Reading level: Young AdultThe Audiobook:
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (June 21, 2011)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged; Unabridged edition (June 21, 2011)
Buy the Book: Hardcover, Audio
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.
This was seriously one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. The reader, Angela Dawe, also read Heist Society, and I think she was perfect for this book. She had the perfect voice for Kat and manner of speaking for this type of story. All of her voices were so fantastic. She even had to do British accents, and strong southern accents (which I thought sounded like Kathy Bates), and a couple of other countries' accents as well. Her voices for the guys were good too. She was engaging and I don't think there's any complaint I have, and that's really rare.
You don't have to have read Heist Society in order to read Uncommon Criminals, but trust me, you will want to, so just go do it! Heist Society was one of my favorite books last year. I just thought that it was so smart, and fun and really a breath of fresh air in the YA world. There aren't many authors that even try to tackle something like this. It just isn't done very often. And maybe that's because there's just no one who can do it as well as Ally Carter. She's just a fantastic writer and mastermind!!
These books remind me so much of Ocean's Eleven, one of the best movies ever made! So it's no surprise that I like them so much. Even though they have the same feel to them, they are completely original, with such imaginative heists, cons, plot twists, and characters. Those that have read The Gallager Girls series, may wonder if these books are similar. I would say that they have a somewhat similar feel, in that they are well thought out, and involve smart female characters who may have a boy in their lives, but certainly don't need one to be the strong feisty independent thinkers that they are. But I would say that Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals have a more sophisticated feel to them than The Gallager Girls. Even though Kat and her friends are supposed to be in high school, they are much more mature than your average high schooler, and living lives of adults in many ways.
I love each of the characters in these books. They are all just absolutely loveable and unique. As they go on this adventure to steal the supposedly cursed Cleopatra Emerald and return it to where it belongs, they each have their own special skill, necessary to complete the job. Of course my favorite characters are Kat and Hale. There's just something special about their relationship. Even though they seem to have a hard time just giving in, and getting the timing right, you can tell that they have a bond that is so much more than just love at first sight, or the lusting relationships you find in many YA books. Hale is just what every girl would want as a boyfriend, and what every mother would want for her daughter. I love him so much!!
If you have read Heist Society, you will not be disappointed in Uncommon Criminals. If you haven't read it, you should read it now. And it just has to be said, this book was so squeaky clean!! Which means that even though I'll definitely be recommending it to adults and older teens, I'm happy that I can recommend it to younger teens as well! Heist Society was picked up by Warner Bros. for a film adaptation, so I can't wait to see it played out on the big screen!
- Sexual Content: None
- Profanity: None
- Violence: Minor
- Other Notables: None