cobweb, leaving you forever just a shadow, a half-person.” 55 likes
“When you're scared - and I mean really scared, not just hearing a noise in the night, or standing toe to toe with someone twice your size who wants to pound you into the earth - it feels as if you're being injected with darkness. It's like black water as cold as ice settling in your body where your blood and marrow used to be, pushing every other feeling out as it fills you from your feet to your scalp. It leaves you with nothing.” 35 likes
More quotes…