Series: Embassy Row #1
Published by Scholastic Press on January 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Young Adult
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A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.
This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
This book is filling the category “Free Choice” in my Full House Reading Challenge.
All Fall Down was not at all what I was expecting. I adore Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series; they’re just so fun, with teenagers doing ridiculous and unrealistic spy work, but who cares? It’s exceedingly entertaining.
All Fall Down has some of the same characteristics (teenagers somehow able to hack into any computer/spy work craziness), but the overall tone is much darker. In essence, this book is about the main character, Grace, dealing with PTSD caused by her mother’s death. Grace knows that she saw a scarred man shoot her mother, but everyone, including those closest to her, repeatedly tell her she’s wrong, that her mother’s death was an accident. So Grace, with the help of some genius kids living on Embassy Row, decide to take matters into their own hands.
A lot of this book is kind of painful, because Grace is convinced that certain events will happen, so she rushes in to try to stop them. Because she’s the daughter of the US Ambassador in the country of Adria, this means jumping into the middle of press conferences, literally jumping off a balcony because she thinks someone is going to get shot. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t lock her in her room early on. No, they just kept inviting her to events, very important events. With people like the president of the United States.
Ally Carter always writes secondary characters that the main character would get nowhere without, which I love. There’s a fun gang here who help Grace in her shenanigans, choosing to trust her instead of assuming she’s crazy. It was a really nice change from the first bit of the book where Grace was just sullen all day with no one to talk to.
There’s a hint of romance, that I’m assuming will bloom in the next book. Though honestly, I guess it could go either way with Noah or Alexei, though I was getting definite BFF vibes only from Noah for the most part. Alexei was all “I’m a sexy Russian who has cared about you forever, I just want you to trust me”. Suffice to say, I liked his character a lot. Plus the added tension between the US and Russia affecting their relationship was a nice little subplot.
I feel like I should have known the ending, but I was pretty surprised. Very nice, Ally Carter.
If you’ve read Ally Carter’s other books, just be aware this one is quite different. It still has some of the characteristics that readers have to come to love her books for, but the tone is decidedly darker.