Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Publication: June 21st, 2011
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Kindle Edition, 298 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Espionage, Thriller
Read: August 2016
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.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book. It was entertaining, fun and full of action. It’s full of suspense and twists and turns that I did not see coming at all. Thankfully, there’s more background information on the character’s and their family’s lives of thieving. This book focuses a lot on family and friendship but it has more of a romance as well.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is funny, simple and really easy to read. Honestly, I always fly through Ally’s books because they’re so entertaining and fun and sometimes even intense that I always want to know what’s going to happen next. It’s detailed, descriptive and fast paced. It has a third person POV most of the time from the main character but with also extra chapter with different character’s POVs which bring new and extra details to the story.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This improved so much more in this second book. One of my biggest complaints for the first book was the fact that we didn’t get enough background information on the character’s and their family and that is totally rectified in this book thanks to the plot. I definitely found myself connecting a bit more with all the different characters in part because I got to know them more through their relationships. It was just what I needed. Kat has grown from the first book but not necessarily in the best way. She’s gotten over confident and extremely independent. She’s stubborn and it causes a rift between her and the rest of her family… again. I’m glad she grew in this book as well toward a more humble attitude which aligns with her determination and makes this a great book to read. I was kind of upset with Hale in this book though I totally understood where he was coming from. He’s hurt and angry and he feels vulnerable. It was nice to see a more emotional side of him even if he still carries on with his charming and protective self. I feel like the side characters in this book didn’t have as much exposure as they did in the first book but again, there was a lot more family background information so I guess I can live with it.
I definitely enjoyed this one more than the first book and I’m slowly but surely falling in love with this cast of characters.
The plot is entertaining. It’s two months after the events of the first book and Kat has been traveling around the world pulling cons and heists on her own for a noble purpose. But she’s approached by an older woman and implored to steal one of the biggest gems in the world, even though it is cursed. But things don’t really turn out the way she wants them to. This book was a lot ore exciting and suspenseful than the first. The stakes are higher and the job is much harder than ones they have encountered before. It’s almost like a surreal setting and you want nothing more than for the characters to pull it off but every single facet is against them and what they’re trying to accomplish. There were quite a few twists and turns that I did not see coming at all which I really appreciated. Sometimes with these books, in this particular genre, things happen way too quickly or too conveniently to be believed (beyond the fact that teenagers are pulling off heists) and I loved that this book turned things on its head and left me floundering to see how they were actually going to get their shit together and pull off what they needed to do. These obstacles challenged the characters, specially Kat. They had to think outside the box and grow and learn together which made the story much richer. I loved getting to know more about the adults in the family and the way they’ve shaped the legacy the kids are now carrying on. Their history is so complex and intriguing so yes, I still want more and more about them and the main characters’ childhoods. Just everything about this group!
Kat goes through a lot in this book. She’s become really independent. She’s spent the last few months pulling off cons and heists on her own which gives her a sense of superiority. She feels like she’s better than her family and not only that, that her reasons for doing what they do are also better. She’s cocky and a little bit self-righteous and that turned me off a bit though I can see how it would be a natural progression for her character. But luckily, she gets a really nasty dose of reality and begins to grow and change from that outlook. I’m glad it wasn’t something that happens overnight, old habits die hard and being independent for Kat is really hard to break. But she slowly begins to put more of her faith and trust in her family and what they can do together and it was really great to see.
The side characters in this series are some of my favorite though they definitely took more of a backseat in this particular book. Hale is still my overprotective sweetheart. I’m really happy that we got to see more vulnerability and emotion from him. In the first book, he kind of got by on his charms and his jokes and while I love that, he needed more depth and it was obviously appreciated. Gabby is getting to me. Honestly, she has that kind of personality that generally annoys other girls because that’s just how we are. But we also get to see a different side of her in this series because of certain circumstances and she’s actually quite funny. The rest of the characters have their unique quirks and oddities and we also managed to see some other side to them which now that I think about is a direct effect of the plot and what it’s all about but I still really enjoyed it.
Overall, I liked this book much better than the first one, the books are definitely getting better each time. The plot is exciting, entertaining and intense. It’s fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. There’s a lot of character development for the main character and I loved her growth from the first to the second book. We finally get some background information on her family and we get to see different sides to the other characters in the crew which was awesome.
So that’s it for this post! Let me know if you’ve read this series and what you thought of it. Let me know if you’ve read any other Ally Carter books, specially if you’ve read Gallagher Girls because I’m a massive fan of that series! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!