Review Detail

3.7 2
Young Adult Fiction 1271
Fun first book
Overall rating
Writing Style
Grace used to spend every summer at Embassy Row, running around, causing mischief, being a little daredevil. Now, at sixteen, she’s coming back to the American embassy to live closer to her grandfather, an ambassador. She’s determined to find the man with the scar who killed her mother, the man she knows was there that night even if no one else believes her. She’s going to have to be careful in who she trusts because the wrong person could make her the next target.

I found myself really enjoying this book. I’ve read a couple of Ally Carter’s Heist Society books and they were also very enjoyable but I liked the added element of the whole Embassy Row. It had the misfits coming together that I love and the Ally Carter feel of never quite knowing if what you thought was going on was actually right.

Grace was a very interesting character. Even when I didn’t agree with what she was doing, I could understand her motivations. She was being forced to live in a place that held countless memories of her mother, forced into playing a role she never wanted at political parties, and constantly treated like she was broken by the adults around her. She was determined to prove them all wrong, that she would find out the truth about her mother’s death without them, that she wasn’t crazy and there was a man with a scar. I loved her determination.

I really liked the cast of characters surrounding Grace. Noah, the boy who assigned himself as her best friend was my favourite. He was so cute and adorable and it was nice to see the friendship developing between them. Alexei, a friend of her brother’s, was always looking out for her and there was definitely some attraction there. Rosie was a lot younger than the rest and part of me wanted them to tell her to stay safe at home but she was fearless and definitely an asset. The two main adults, Grace’s grandfather and Ms Chancellor, were pretty much as I would expect people in their positions to act. It was easy to tell they cared for Grace and her well-being but they were also in very delicate positions and trying not to cause an international incident.

Ally Carter did a great job in making so many people and her actions suspect. There was always a feeling that the adults knew more than they were saying. I was able to predict the ending but I think that had more to do with my mind coming up with theory after theory until a final one clicked than it being obvious.

It was a little slow at first, setting up Embassy Row and the back story, but once Grace saw the man with the scar for the first time, it picked up. The more desperate she got to prove she was right, the faster the pages turned. It did feel a bit like a set-up book for the rest of the series but it’s a series I definitely plan on reading when the next book gets released.
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