“‘When I was twelve, I broke my leg jumping off the wall between Canada and Germany,’ I say, but the woman across from me doesn’t even blink.”
Meet Grace. She’s the granddaughter of the American ambassador to Adria, but more importantly, she’s the latest bad-ass main character of Ally Carter’s newest series: Embassy Row. I’m a huge of fan of Ally Carter’s work, especially her Heist Society series. But I digress. I finally picked up these books after seeing the gorgeous cover reveal for the third book, Take the Key and Lock Her Up. It reminded me of how much I’ve missed her work, and now I’m itching to reread the Heist Society books, although my TBR pile is screaming at me. Also, I’d like to round that 7.5 up to an 8 because I just realized I enjoyed this book even more than I thought!
Grace Blakely may be certain that she isn’t crazy, that her mother was murdered, and that she’s going to make the killer pay, but nobody else believes her. She can’t trust anyone. Not her powerful ambassador grandfather, not her new Embassy Row friends, and definitely not Alexei, the Russian boy keeping a close watch on Grace. Everyone wants Grace to just sit pretty, but nobody can control her, not even Grace herself. Her past is coming back to haunt her, but this time she isn’t the only one who will be hurt. “Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them fall down.”
Ok, that last line of the synopsis perfectly summarizes my favorite part about the novel. I loved the idea that each country was right beside each other. One step and I wouldn’t be in America anymore, but in Russia. In this world, the smallest actions, from a step to a scarf can have the biggest political ramifications. This setup lends itself to making the mood of All Fall Down. It’s incredibly fast-paced, and a lot of parts are pretty dark. There is so much suspense, and I’m pretty sure that my heart was racing double-time throughout the whole book. Honestly, maybe I just don’t watch enough suspense like this, but I felt like it almost too intense and fast-paced for me. (To me, it’s almost the level of Pretty Little Liars suspense, and I almost couldn’t even handle the books, much less the TV show.) The pace of this book is most likely a result of the book being from Grace’s perspective, and she herself is constantly on edge, and to be honest, very paranoid. Who could blame her though, after suffering such traumatic events at a young age? Those flashbacks were easily some of the most intense parts of the book too! I really liked Grace for the most part, especially her spine and courage, although there were a few times when I wanted to punch some sense into her. (Maybe not a punch, but a strongly worded lecture.) I also loved some of the secondary characters, including Noah and Alexei, but especially Rosie! She’s such a mature girl for such a young age, yet she still maintains plenty of adorable characteristics and quirks. The only other thing that bothered me a little bit besides the pace was the romance. It was a bit too confusing for me, and it felt a bit under-cooked. I can respect having the absence of romance in a novel like this, but it would pop up unexpectedly and just felt a bit out of place. I don’t even know if I, a hardcore shipper, ship the two prospective couples!
Basically, for fans of mystery, suspense, a little bit of political intrigue, and of course, Ally Carter’s books, this is one for you! Now, back to my TBR pile so I can start rereading all of her books!