BOOKS

Take the Key and Lock Her Up

336p. (Embassy Row: Bk. 3). ebook available. Scholastic. Dec. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545654951.
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Gr 8 Up—Gracie's adventure continues in this third title in the series. Her motivation in this book is clearly to save her brother's life by sacrificing herself, but that doesn't seem to satisfy the Society, as it wants to extinguish the bloodline before a potential overthrow of the current system that it has spent 200 years maintaining. Carter provides nonstop action, and series fans will happily suspend disbelief as Gracie pulls off Jason Bourne-type escapes with the aid of multiple passports and thousands of dollars in foreign currency. Those who haven't read the first two volumes will likely be lost. What happened to Gracie's brother, and why he is so incapacitated? Who is Amelia? Why is Gracie avoiding returning to Adria to claim her seat on the throne? Gracie has inner conflicts that drive her to react impulsively and without considering potential consequences, such as meeting up with a prime minister whom she knows she can't trust and who has betrayed her in the past. As in most stories of kingdoms and bloodlines, the central tension comes down to who is willing to go the farthest to keep secrets and gain power.
VERDICT Fans of the best-selling series will enjoy this latest installment.

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