Friday, July 15, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (Heist Society #2)

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (Heist Society #2)
Hyperion, June 21, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
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 . . . 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 and 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.

I have to be honest here: I read this book without having read Heist Society. I know, I know, how could I read a sequel without having read the first book? To be fair, while reading over some reviews, someone did mention that book 2 would work as a standalone. So I kind of wanted to test that theory.
Yes, there was a lot that I didn’t really understand. Like, why are these kids left alone while the rest of the family (which is a question, too) is in Uruguay, or maybe Paraguay? How did Kat (or her family?) get involved in thievery? Why is she a modern-day Robin Hood?
But at the heart of this book is a good mystery, and for that I didn’t need to read the first book. Kat offers to, and does, return the Cleopatra Emerald to its original owners. Who are not, actually, the original owners. In short, the conner has become the conned. It’s an intriguing story, and once I accepted that no, I was not going to learn all the back story I needed, it was an engaging read. The heat between Kat and Hale was certainly worth the read. For the love of all things holy, will these two just hook up and get it over with? Everyone is aware can feel the sexual tension between these two. And the jet-setting to various countries in the space of days or even hours is fun—why didn’t I have a wealthy friend like Hale when I was growing up? Oh, I guess because I wasn’t born into a world of talented thieves. Man, some people have all the luck.
I enjoyed this read, but I suspect I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book. If you read and enjoyed Heist Society, this should be a no-brainer for you. If you’re interested in this one, please read book 1 first. You’ll be glad you did.
Finished copy received from the publisher. I didn’t receive any compensation for this review.

Enjoy your reading!

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