Sunday, March 11, 2012

Careful Cons: Uncommon Criminals

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (Heist Society #2)
Hyperion, 2011

Have I been on a bit of an Ally Carter kick lately? Yes. Am I at all embarassed about it? Absolutely not. I cannot wait for Gallagher Girls #5 Out of Sight, Out of Time, to come out in a few short days and I consider my reading as many of Carter's novels as I can get my hands on in the last few months making up for lost time. When the library I work at finally got in our copy of Uncommon Criminals, the second installment in the Heist Society series, on a Friday afternoon, I was delighted that the students had already gone home for the weekend because it meant I could take this home and read it guilt-free. I couldn't get enough of this story and promptly returned it and put it on display for check out Monday morning.

Uncommon Criminals picks up a few months after where Heist Society left off. Katarina Bishop, now fairly well known in the art theft world as "the girl who robbed the Henley," has had plenty of jobs keeping her busy around the world. Only rather than pulling them with her team of fellow teenage criminal masterminds, she's been doing it alone in her quest to be a bit like a modern day Robin Hood, tracking down pieces that were stolen by the Nazis during WWII and returning them to their rightful owners. So when an old woman approaches her about wanting Kat to steal the Cleopatra Emerald, which she says was stolen from her parents who had originally discovered it, Kat isn't surprised. Just a few things to keep in mind: Kat's crew (especially the boy she can't quite admit to herself she has a crush on, the amazing Hale) isn't too pleased at her dissappearing acts, the emerald hasn't been seen in public in 30 years, and the Cleopatra is severely cursed. And Kat does not want history to repeat itself this time.

The series is building momentum nicely in this reader's opinion. Most of the characters we got to know in the first book are back, and these globe-trotting teenagers lead interesting lives that kept me entertained. While what I said previously about the first book that sometimes I felt like I couldn't keep up with what was going on remains true this time around, unlike before I didn't really mind so much. The not knowing is the point. This whole world that these books explore is all about having secrets and keeping them. There are a lot of things that Kat doesn't know, and I believe the reasons readers don't get to know more is because neither do the characters. The more I think about it, the more I like that fact about this series. Is it a little frustrating at times? A little, but in an exciting way that makes the ending when all the pieces do come together more satisfying than if you had seen it coming.

Carter has a knack for creating stories and worlds where things are hardly what they seem and having characters that are both tough and vulnerable at the same time. Uncommon Criminals is a fun read for an afternoon when you want to get away.

Comments welcome and as always, happy reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Yay! Glad to see you are enjoying them and that they are fun reads. I haven't started this series. I do own both books in this series and hope to get to them soon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)