All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
by Ally Carter
Publisher - Orchard Books
Release Date - February 5th 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
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.
Three Year's Ago, Grace's mum, the US Ambassador's daughter died in a fire, but Grace thinks different, she was there and she saw The Scarred Man pull the trigger, or did she? Everybody thought she was crazy, after she was in hospital, under medication trying to come to grips with her mom's death. Every since them she has been pulled pillar to post with father being in the army. Now returning to stay with her grandfather after years of summers apart, she uncovers far more than she should, involving a prime minister and conspiracy against her family. With the political aspect and the setting of Embassy Row you are completely thrown into the deep end. Gradually we start to reveal Grace's past through her flashbacks which seamlessly unravel themselves as we meet new people and familiar places of her childhood summers.
Grace is a very hotheaded character. She is quite a built up character, what I mean is that she is so tense with memories, that with what everything has happened to her, it's built and built and built until she comes to the boil, like she is simmering on a low heat before she can really emotionally explode. She thinks on the spot, she doesn't wait for anyone's permission, she just goes for it, no matter the consequences. If I was honest I found her character to be a bit overly dramatic, though considering that they believe her to be crazy sort of fits her character perfectly. I've always said that I haven't been fond of characters younger than my own age as I find they I don't connect with them on an intellectual level. Whilst you can feel disconnected with Grace, I think the plotline itself is very overwhelming and you are so focused on the conspiracy itself, which really worked well for the novel Combined with a familiar written style as Ally's, it was very cleverly done, in my opinion. I found this to be in favour of Grace's character and I found more connection in the secondary characters, like Ms Chancellor, Alexei, Rosie, Megan and Noah.
As I said, Grace has quite a headstrong type of persona, which let her the other characters, shine through the book a little more. Rosie, is quite flexible character, literally. She tends to go with the flow a lot which I found quite refreshing. Megan, a familiar face from Grace's past likes to show where her talents lie, she is the your Cammie Morgan from the Gallagher Girls, which I loved as Ally hasn't quite lost her her connection to her first series. We have the Noah, who instigated to be Grace's best friend from the start, which was very sweet and adorable. There were hints at a more romantic aspect to their relationship but I guess that will be decided as the series goes on. Finally Alexei, for me he was quite a surprise, I didn't really like him at first as he was far to up his own backside to really care what was happening. Until he really saw what was going through Grace's head. She was vulnerable, a bit of a damsel in distress behind that rebel skin of hers, and he was the one who could save her.
Whilst, some of the story was overwhelming at times with Grace's character, I found that I really enjoyed the novel overall. If I'm honest after reading this it sort or reminded me of a younger version of Conspiracy Girl only with more of a political aspect which is very realistic. With it's fast-paced nature, like all Ally Carter books, it really is unputdownable, addictive and a classy first novel of the series.
Rating - 3.5/4