Book: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2
Previous Books In Series: Heist Society
Genre: Young Adult / Adventure
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Hardcover / Ebook
Publication Date: June 21st, 2011
How Did I Get This Book: From Publisher, For Review
Description: 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 . . . 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 and 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.
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter is exactly what we always hope sequels will be - even better than the original. While I enjoyed the series opener, Heist Society, I feel like Carter really stepped up her game with this followup effort.
The biggest change is that Carter spends a lot more time investigating and fleshing out the characters in Uncommon Criminals. Kat and Hale in particular are both marvelously fleshed out - we get a better handle on who they are and what their motivations and feeling are. Which of course, makes it easier to relate to them. I felt like Heist Society was missing that emotional connection to the characters and Carter remedies the situation in Uncommon Criminals.
The basics of the plot remain true to form; we follow around a group of (basically) unchaperoned teenagers as they glamorously make a living as high class thieves. That being said, the story is different enough that it keeps you guessing until the last page. There are certainly plenty of plot twists and a-ha moments to be had.
The writing style is also similar and so is the tone of the book. It's sleek, fast paced and incredibly polished. It's almost like a shine has been added on top of everything; making it irresistibly glossy. I hope that makes sense to you - honestly, it does in my head.
Carter does a fabulous job with all of the characters. She creates a dynamic cast in which each character makes an impression. Well, with the exception of the brothers Hamish and Angus, they kind of blend into one character.
Uncommon Criminals is a decidedly adventurous and exciting book that will leave readers with a smile on their faces. There is nothing particularly ground breaking about this sting operation story, but it is plenty of fun. The characters are both memorable and entertaining, the settings are lavish and beautifully described and the plot line is loaded with exciting twists and turns. I would, without a doubt, say that Uncommon Criminals is even better than it's predecessor. Carter was able to use the foundation she created in Heist Society as a spring board to create a truly great book with Uncommon Criminals.
"Hale gripped her hand and pulled her onto a familiar stoop, under the shallow overhang of the roof above. She shivered, the wooden door at her back, while Hale leaned closer, sheltering her, searching her eyes."
"I mean it's what you do now, isn't it? Travel the world, righting wrongs. A one-woman recovery crew."
"The man is ten pounds of kooky in a five-pound sack."
"Hale shrugged. "I for one like chaos. Chaos looks good on me."
"What are you looking at?" Hale asked. "Why are you smiling? I worry when you smile."
"Kat hadn't meant to yell it, but she wasn't exactly sorry she did. The words had been there, throbbing like a pulse for weeks. She felt lighter without them - one more thing she didn't have to carry."
"It was just as well, Kat realized; she'd never considered herself the kind of girl who wanted to be rescued."
"As soon as he touched her, Kat knew there was no such thing as curses. People make and break their own fortunes - they are the masters of their own fate. And right then, Kat wouldn't have changed anything."