Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Recommendation: UNCOMMON CRIMINALS by Ally Carter

I don’t recommend sequels very often, mostly because I figure recommending the first in a series is good enough--and because sequels rarely measure up to the original. That’s not the case with UNCOMMON CRIMINALS. As much as I loved HEIST SOCIETY, I loved UNCOMMON CRIMINALS even more.

UNCOMMON CRIMINALS picks up Kat Bishop’s story a few months after she and her crew manage to rob the Henley, previously thought to be the most impregnable art gallery in Europe. Kat only took the Henley job because the paintings in question were ill-gotten gains, stolen from their Jewish owners during the Nazis’ reign of terror and redistributed to thugs and sympathizers. Kat now sees herself as a one-woman art avenger, returning priceless pieces of culture and history to their rightful owners. So when someone asks her to go after the Cleopatra, a humongous emerald that was taken from an Egyptian dig site more than a hundred years before, both the thief and the do-gooder in Kat can’t resist. The only problem is, the Cleopatra’s cursed, and the curse doesn’t discriminate between do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells.

Like HEIST SOCIETY, UNCOMMON CRIMINALS featured some unexpected twists that kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to bed. But what I loved best about UNCOMMON CRIMINALS was the character development. Ms. Carter took the time to flesh out Kat’s relationships with her best friend and partner-in-crime, the distinguished--and delectable--W.W. Hale the Fifth, as well as the two kingpins of Kat’s thieving family, Uncles Eddie and Charlie.

UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is both self-contained and overarching. It has a definite beginning, middle, and end and yet still contributes to Kat’s overall story. In short, UNCOMMON CRIMINALS is definitely worth a read--after you’ve checked out HEIST SOCIETY, of course:)

(And last but certainly not least, a quick shout-out to my friend and critique partner Amy Sonnichsen, who recently signed with Emmanuelle Morgen of Judith Ehrlich Literary Management. Check out her announcement, and don't forget to say hello. Congratulations, Amy!)


Aurora Smith said...

I love the cover

Michael G-G said...

Your book reviews are always excellent, Krista.

(Thanks to you, I visited Amy's blog, took part in her contest, and won me a manuscript critique. Hyper happy!)

Jenilyn Collings said...

I love her Gallagher Girls series, but I haven't read these. I'll have to check them out! Thanks for the recommendation!

Connie Keller said...

My daughter and I both read this and loved it. It's great that there are books we can share.

Myrna Foster said...

I still haven't read anything by her. Thanks for the nudge. :o)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Read my books, I LOVE the covers. They have an Audrey Hepburn quality that I absolutely adore. (Helps that I love Audrey Hepburn.)

Thank you, Michael! And congratulations on winning the manuscript critique! You're in good hands:)

You're welcome, Jeni! You'll have to let me know what you think of the series.

Connie, how wonderful to share great books with your daughter. I'm looking forward to that. (Although I'll have to wait a while longer, as my Lady's only two years old:) )

Consider yourself nudged, Myrna:) You should definitely check out her stuff. She does a wonderful job of writing fresh fiction for teenagers that doesn't rely on sex and profanity.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I haven't read either of these books. I'm behind the times!! After this wonderful review, how can I resist?

Thanks for the shout-out (again!), Krista. You are the sweetest!


Elle Wright said...

I will definitely check this out. I haven't read any of her books, but the cover is very catchy.

Kelly Bryson said...

Recommendation taken. I've heard of Heist Society but haven't picked it up yet. Thanks, Krista!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Amy, I've been amazed at how many people have never picked up an Ally Carter novel. And here I thought I was sharing something everyone was already aware of. Yes, definitely check these out. You'll be so proud of me - although they're still pretty commercial, there's nothing fantastical or science-fiction-y about either one:)

Lady Lex, always happy to add another book to the to-read pile:) And yes, the covers in this series are fantastic.

Kelly, I hope you like it (and I'm pretty sure you will)! You'll have to let me know what you think.