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Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith Review

Title: Solitary

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

First published July 2, 2009

225 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780312674762 (ISBN10: 0312674767)

Rating: 4.18


“Solitary” by Alexander Gordon Smith is a gripping tale of survival in the face of unimaginable horror. Alex Sawyer and his friends thought they had a chance to break free from the Furnace Penitentiary, but their plans were foiled and now they are trapped in a place even more sinister than before.

In solitary confinement, they must fight to keep their sanity and not succumb to the horrors that lurk around every corner. With fast-paced action and heart-stopping scenarios, this book will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Smith’s writing is witty, terrifying, and will leave readers wanting more. “Solitary” is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a thrilling horror story that will keep them up all night.

About the Author

Meet Alexander Gordon Smith, an English author known for his young adult novels, such as Lockdown and Solitary, from the Escape from Furnace series. Smith was born in Norwich in 1979 and always had a passion for writing.

He tried out different service and retail trades before deciding to pursue his love for literature and enrolling in the University of East Anglia. It was during his time at the university that Smith discovered his interest in publishing.

Together with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a magazine and press that showcases the work of new and talented authors. Smith has written numerous articles, short stories, and books, ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, and from Midsomer Murders to X-Files.

His extensive research for these projects sparked countless ideas for books. In 2007, Smith’s first book, The Inventors, co-written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the UK.

Today, Smith resides in England, continuing to inspire young readers with his thrilling novels.

Editoral Review

Solitary by Alexander Gordon Smith is a heart-stopping masterpiece that raises questions about the nature of social isolation, imprisonment, and human resilience. Alexander Gordon Smith is a prolific young adult fiction author who has received numerous awards for his work.

His writing style is evocative, engrossing, and deeply moving, capturing the misery of incarceration and the fiery spirit of its victims. Solitary is a fine example of his work, and stands out as a thrilling, engrossing, and insightful read that probes deep into the human condition.

The book follows the story of a young boy named Alex, who is incarcerated in Furnace, a futuristic prison designed to house the worst of society’s criminals. The prison is a terrifying place, and its decrepit walls and inhumane treatment of its inmates are enough to strike fear in the heart of any reader.

Alex, the protagonist, is plunged into the depths of this Hellhole, which is ruled with an iron fist by a warden known as The Wheezewort. The book is fast-paced, with many twists and turns, and it moves along at a frenzied pace that keeps the reader glued to its pages.

The world-building in Solitary is stunningly realized, with vivid descriptions of Furnace’s architecture and layout. The characters are well-drawn, with each inmate having his own distinct personality and backstory that make them feel real and relatable.

The themes of isolation, friendship, and survival run deep in this book, offering readers a glimpse into the human spirit’s unbreakable resilience. One of the book’s most significant strengths is its pacing.

Alexander Gordon Smith has crafted a story that moves along at a breakneck pace, with no time-wasting in unnecessary exposition or filler. The book’s action sequences are thrilling and captivating, with nail-biting suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The themes the book tackles, such as the way that isolation and terror can impact the human psyche, are explored through a gripping narrative that makes for a memorable and impactful read. However, the book is not without its flaws.

There are moments when the book feels overly formulaic, and the solution to some of the characters’ dilemmas is somewhat predictable. Additionally, some of the world-building can feel a bit contrived, with Furnace feeling more like a dystopian fantasy land than a realistic prison environment.

However, these minor quibbles can’t detract from the overall impact and excellence of the book. In conclusion, Solitary is a thrilling and thought-provoking read that will grip readers from beginning to end.

Alexander Gordon Smith has crafted a gripping story of resilience, friendship, and terror that will leave readers breathless. Although the book isn’t perfect, its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, making it a worthwhile and recommended read for anyone who loves young adult fiction or who is looking for a well-crafted and exciting story.

The book deserves a rating of four out of five stars, and is highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story.