Genre – Young Adult
No. of pages – 289
Publishing date – June 21st, 2011
Characters – Gabrielle, Simon, Katarina Bishop, W.W.Hale the Fifth
Setting – Brooklyn, New York City, New York(United States)
New York City, New York(United States)
My Rating – 4/5
Goodreads Synopsis :
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 simply… 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, 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.
Katarina Bishop returns in this one of the better novels by Ally Carter, seeming more mature and professional than before. She has a business like, no-nonsense attitude and is the Robin Hood in the world of theft. She doesn’t steal in the wrong sense anymore, instead she returns the valuables to their rightful owners, by stealing them which is good in a way.
If you had read my last review about the first book in the series( if not you can check it out here https://onceuponatime2909.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/book-review-heist-society-heist-society-1-by-ally-carter/) you would remember that I seriously criticized the first novel because of the unprofessional writing and lack of explanation and depth in characters. But this second link in the series made me change my views big time. I still won’t praise the first book because it was actually not good, but “Uncommon Criminals”, in all earnest is a winner all the way.
Funny how one book can be an absolute waste while the other one can turn out to be a gem. But Uncommon Criminals has all the ingredients which make it worth reading. There have been shitloads of improvement in almost every department.
First of all the improvements, or the things I liked about the book :
Storyline – This time, the storyline is much more gripping and intense. The chase and thrill intensifies as Katarina runs after the cursed Cleopatra Emrald”. There’s more action, more interesting thefts, and surprise elements as well.
Writing – The writing has visibly improved after the first novel. While you could find loopholes and unexplained sequences, this book reduces all that by a pretty decent margin. I seriously hope it will be reduced by the third book. It is gripping and intense, just like a thriller should be.
Characters – The characters have more depth than before. Maybe it is because as the story progresses, you tend to relate to the characters more and more. Though I felt it would have been better if the characters had been well explained in the first link itself, it’s not too late whatsoever.
Jumping between cities – This was in my dislike section in the first book, but it’s not awkward anymore.
Now the things which could have been improved:
Method of theft – This series makes stealing a bit easy. Kat and sqaud break into the Interpol headquartes like it’s a piece of cake. World’s most heavily guarded emrald is stolen like anything. Though support has been given for every theft, still they seem a bit unrealistic. It would have been better even is the things at stake were not to fancy, but the method of theft was mind-boggling.
Uncle Eddie and dad: Uncle Eddie and Kat’s dad have literally been portrayed as the masters of the theft world, but they have little involvement in the main story whatsoever. Though Uncle Eddie comes into the main story this time, he just has a small role at the end. There are just stories of them doing jobs at Paraguay(or Uruguay) and not much otherwise.
This is one series which I think will achieve the level of maturity once ot reaches the finale. Though now I seriosuly want to read the third installment, I seem to have problem right now finding it’s PDF ( So if anyone of you has the link to it, please do share).
This is one book which you can read if you are in for thrillers, but of course you’ll have to bear through the first part, first.
And as ally Carter says :
“People make and break their own fortunes- they are masters of their own fates.”