Warning: There may be a hint of a spoiler for Heist Society (book 1). Proceed with caution.
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (website | twitter)
Series: Heist Society, Book 2
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: robberies, teenage robbers, Cleopatra Emerald, best friends falling in love
Format Read: Paperback purchased from Barnes & Noble.
Summary: Months after Kat and her team pull off one of the greatest robberies in the world, her team is reunited for another impossible task — to steal the Cleopatra Emerald. Though her uncle would disapprove of their actions, they move forward and create plans that take them all over the world.
Why, hello Hale. And Kat, too, of course.
You know that feeling when it’s just so incredibly nice to be reunited with characters you love unconditionally? Even when they’re acting in ways that may make you want to punch them once or twice so they stop acting like fools? I have so much love and affection for the entire Heist Society crew and couldn’t help but fly through Uncommon Criminals.
After pulling off one of the biggest robberies ever in Heist Society, Kat sort of disappears for a while. She disconnects from her friends and family and travels the world on her own secret mission. Of course for this tight-knit group, that doesn’t really fly. Hale is understandably irritated that Kat would feel she can do so much on her own. But what he may not realize is that Kat has a lot she needs to sort through. How does she feel about him — there’s chemistry there (obviously), but does she want to risk ruining their friendship by seeking something more? One thing I love about Hale is he just doesn’t deny his emotions; he doesn’t go through hypothetical play-by-plays of what-ifs. He has feelings for our beloved Kat and doesn’t withhold them. I find that so refreshing and am reminded of the beginning days when I first started dating Dustyn. (He told me on our second date that he loved me.)
Once Kat finally turns back up, she is approached about another big, big job. Stealing the Cleopatra Emerald is something that’s been attempted several times before, unsuccessfully. Why is Kat approached? Her uncle would flip his lid if he knew the risks she and her team are taking and the danger they face. Furthermore, the Emerald is thought to be cursed. Isn’t that enough to make anyone run in the opposite direction? But who can back down when it seems like the wrong you’re being asked to commit will right so many past faults and land the gem in the hands of the rightful owners?
The major appeal of Uncommon Criminals continues to be the around-the-world travel, the strong character connections with spot-on dialogue, and the increasing pressure to see if Kat and Hale can pull off the job they’re facing before time runs out. I so desperately want to circle every place they visit on a map and hop on a plane as soon as possible. The scenery is delightful and Carter does a fantastic job transporting her readers around the world, desperately trying to solve the puzzle.
I mentioned wanting to smack a character a time or two while reading. Sometimes main characters get a little bit of a savior complex and take on so much that it bears down on them. Understandably, Kat begins to feel responsible and guilty for a few things that haphazardly occur. While I may have been frustrated that she dragged her feet and couldn’t get over the punch to her ego, I find myself thinking her reactions were extremely realistic. Who wouldn’t need to grovel after you’ve fallen victim to … oops, not going to finish that sentence. So not going to be that spoilery person. Read it and find out for yourselves, friends!