I was very excited to learn about Ally Carter's newest series that recently came out this month. So, using the excuse that my Fiction teacher gave me an assignment to read a book I hadn't read before, and to study the craft of the author, I ordered a copy of All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1). Thanks to Amazon Prime I had my copy three days after the book came out and I read it over the weekend.
At first I was a little skeptical as to whether I would enjoy this new series as much as I had The Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society series. I should never have doubted Ally Carter's ability to draw me into a story. A few interesting differences in this new series is that instead of a dead father, Grace has a father and an older brother. After the first chapter you don't see them but you hear about them plenty.
Those two were not the only important male characters. This cast contains noticeably more men than her other series. There is the Russian boy next door Alexei, whom I hope to see more of in the next book. There is Grace's grandfather, on her dead mother's side, who is the Ambassador from the U.S. to Adria. Then there is Noah, her new best friend in Adria. Lastly, there is the scarred man.
There are a few female characters that are worth mentioning, namely Megan and Ms. Chancellor, who each have their roles to play in Grace's life and both are unexpected. I really enjoyed how different Grace was from Cammie and Kat. Grace has even more trouble trusting people and making and keeping friends doesn't come easily to her. She is also not as sure of herself as the trained spy we know and love and the thief girl.
There are all the trademarks of a great Ally Carter tale: Deep psychological issues, reminiscent of Cammie's unstable state in the last few books of the Gallagher Girls series. Wonderfully crafted delicate situations dealing with the government and politics. Plus, the teenagers are always trying to fix problems without the adults finding out, or somehow getting wrapped up in the adult world.
My favorite part was the ending though. I didn't see the end coming, until it was happening and then all the dominoes fell into place. It was not only masterfully written, but it also raised the stakes, for Grace in such a way that I cannot wait for the second book to come out so I can find out how she will deal with life, how anything can ever be all right for her again.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Ally Carter's other series, or enjoys YA thrillers. This book will latch onto you from the very beginning and keep you hooked until the very end.
Have any of you read Ally Carter's newest book? Did you enjoy her other series? Team Zach, Team Hale, or Team Alexei? Anyone for Team Noah? Comment below on any of these subjects or any other subjects pertaining to the illustrious Ally Carter or her writing. There is nothing I love more than talking about writing books, except talking about reading great books.
Keep on Reading,
K. A. Jairl
My name is Kim and I'm glad you stopped by. This is where I post my triumphs and my downfalls as I fight the good fight of being a writer mom everyday.