Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carter

*** This book is a sequel so if you haven't read All Fall Down by Ally Carter, proceed with caution. Here's my review, check that out first. ***

Title: See How They Run
Series: Embassy Row #2
Written by: Ally Carter
Published: December 22, 2015 by Scholastic
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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. 

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

I enjoy Ally Carter's writing a lot despite never finishing The Gallagher Girls series. And while this book has the same action and adventure it's a very different series. I read the first book, All Fall Down in January and really enjoyed it so I was really excited to get a copy of this one from my Secret Sister waiting for me right before the holidays. This book did not disappoint. See How They Run was a fantastic sequel to an engaging YA political thriller.

I absolutely loved the way that Ally Carter escalated the plot development in this book. If you read All Fall Down then you know how it ended and really changed everything. But that was only the beginning. This book is bigger and the stakes are even higher. The first book was only an introduction to the world and now that that has been established, we can take things to new heights. That's exactly what Carter does here. Everything really built to a huge and thrilling conclusion. As the synopsis says, the twists were even twistier and the big reveal at the end, Carter changes the game again and left me totally reeling. But because she did change things so much she had to rebuild the world. There was a lot more exposition for a typical second book. This led to a little info dumping and some muddled plot development. But the plot was engaging and extremely readable.

In book one I was expecting more of a typical murder mystery but I got something much more psychological and political. In this book however those were all tuned down a little bit. I already mentioned that there was a lot of new exposition in this book. Because of that it felt more like a big picture book that acted like a bridge between the first book and what I'm sure will be a great conclusion to the trilogy. But the book did have a lot of really great mystery. It wasn't quite a murder mystery but there were those elements. And because the setting of the book has political implications, so does the plot and the mystery. I usually like my series to resolve the mystery with each specific book but here it ended up just setting up more mysteries despite a few twists and reveals, some I solved and some I did not.

And once again, See How They Run was populated with complex characters with strengths and weaknesses. They're honestly very refreshing because they aren't the type that figure everything out on the first try and can do no wrong. The main character Grace is not your usual protagonist. She gets things wrong more often than she gets them right but that's what makes her so likable and sympathetic. In book one she is plucky and sarcastic but here that is really tuned down as well. The events of the first book really took their toll on her so now Grace is in an even more vulnerable place. But she doesn't let that stop her from figuring things out and coming to the aid of those she cares about. In this book we also got to spend more time with some favorite secondary characters from the first book especially Alexei. Jamie was also a big part of this book which was really fun as well. He's so different from Grace and is very protective but also has so much respect for her. You can tell it all comes from a place of love. But that's what it's like for so many of these characters. They're really complex and far from perfect but that's what makes them so interesting.

On the whole See How They Run was a fun and engaging read with a plot that really escalated into a thrilling adventure, a mystery full of crazy twists, and complex characters who are likable for their weaknesses. I'm really excited with the way this series is going and after that ending I can't wait to see how everything goes in the next book. It's going to be amazing I'm sure.

I give See How They Run by Ally Carter 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you liked the first book in this series then definitely pick up this one as well. It takes things to a whole new level and really builds on the ending from the last book. If you are into mysteries and political thrillers, especially YAs then I would recommend this series.

Have you read See How They Run? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I want to read the first one in this series. It looks very good!

  2. Glad to hear this one took things to another level! I read the first one and wasn't too keen on Grace's self blame and refusal to allow others to help her... so I'm not sure if I want to continue the series!