A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
Well, where do I start with All Fall Down? I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this as it’s not really a genre of YA that I’ve ever read before but I was hoping for an exciting thrill-ride and lots of twists and turns. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I suppose this book can be best described as a YA political thriller but it has plenty of comedy and a hint of romance in it too so don’t be put off if you aren’t big on politics.
It’s fast paced and you could easily read it in one sitting if you’re anything like me because I was sucked straight in and I barely noticed the time! It gets going straight away so there’s no long drawn out introductions and I really liked that. Usually with these sorts of books you have to get through 100 pages of setting the scene before you see any action but in All Fall Down it all kicks off pretty much from the first chapter.
It all takes place in a (made up?) country called Adria where Grace goes to live with her grandfather, the American ambassador, following the death of her mother. The embassy is situated on a strip of international embassies called Embassy Row so she befriends other kids from Germany, Israel, Brazil etc. Of course in this kind of situation things will be tense between various embassies and so Grace and her friends have to be careful not to cause problems and poke their noses in where they shouldn’t be. Obviously they pay no attention to this and things start getting a little bit out of hand. It’s a very fun, intriguing mystery and I really enjoyed trying to work out what really happened the night that Grace’s mother died.
By far the best character is Noah, not only because he is funny and loyal and all the things that are great about nice boys but also because he kept saying what I was thinking as I read. He’s completely logical and quite sensible so while everyone is off playing spies and assassins he’s the one saying ‘erm, what the hell are we doing?’ which I really liked. You do have to suspend your disbelief sometimes with this book but every time I felt an eye roll coming Noah was there to point out that yes, they are being ridiculous and it’s kind of like Ally Carter is poking fun at herself through him.
Another thing I liked about All Fall Down was that the tiny hint of romance took a massive back seat to the actual drama and action for a change! Grace is struggling to deal with her mother’s murder and moving to a new country away from her family so I would imagine the last thing on her mind would be romance and it actually is. Of course it is set up for progression in the later books but I enjoyed the slow development and the fact it wasn’t the main story.
The big reveal was very clever and I was kicking myself for not figuring it out for myself. I thought that would be the end of things but it wasn’t and the cliffhanger at the end of the book left me incredibly frustrated and in need of the second book. It was quite different to what I expected and I really can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. Overall, I enjoyed this book from start to finish and I really think you should give it a go!
**Just as I was finishing writing this review up I noticed Ally had tweeted a link to a Kindle exclusive All Fall Down short story called Before the Fall: Arrival. I am SUPER EXCITED to read it and you can grab it here.
I haven’t read the Gallagher Girls or Heist Society books so I don’t have any other Ally Carter stuff to compare this to but I really enjoyed it for what it was. Highly recommended!
You can follow Ally Carter on Twitter @OfficiallyAlly.