Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Hardcover, 298 pages

Released: June 21, 2011

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

ISBN13: 9781423147954

Genre: Young Adult

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.
My Rating: 4.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

Kat doesn't exactly believe in the family business, but she does have some returning items to their rightful owners to right the wrongs from the past! She takes on a solo job to recover a Cezanne from Moscow which was taken as a spoil of war by the Nazis. When she returns home, she is approached by Constance Miller and her grandson as the person to recover the Cleopatra Emerald. The fact that this is thought of as a cursed gem is pushed aside as Kat is caught up in the rush of the chase. If Visily, who recommended her for the job, believed in her, she could do it! Uncommon Criminals is about Kat's mission, along with the help of Hale and Gabrielle, to return the stolen gem. She needs all the help she can get, even her famous Uncle Eddie failed at his attempt years ago!

It's interesting getting into the mind of a thief, seeing things from a completely different angle. From simple things like counting your steps from the entrance to the closest exit,  to the more complex schemes of how to break into a guarded museum, my normal world was turned upside down. The code names Alley Carter used for jobs, like Cinderella, Jack and Jill, were brilliant as I loved thinking about the actions implied by the name.

Elaborate plotting is done by all, but compared to Heist Society, Hale and Gabrielle took the backseat. This was more of Kat's story: The con gets conned and over the course of the book, she is determined to fix it while at the same time questioning what she should do. With Hale offering to take her away, anywhere, can she leave the only life she's ever known behind? Always a fun read, Uncommon Criminals is either full of action or scheming and a series I am in love with!

(Oh and Ally, darn you for teasing us about Hale's first name...if it weren't for Kat's guesses, I wouldn't have given it a second thought!)


  1. I'm so glad to read such a positive review - I'm definitely excited to get to my copy now :)

    Do we still not learn Hale's first name? Ah! I'm so curious what it could be,

  2. Excellent review! I can't wait to read this.

  3. I hope to pick this up. I haven't read Ally Carter yet.