Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society
Ally Carter
Hyperion Books
Borrowed from Library.
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
Despite coming from the other side of the law, this new series by the author of the Gallagher Girls books has more in common with it than not. As such, it will appeal to most fans of the Gallagher Girls - those who enjoy quick reads with lots of action, humor, and a bit of romance, but who aren't overly burdened with the need for plausibility.

Kat is a very likeable character, but even with her background taken into consideration, she is a bit too poised and worldly to be a believable 15-year-old. Despite hearing her age early on, she was fixed firmly in our minds as at least 17. The story started slowly for us, and it wasn't until Kat walked into the bad guy's lair that we started becoming intrigued. There is some definite cleverness in the main heist at the end, and a history lesson concerning the Nazi theft of famous artwork added a bit of depth to the story.

It is unfortunate that there wasn't as much depth in the characters. We found them less three-dimensional than those in the Gallagher Girls books, and in fact saw a lot of crossover. Zach has a different name and background, for example, but he's still an obvious Zach.

There were other intriguing elements in the story that it appears will be built on in future titles, so that we look forward to. We hope we will also see the characters become a bit more real to the reader, and this series become more distinguishable from the other. A fun read with potential, we give it a

3 out of 5.

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