I received this book for free from the NCTE in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter
Published by Scholastic Press on 20 January 2015
Grace 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.
I’ve been a fan of Ally Carter’s since I first read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. I read all of her Heist Society books and was very excited about her new series: Embassy Row. Book one, All Fall Down, introduces us to Grace, adventurous yet troubled, and quite possibly crazy. As a character, this is a departure for Carter, and her writing feels edgier because of it.
Plot-wise, it is everything you would expect in an Ally Carter novel: teen girl and friends kick some serious butt and do some day-saving. However, while trying to figure out the conspiracy, I kept wondering if Grace was making everything up. That doubt kept me on the edge of my seat, even when a big plot twist felt too obvious. This doubt is addressed at the end of the book, thankfully, along with a final scene that sets up a new mystery for the rest of the series.
My only complaint is that a few times character development felt forced. For example, there were a few conversations that didn’t feel natural and I wondered if they were present only to set up later conflict. Also, Carter’s books usually have a little bit of romance, but with All Fall Down, I’m still not sure if I missed it or it wasn’t there.
The Verdict: This is Ally Carter, all grown up.