Books In My Mailbox (Nov-1)

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

As you may have noticed from yesterday’s post I am back in Toronto, and I already had items waiting for me at the library! (I also had a $3 overdue fine since I wasn’t expecting to be away from the city so long). The book sitting prettily on the holds shelf is none other than:

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

This is the second novel in the Heist Society series; I liked the first book even better than I did the Gallagher Girls series by the same author… and those were pretty good books! I hope that this one is just as fantastic as its predecessors.

 Previous IMM: Oct-2Oct-3Oct-4

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Synopsis: Katarina Bishop was raised to take part in the family business, but by the time she was fifteen she didn’t want to. Instead, she found her way into a prestigious boarding school and living as normally as she could until Kat’s old life made it impossible to ignore. Kat’s father was in danger and Kat is the only person who could figure out how to save him, from both Interpol and a powerful mobster.  Katarina and her teenaged “crew” have two weeks to pull off the impossible. If she doesn’t, her father will pay the price…

Author: Ally Carter is a pseudonym, but that seems fitting for a novel like this. What else can you do when you write about cat burglars and spy schools? Ally not only writes the Heist Society series, but the Gallagher Girls series (which may have been optioned for a movie).

Cover: At first you think it is just a picture of a girl with shiny sunglasses on. Brown hair, blue eyes, black shirt, and a slight smirk: nothing special. But then you realize that there is something being reflected in the sunglasses, a spotlight-enhanced painting can be seen in her right lens. So you check her left –your right– lens and see the same spotlight and some crown molding, but no painting.

Location: The book takes place all over the world, making mention of various foreign locals but actual action remaining mostly in the States, England, and France with the occasional stop in Austria, Poland, and Italy.

Format: Kat’s crew only has two weeks, and the book makes it easy to keep track of time and country. The book is divided into sections with a page letting you know how many days are left in the countdown and where exactly Kat and her crew happen to be for that section.

Theme: The characters in the story are all about family. Kat trying to get away from hers, Hale trying to appropriate Kat’s family, and the Bishop clan trying to get Kat back into the fold.  In the end, it all comes down to one thing: doing whatever you can to protect the people you love.

Romance: You tend to wonder throughout the novel about Kat and Hale’s relationship; are they interested in each other or aren’t they?  And you keep hoping that they are and they will be.

Quote: No one has ever stolen a painting from the Henley… Technically, we’d be re-stealing them. It’s kind of like a double negative.

The Verdict: I have yet to be disappointed by an Ally Carter novel. Admittedly I thought I may not like the Heist Society, but now I wonder if maybe I like it even better than the Gallagher Girls series…

What lengths would you go to for your family? …Or to escape them? 

Previous Reviews:  The ReckoningDark FlameNo SurrenderOnly the Good Spy Young

Book Review: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

 Synopsis: After nearly being kidnapped and her aunt nearly being killed, Cammie Morgan knew she would never be safe. But things become all the more terrifying when she learns that she doesn’t know who to trust: not teachers, not students, not operatives, no one. Cammie and her roommates must find out who’s good, who’s bad, and who’s a double agent all while trying to find the answers as to why the terrorist cell wants Cammie… alive.

Author: Ally Carter is a pseudonym, but that seems fitting for a novel like this. What else can you do when you write about cat burglars and spy schools? Ally not only writes the Gallagher Girls series (which may have been optioned for a movie), but the the Heist Society series as well.

Note to Reader: This is the fourth book in the Gallagher Girl series. You will want to read these books in order, not just because it is helpful in understanding them, but because you just won’t want to miss out!

 Pacing: This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It is non-stop espionage, either planning it or doing it. There isn’t one step of the way that your nerves aren’t heightened to watch your own back as you read the book.

Plot: The Gallagher Girls books just keep getting better and better. As per usual, the adults try to keep information from Cammie and you would think by now they would know better. The less Cammie knows, the more danger she is in because she will do whatever it takes to find out what she doesn’t know, thus putting herself into the worst situations.

Location: While the book opens in London, most of the story –and the intrigue-takes place at Gallagher Academy. Who would have thought that the Gallagher Girls would need to break into their own school’s basement? And find a way into Zach’s school too…

 Character: Zach, as ever, is an enigma. You think you are learning new things about him, but you never really are, and because of that you are never sure whether you can trust him or not. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Either way, you think he will keep Cammie safe.

Unfulfilled Promise:  A cliffhanger! Every friken books ends in a friken cliffhanger and it drives me bonkers! Then again, it means that another book will be coming out…

Quote: In the clandestine services, nothing ever happens quickly (except when it does). Nothing is ever, ever easy (except when it is). And, most of all, nothing ever goes perfectly according to plan (except in the movies).

The Verdict: Read the whole series. Now.

Previous Reviews:  The ReckoningDark Flame