Thursday, June 23, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website:
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.

After last year's fun Heist Society, I was interested in seeing what Ally Carter had up her sleeves next for the world and characters established. I could not wait to see whether problems I had with the first addition would be resolved, and whether or not the heist this time would be exciting and thrilling. Thankfully, I do feel Uncommon Criminals was a step in the right direction, but I have to admit, I was still a little torn about this read for several reasons.

Uncommon Criminals picks up Katrina’s story a few months after Heist Society left off. For the past few months, Kat has been on her own, traveling the world looking for items people lost long ago, and still dealing with the awe that surrounds her from her last huge heist. What she was not excepting so much, though, was being asked to do another being heist so soon after her last one. This time, an old woman comes to her, asking, or more accurately begging, Kat to get back the item she wrongfully lost all those years ago- the Cleopatra Emerald. Kat is not sure about this mission for several reasons, mostly because the Cleopatra Emerald is cursed. However, linked to this project is someone she thought she would never have expected, and because of it, she accepts, dragging along Hale and her cousin Gabrielle along. But what she does not know is that this mission will test nearly everything she has to lose…family ties, her complicated relationship with Hale, and more importantly her own heist skills. Will Kat come out unscarred and better than ever, or will this mission be the end of what she once was? Only time and more pages can tell in this enticing and fun read.

Just as I have come to expect and love with Ally Carter’s books, Uncommon Criminals has a crazy and memorable plot from start to finish. Stealing the Cleopatra Emerald is hard work, and the path Kat goes onto to do so includes just about every twist and turn possibly imaginable. Quite possibly this was my favorite part of the book, because when comes down to it, I truly never knew how it was going to end, and when it finally did I was still a little flabbergasted.

The characters in this were decent, a step up from last time, but I am still not connecting to the majority of them. Don’t get me wrong, I adored Kat, Hale (especially!), Gabrielle, and the rest. They are crazy, brave, and strong, and I cannot help but admire them. However, I'm unable to connect fully, and that is a big problem because this is nearly always necessary in order for me to enjoy a book.

I did love Ally’s writing in this one. She does a great job of telling the story in a mystery and spellbinding way by using third person, but at times, I felt some scenes (especially important ones) were just a bit too rushed for my liking.

Even with this Uncommon Criminals is still a decent enough sequel due to the plot alone. I hope that I will enjoy the next one more, but until then the Gallagher Girls series is still my absolute favorite work of Carter’s.

Grade: B

Uncommon Criminals is now out!

Source: Publicist at Hyperion Teen- thanks Jamie!


  1. Okay, so now I have read a couple reviews for this book and I'm pretty sure I want to start this series. But where do I find the time? This sounds so fun. :)

  2. Nice honest review, Lauren! I'm really excited to read this one...but I agree, I had such a hard time connecting with the characters in the first book. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can connect better in this one :)

  3. Ah! I was at the library today and I knew I had a book I wanted to get and I couldn't remember which one it was. Then I saw your post and realized it was The Heist Society.:p Sounds like a great couple of books.


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