Book Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

6 Jan

Title: Uncommon Criminals

Author: Ally Carter

Series: The Heist Society, book 2

Genre: Contemporary YA, Thievery

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Published: June 21, 2011

Source: Library

Summary: Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life 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.

So first off, let me say that this review will include references to Ocean’s Eleven because they’re both about stealing the things and I can’t help but make comparisons that way. Truthfully, I don’t know many YA books that are like Ally Carter’s The Heist Society series in terms of subject matter, so comparing Kat Bishop to Danny Ocean, while far-fetched, seems like a logical path to me. I love this series (the first book, THE HEIST SOCIETY, was also fun and energetic) because it’s so different from all the other books around simply because it’s about KIDS WHO STEAL and their parents are cool with it because EVERYONE STEALS. UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is all zippy action and having fun while breaking the law. WORD. (I wonder what kind of awesome might be in store if one of the kids ever gets caught? Oooooooh!)

Now, onto those Ocean’s Eleven references I was talking about. One of my favorite scenes in Ocean’s Eleven is the scene where the whole team has assembled at Saul’s house to go over the details of the mark (AHH! I love talking like a thief! I already feel cooler and more dangerous). I don’t know why I love that scene. Something about the details and the lingo and the planning appeals to my inner type a/make-a-list person who doesn’t get out much. Obviously, there are scenes exactly like this in UNCOMMON CRIMINALS and I loved them. They set so much in motion and raise the already high stakes. They’re like, “boom boom boom, shizz is going down!” I love, too, that these scenes basically set the main characters up for something humongous to go wrong. And that is good stuff. It’s things like this–the casing, the planning, the conning–that get me jacked up.

Plus, these jobs that Kat, Hale, Gabrielle and the crew have to pull off make me give lots of respect to Ally Carter. They make the predicament seem so impossible that it I’m left wondering how anyone figured out how to accomplish the job at all! “But Ally! There’s guards! Cameras with NO BLIND SPOTS! Armored cars and GUNS and employees who used to be SPIES. You’ve surely painted yourself into a corner.” And somehow it always works. I’m impressed. I will say that UNCOMMON CRIMINALS did get a little confusing at the end, though. I wasn’t sure about who was who and what was happening: Is there an Antony emerald? Where’s that at? So was that Uncle Eddie or Uncle Charlie? I don’t understand! And if I’m being honest, the kissy-face was disappointing. Kat and Hale are obviously going to get together, and I wish their interactions were less business-like and more swoony. Hale is a swoony guy! Let’s TAKE ADVANTAGE. Kat! Get with the program, girl. Here’s to more sexytimes in the next one!

UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is a really fun, fast-paced, energetic read that is pure entertainment. I love reading books in this series because THIEVES ARE AWESOME and clever and confident and smooth, and because Visily Romani is like the Dread Pirate Roberts: the name makes the criminal. I appreciate, too, that these books are so unique and full of this great mythology, in a way, that I am so eager to discover more about: what’s the deal with the other thief families? Who IS Visily Romani? And I can’t wait to see what these crazy kids are going to have to steal next! Hopefully Hale and Kat can take some time from whatever that job is to go on a date or something! Pretty please, Ally? *begs with puppy dog eyes* K, thanks so much!


5 Responses to “Book Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter”

  1. Candice January 6, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Haha, I love your references to Oceans Eleven and the Dread Pirate Roberts! Such a cute sounding book; will have to check it out! You know… once I’ve checked out every other book you’ve recommended so far! 🙂

  2. Evangeline January 12, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I would definitely want to see more scenes leaning towards romance in the next book! I usually like slow-going romances, but this is taking long enough. 😛


  1. Rewind and Review (5): I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You « Tripping Over Books - April 26, 2012

    […] been a fan of Ally Carter’s other series, Heist Society, for a little while now, mostly because I have a thing for thieves and professional criminals. […]

  2. Uncommon Criminals Ally Carter Audiobook Review - June 5, 2012

    […] Tripping Over Books – “They’re like, “boom boom boom, shizz is going down!”” […]

  3. [review] Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter | coffeeandwizards - September 23, 2012

    […] “UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is a really fun, fast-paced, energetic read that is pure entertainment. ” – Amy @ Tripping Over Books […]

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