Not the best follow-up, but brings more mystery and tension to Embassy Row..
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Mystery
No. of pages: 336
Inside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.
Grace’s past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.
I’ve got a soft spot for the Embassy Row series. A damaged heroine, thrown in the deep end of secret societies and political drama… ‘See How They Run’ was a great addition, though I must admit, I was expecting a little more.
Our protagonist Grace was always freaking out, screaming, or demanding attention. There were things set up in the first novel I was hoping to get some resolution for – but they weren’t. Instead, we get a new set of mysteries and only a small number of answers. As a result ‘See How They Run’ suffered middle book syndrome for me. I didn’t get a pay-off and the cliff-hanger felt cheap. Almost telenovela style.
Grace became stronger, but also more unstable. The way she conducts herself adds to the frustration I feel over how reactionary she is. The whole lamenting in guilt was getting laid on thick, where at some points, I was annoyed – move the story forward please. There is a lot more telling instead of showing. The PTSD flashbacks got tiresome.
I also found myself becoming a little pissed at Grace – she creates a bad situation for Alexei and then berates him for it. She’s starting to come off as a flake. Or quite possibly bipolar. It’s an easy assumption to conclude I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as the debut.
Alexei is thrown around as trustworthy then not. As hot and comforting and then as some feral woodland creature. You can get my frustration with Grace. I liked the story, but not its execution. Less emotional roller coaster – more mystery and intrigue.
Precedence of the ‘Scooby Gang’ (Grace’s group of friends with spy skills) set up in the first novel are practically ignored here. Doubt and suspicion are flung everywhere in a messy fashion. I felt like there was less structure in crafting this storyline in comparison to ‘All Fall Down.’ Maybe there is too much going on, or Grace is too scattered with her inner dialogue.
It also felt like a case of “Grace gets a bit of love and ignores her friends.”
Ms Chandlier the American Embassy staffer (and secret organisation member) has simply become the most annoying character I’ve ever read and seems to be a storytelling device (along with ‘Scar Man’) to add tension and drip-feed clues. It feels so unrealistic and contrived. Having them blurt out facts at key points in the narrative is so out of character for who they are set up to be. The whole premise of the factions involved relies on secrecy – why in hell do you blab it all out to a clearly unstable teenage girl?
Oh, and where was grandfather in this book? From playing such a strong role in ‘All Fall Down,’ he was notable absent here.
Wow – I’m getting my rant on… *changing gears*
I liked the mystery solving aspect, and the age-old political drama, but there wasn’t enough resolution for me to say I enjoyed the book. Plus with a whining protagonist and unrealistic reveals for clues, I’d say the good points and bad points balance each other out.
All in all it was a bit meh for me.
Overall feeling: fun, but fleeting
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3 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘See How They Run’ by Ally Carter”
Great review! Gracie started to annoy me in the sequel as well… Also, your post reminded me I still have to pick up the third book. xD
The third book is pretty good – no great, but Ally returns to many of the elements and characters that made the debut fun. Happy reading!