Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals

Title: Uncommon Criminals
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: June 21st 2011
Source: Hachette Australia for review

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.

Once again, the teenage gang of cons and thieves are following the rules and only stealing for good. Kat's been off undertaking heists all over the world on her own, something Hale isn't too pleased about, before being contacted to help a woman procure a valuable emerald. When it was first found by the woman's ancestors many years ago, it was stolen by a trusted assistant who took it for his own benefit. Ever since being split in half by two lovers, the emerald has been cursed, a terrible misfortune befalling anyone who attempts to steal it. Sounds simple enough, right? Surely these experts can pinch one little stone... Well, let's just say that things aren't always as they seem. What lengths must they go to, to repair a terrible mistake they've made?

In Uncommon Criminals, absolutely anything that can go wrong does. The amount of hurdles they had to jump and dead ends that they hit was astounding and made me wonder if they would ever come out on top! In saying so, this novel was fast-paced and filled with many exciting twists. Carter has managed to plate up yet another exciting read, with the same entertaining characters we loved before, plus some more! I felt that things were more serious and had more depth this time around which was great. As the charismatic team plotted and planned, the threads of certain relationships became obvious, between friends, family and lovers alike. I look forward to exploring these characters even further in the next book!

When con tactics have crazy names (eg. Oscar the Grouch) you can't help but laugh. With another entertaining novel by Ally Carter, I cannot wait to read the Gallagher Girls series. The author obviously excels at seamlessly blending together strong character building, heist planning and heart-wrenching anticipation, giving us a little taste of everything we desire!

Who's read Gallagher Girls? Am I right to be excited? Leave me your thoughts!
Ally has said that this series does not have a planned number of books or larger story arc, which means that they are all stand-alones (with developing romance!). Hopefully we can expect some more! :)

Find Ally on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Uncommon Criminals on Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and Borders.

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