Thursday, July 19, 2012
Review: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)
Author: by Ally Carter
Publication date: July 5th 2012
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If there was ever a Young Adult book written almost exclusively for actual young adults, it’s Uncommon Criminals. In fact, with its light tone, overly simplified plot, short chapters, third person narrative and extremely subtle romance, it is at times more appropriate for younger young adults or even middle grade readers and should be judged/rated as such.
After successfully stealing (back) four paintings from the seemingly impenetrable Henley museum and returning them to their rightful owners, Kat has acquired a Robin Hood-like reputation. Therefore, she is only mildly surprised when an old lady, the rightful owner of the Kleopatra emerald, asks her to steal the supposedly cursed stone and return it to her family. Still feeling lucky after several well-done jobs, Kat shuts down her instincts and accepts the job. Hale is the voice of reason, very much against it, but as always, he goes where Kat goes, regardless of the consequences.
If Heist Society reminded me a lot of Ocean’s Eleven, Uncommon Criminals is an oversimplified version of Ocean’s Twelve. The crew gets conned by a better thief and they must find a way to outsmart that thief and retrieve what they lost. (Though the thief here isn’t as hot as Vincent Cassel, that’s for sure.)
As much as I like Hale (and he’s one swoon-worthy boy, believe me), his wealth and status seem awfully convenient at times. His contacts open all doors, the crew travels in private jets, and if they need a yacht near Monte Carlo, well of course he has one ready! I loved how devoted he was to Kat in Heist Society, but in Uncommon Criminals, he went from being devoted to being a doormat at times. Kat too seems to have changed for the worst. After the Henley job, she developed not just a reputation, but an overabundance of ego as well. She had reason to, up to a point, but she went a bit too far by taking sole credit for something that was a team effort.
Keeping in mind what I mentioned at the beginning, I won’t lower my rating because the heists themselves seemed far too simple. I look at this book the same way I’d look at The Famous Five – I would have adored it when I was twelve, loved it still when I was 14. At 28, I found it entertaining, but I really can’t take it seriously.
I’ll read the third book mostly because it focuses on Hale, and from all the characters, he’s the one I haven’t managed to figure out.