Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Uncommon Criminals: A review

Author:  Ally Carter
Info: Diseny-Hyperion, copyright 2011, 298 pages

A review in 10 words or less:  Ancient family history is about to get between Kat and the prize of a lifetime.

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

~Goodreads Description~

The Breakdown

Kat Bishop is back.  Both in the sequel and in the general plot of the book.  After the escapade at the Henley in Heist Society she has decided to leave the family business, sort of, and use her thieving talents to retrieve priceless works of art to return them to their rightful owners.  When a sweet old women begs for her help to retrieve a diamond that was stolen from an archaeology site her parents discovered when she was a child, Kat decides to do the impossible.  The diamond is curse, and the players aren't quite what they seem.

The Awesome

Kat is a force to be reckoned with.  She's wicked smart, super crafty, and has nerves of steel.  Despite her fear of commitment and illegal hobbies, she has a heart of gold.  She loves family, respects her friends, and tries to do good, or reverse bad...right wrongs?  You get where I'm going.  It sounds weird to say, but each thief is kind of selfless.  They're kind of like musketeers.  All for one and one for all.  Leave no man behind.  I've got you babe.  Okay.  I'm done.  I just really like this crew.

Carter does an excellent job creating suspense.  She leaves you wanting more and keeps you guessing.  The author sets the scene that feels very much like a good old fashioned caper.  Think The Great Muppet Caper.  (This review is getting out of hand :)

The Not So Awesome

Much like the Oceans Eleven movies, information is revealed, but not all of the information.  When the action actually happens it's a bit too much of a surprise.  How did they get here?  Why does this feel like it's coming out of left field?  Kat's the main character, but the story lives a little too much in her head.

Despite the few not-so-awesome points, I completely adored this sequel.  Carter creates strong, independent, stubborn female characters that I absolutely adore.  The pacing is perfect and the dialogue is witty.  What else could you want?

For a genuinely fun read, check out the Heist Society series by Ally Carter.

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