Friday 15 May 2015

All Fall Down: Embassy Row #1

All Fall Down: Embassy Row #1 by Ally Carter (Scholastic Australia)
HB RRP $19.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-894-2

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Grace has come to live with her grandfather in the place where she spent her childhood summers, Embassy Row. But Grace sees life differently now. Her mother is dead and no-one will believe her when she says it was murder, they just think she is crazy. Her grandfather is perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world so Grace must tread carefully in her determination to prove these claims and find the killer. On Embassy Row politics and diplomacy are the priority as here, countries stand shoulder to shoulder and one wrong move could bring the whole row of dominoes tumbling down.
Ally Carter is the author of two best selling-series' for teens - Heist Society and Gallagher Girls - and All Fall Down should be another success. Well written and fast-paced, the espionage and intrigue feels fresh, possibly because the setting - among the embassies of the world - is a new angle. The characters are likeable, especially Grace, and they feel real. The mix of nationalities and cultures is interesting and stereotypes are not always conformed to.
There is a touch of romance and the themes of loyalty, diplomacy, and self-belief add weight to what is essentially a fast-paced thriller.
This is a story for older teens (14+) and will keep them hooked and eager for the next instalments.

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