The first in a new and exciting series from the author of the ‘Gallagher Girls’ series. This time Ally Carter has set the action in the claustrophobic and very political world of national Embassies. The heroine, Grace is a deeply wounded person, at least emotionally. Three years previously she had seen her mother killed and this has had a profound effect on her behaviour and attitudes. When she returns to the country of Adria, where her grandfather is the American Ambassador she meets up with youngsters from other embassies, many of whom she knew as a child. When she sees the man that she holds responsible for her mother’s death, she sets out to bring him to justice. However there are dark secrets and Grace soon finds herself in very great danger.
Once again Ally Carter has produced a winning plot line for this new series. There is a certain fascination with the lifestyle of the political elite and she really manages to get under the skin of the young people who live this life. These youngsters are in this hot house environment due to an accident of birth and whilst they have the same issues as any teen, they also have to cope with the political tensions and often slightly rarefied atmosphere of their lives.
We really feel for Grace as she copes with the aftermath of her mother’s death and the possible breakdown that she appeared to have suffered. The story is very much about relationships, both within the family and with friends. How much should be try to protect people from memories, rather than helping them to work through traumas. Importantly however this is a face paced and exciting adventure for younger teens. It has several strong female protagonists, who we see develop over the course of the book. There are also hints of secrets and spies and we will no doubt see a development of this in the next book. Something I will look forward to.