rachel ☾'s Reviews > Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
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bookshelves: 3-star

It is not secret that I did not enjoy the first two books in this series. In fact, I rather loathed them for their irritable protagonist, overly simplistic writing style, and nonsensical plotlines. You can see why I'd be surprised to find myself feeling rather meh and okay about this series ender, rather than flat out disliking it.

I will admit that pretty much all of the things I had trouble with in the first book are still present in this finale, but there was something - an intangible, undefinable something - that made Take the Key and Lock Her Up incredibly easy to fly through. While I was often rolling my eyes at some of the character’s decisions, I cannot say I was ever bored while reading this book and that is a definite improvement over the first two books. The story was fast-paced and plot-driven with short, sharp sentences and plenty of dialogue so it was very, very easy to read. I find myself genuinely knowing wanting to know how the series would wrap up… even if that was probably more to do with the fact that I could not stand reading anything more about Grace, our protagonist, than anything else.

My problems:

• The romance incredibly cringy. It felt forced. Grace and Alexei had no chemistry so it was impossible to understand what Alexei saw in Grace. Their ship was just so meh and their kissing scenes were so overly bland that it actually bugged me, a lot.

• There was so much dialogue. Dear God.

• I hated how almost every sentence was short and sharp. There was very little variability.

• The secondary characters were so undeveloped; even though they were often present in the scenes, they didn’t really feel present. I wanted more from Noah and Megan in particular, and less from Rose, who drove me bonkers. I couldn’t remember if she was meant to be a lot younger than the other characters or not but she was so clingy and childish that I hope she was.

• The plot holes and general unreasonableness of this story were definitely the two most irritating aspects of the story. At one point, the characters broke out of a secret Russian mental hospital/prison and it was just… it was not even remotely believable. There were so many moments when I was frustrated by the plot or the characters’ decisions that I found it incredibly off-putting. Although, it did motivate me to finish the book as quickly as possible so that’s a bonus...

• Grace. I cannot stand her. I won’t get into it now since I talked about in my last two reviews but golly gracious, she is not the type of protagonist I like to read about.

• I really enjoyed the portrayal of Grace's PTSD in the first two books but in this book, Grace literally just rocked back and forth whenever she got reminded of her mother and it wasn't.... enough at times. I think the rep. just lost its way in this book in favour of the plot and that made me a little sad.

• The ending. Why couldn’t they have done that in the first place…? I don’t get why it needed to turn into a massive problem. It was so easily resolved!

• On a happier note, Thomas was beautiful and I wanted more of him. Noah’s humour was also a saving grace.
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Reading Progress

April 22, 2016 – Shelved
April 14, 2017 – Started Reading
April 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Brittany I love this series so much!

rachel ☾ @Britt: Really? OMG. I'm realising that our reading tastes might not be that similar... haha.

message 3: by Melliott (new)

Melliott I'm amazed that you kept reading. I read the first one and hated it so much I refused to continue! And I don't know what happened, because I have enjoyed all of Ally Carter's other books.

rachel ☾ @Melliott: Unfortunately, I am just too much of a stubborn - and curious - person to give up on a series! I like seeing how it ends so I can form a proper opinion of the series as a whole, especially if I didn't like it. Somehow it makes me feel more justified giving it a negative review? IDK. It's probably just stubbornness, really.

But I definitely see why you have it up on this particular series. I was not a fan of the first book either and I def wouldn't recommend continuing on. It is a shame because Carter's Heist series was so good!

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