Fifteen-year-old Katarina Bishop is a small girl with dark hair and bright blue eyes. She is also the girl that, mere months before, robbed the Henley–the greatest, and arguably most secure, museum in the world.
But Kat isn’t a thief. Not anymore. At least not exactly. Think of a her as more of a return artist, a righter of wrongs maybe.
When Kat is asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald she can’t say no. Not when the Cleopatra has been waiting years to be returned to its rightful owner. Yes, the Cleopatra hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Yes, it is essentially a concrete symbol of the doomed love between Cleopatra and Antony. Yes, there are rumors that the stone is cursed. And a history of jobs involving the Cleopatra Emerald going bad. Really bad.
But Kat is smarter than that. And curses aren’t real, not that the Cleopatra is cursed. There has to be some other, logical, reason for why the world’s most famous emerald is bringing Kat and her crew nothing but trouble, right?
Either way, before this job is over Kat is going to have take a long hard look at who she is and what she does because all of her old tricks–the tricks her family has been using for centuries–are useless this time. This job is going to require something different. Good thing Kat and her crew are anything but ordinary in Uncommon Criminals (2011) by Ally Carter.
Uncommon Criminals is the sequel to Carter’s delightful Heist Society and the second in what she has stated on her site will be an ongoing series featuring Kat, her crew, and her inimitable family.
Heist Society was a smashing introduction to the world (and crew) of Katarina Bishop. The writing was sleek, smart and elegant. The story was well-paced, original and exciting. It was the kind of book where a sequel could go horribly wrong. Or it could be just as amazing as the first.
Turns out Uncommon Criminals not only held up to the standards set Heisty Society, in a lot of ways it exceeded those standards.
Filled with several surprising twists, a cunning foe, and all of the characters readers loved in Heist Society (like Hale and Gabrielle), Uncommon Criminals is another great installment about Kat’s exploits. At the same time this book also deals with what it means to be a thief and, for Kat, what it means to be a part of her family. The con itself, and Carter’s beautiful writing, are deceptively simple here making Kat’s plans and the writing itself seem effortless.
Uncommon Criminals is a quirky, sophisticated page-turner that will leave readers guessing until its clever conclusion (and eager for another installment about Kat, Hale and the rest of the team).
Possible Pairings: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, White Cat by Holly Black, What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Danny Danziger, The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau by E. Lockhart, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief by Bill Mason and Lee Gruenfeld, Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, Leverage (television series), White Collar (television series), The Italian Job (movie)
*This book was acquired at BEA 2011