Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2
Pages: 304
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Mystery/Suspense (YA)
Source: Library

Goodreads 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. 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.  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 Hale and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra , realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless. This time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

My Review:
After the lukewarm feelings I got from the first Heist Society book, I approached this book with a lot lower expectations, and let me tell you people...Uncommon Criminals blew HS out of the water! Maybe the characters have grown on me, maybe I was more accustomed to the writing style, or maybe the idea of stealing a cursed sparkly emerald is just more appealing to me than stealing paintings. Sorry friends, but I couldn't tell the difference between a Monet and a Manet if my life depended on it. As interesting as the concept of criminal teenagers pulling of the heist of the century, I feel like I just couldn't work up the excitement for some random paintings that I've never heard of. And please don't like...hate on me or anything...but museums are SO not my cup of tea. Harry Potter Museum? Heck yes! Museum of Torture Devices from Antiquity to the Present? Sign me up! Art Museum?...Yeah, um...I think I have to go shave my grandpa's back... Still, the plot was a refreshing find in the paranormal and angst filled YA genre, and I am really glad that Uncommon Criminals seemed to resonate with me much more than Heist Society did.

In Uncommon Criminals, Kat faces some truly complicated decisions. Since her amazingly huge heist at the Henley, Kat has a taste for fighting the good fight. She's still a criminal, but she's stealing things from people who got the items through illegal means so that she can give them back to their true owners. Kind of like a female, super high-tech Robin Hood. She has to chose whether to be part of "the family" and steal things without caring about the owners, or to only steal things that need returning to their rightful homes. The family has been criminal for generations, so she's pretty much snubbing her nose at everyone she's known her entire life by only doing missions with an "honorable" outcome. And at the same time, if she's so moral now....why is she stealing things at all?? That's a lot for a poor girl to handle, even someone as strong as Kat.

*Squeals!!!!* OMG How amazing is W.W. Hale??? He's so swoon-worthy!! He's got the debonair attitude of the luxe and the fabulous, but he's got the thief's gene in his blood. It's great to see him switch between the rich bachelor and the common criminal. He's got the witty banter, the hot bod, the blond hair, and ...HELLOO a yacht!! lol Um...someone sign me up for the next heist...I can be the damsel in distress, the bait...Hale's arm-candy ;) He and Kat had some super cute *aweeee* moments (as well as one  awkward moment) but he has soooo turned into my new lust-worthy piece of jail fact, you just might just see him as my Book Boyfriend one of these weeks...

What I loved about this book was that is was so well thought and planned out. Every single event is important to the plot and leads you to the next part of the story. In addition, you learn a lot more about the family and some of the older member's criminal past. This is definitely a plot focused story. If I had a complaint, it was that you really don't get that much depth of character with any of the main and minor characters. Sure you get the basics, and you have the history that was implied in the first book, but I want to know that history. I want to see flashbacks, or mementos, or actual stories about the characters. I want to know more about them in a way that is actually pretty cool. The author makes me actually care about who these people are, where they came from. Carter makes me want to uncover the layers that make Kat who she is, and the choices and suffering that makes Hale who he is. Now I just need Carter to write about it lol.
I give Uncommon Criminals 4 out of 5 Keys! I definitely enjoyed this one a lot more. There are things I loved (the plot) and things I could use more of (character development) but overall I definitely had a great experience while reading. I liked that everything is tied up nicely in the end of the book. So many series are just one continuous book with huge breaks between reading "chapters". I like when a series uses the same characters, but wraps up most or all of the loose ends when the book is done. Thanks Ally Carter for another great read! Can't wait to read some more of her work!


  1. I still have to read the 1st one of these I dont know why i am waiting so long!

  2. Oh, what a great review! Heist Society was pretty good and I haven't read this one yet, but I plan on it! And yes, of course Hale is flipping amazing<3 Glad you enjoyed Uncommon Criminals so much! :)

  3. Great review!. I also loved Heist Society, but this one seems better. I can't wait to read about what Kat and her family and friends have do to do this time.


  4. I have been curious about this book from the first time I saw it popping up on blogs. I still have not read the first one but it sounds like the sequel is worth reading also.

  5. Ally Carter is a terrific author, loved all her books so far!

  6. thank you! i honestly was disappointed in heist society so i STILL haven't read uncommon criminals, but now im excited for it!!!

  7. I totally agree with your review! Uncommon Criminals was totally better than Heist Society but it could use more character devolpment. Have you read Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series? You should! Its really good. The final book comes out this March!

  8. @Sky oooo cool sky I didn't! I should grab a copy of the first...I just read a blurb and they look good! Plus I love reading series when all of the books are wait time lol :) Thanks for the rec!

  9. I agree, I loved the book but I felt that it needed more character development! Can't wait until Heist 3! :)