Saturday, January 17, 2015

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel by Ally Carter - Review

Release Date: January 20, 2015

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.

2. Her mother was murdered.

3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

So I am an Ally Ambassador (look at the pretty badge on the right - oooo, awwww) which means that I get to promote Ally Carter's newest release, All Fall Down, the first book in her newest series, Embassy Row. It even has its own awesome website: I got to read an Advanced Reader's Copy that came in the COOLEST LITTLE PACKAGE (pictured below) and man oh man, Alexei in a tux, did I love this book. 

If you've read Ally's other works, you know that she is a master at creating incredibly complex, sometimes damaged, always witty and sometimes snarky main characters with developed, supportive secondary characters. All Fall Down is no different, and, if I may say so, has possibly the strongest characters in one of her series' yet. 

Grace is a little emotionally fragile, and rightfully so, after she saw her mother get murdered and then was told she was crazy. I thought that Ally did an amazing job with the word choice and descriptions of setting and people as Grace. I immediately liked her and related to her and, I think most importantly, believed her. She is hurt but she is also incredibly smart and funny and strong and quite possibly my favorite Ally Carter character to date (and that's saying something because I am a huge fan of Cammie). 

The icing on the cake were the secondary characters. Noah, Megan, Rosie, and Alexei, all children of foreign diplomats and living on Embassy Row, are all complex and interesting and deep. Noah is hilarious and his witty banter with Grace is great, and Megan and Rosie are both so different and strong female characters. And then there's Alexei. *swoon* It was amazing how invested I was in his and Grace's relationship, even when Carter did such a good job focusing (and rightfully so, I think) on Grace and her own personal journey. 

The land that Carter has created was colorful, bright, and believable. Adria is such a vibrant country and I could imagine it all, despite it being completely fictional. It was so interesting to see the very real relations between countries and people among the greatly imagined country of Adria. Creative and yet grounded in history, I fell in love with Adria and its rich, if fictional, history. 

All Fall Down has a wonderful balance between international and political tensions, Grace coming to terms with her own tragedy, her desire to solve the mystery and prove her sanity, her initially unwanted but completely necessary growing number of friends, and the tensions between her older brother's mandated protector and old friend, Alexei. Global conspiracy meets very personal tragedy and Grace's response to all of it is funny, heartbreaking, action-packed, and exciting. I can't wait for the next installment, and the first one hasn't even released yet. *hysterical laughter turns into crying*.

Bravo Ally Carter! 

Find out more about Ally and her works here:

Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages. She grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and has never caused an international incident (to her knowledge). 

Check out her other series! 
Gallagher Girl series: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Heist Society series: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

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