Nonie's Reviews > Uncommon Criminals

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
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's review
Sep 16, 2011

liked it
Read in January, 2011

There was no way I couldn't like this book even if I tried. Ally Carter wrote in everything I look for in a good heist story: the loyal crew for the hero (or in this case, heroine), plot twists at every turn, crazy mysterious villains, and of course, the seemingly impossible heist that the crew needs to pull off by the end of the story.

I would say that Uncommon Criminals is the blockbuster, popcorn novel for YA for this summer as Super 8 is this summer's blockbuster movie for Hollywood- sort of hyped up but not as much as others have been (and attached to several big names of their respective industries).

Of course coming from Ally Carter, the plot of Uncommon Criminals was nothing short of riveting. For the whole 304 pages I kept the novel in my hands and never looked up unless to quickly take a sip of my caramel frapp, or occasionally getting distracted by people sitting next to me. The writing was elegant and polished, adding some glamor needed for the story like this.

Kat was a believable character. The way she sticks with her family, and the way she takes up a Robin Hood-like role was poignant to me. She seems so wise and she's seen so much of the world already that I was taken aback when I remembered that she was only fifteen. The same goes for the rest of her crew. It's hard to believe that they're only sixteen (or under!) when they're country-hopping by themselves, but hey, it works.

Speaking of Kat's crew, I badly badly badly want to join them. Not so much for the thievery, but for the traveling (I want to go all around Europe...) and working with the crew wouldn't be bad. The second in command of Kat's crew is W.W. Hale, who's handsome, smart, (conveniently rich), and every bit as stubborn as Kat herself. One of the best aspects of the novel, besides the thievery was Kat and Hale dynamic. It plays out nicely because we (and Kat and Hale themselves) never forget that they're first and foremost best friends.

The other crew members are Simon, the tech geek of the group (Q: Why is every "geeky" guy named Simon these days?); Angus and Hamish, the adorable brothers (note: every heist story needs a pair of brothers); and Gabriella, Kat's cousin and foil in the series meaning that she's fashionable and knows how to hold herself.

The heist itself? Brilliantly done. I know that I'll have to read over the ending again to take in all of it. I'm really looking forward to finding out who Visily Romani is (or will we every find out?). It might've been the frapp and the windy weather outside, but it suddenly got chilly whenever Mr (or Ms?) Romani's name got mentioned. Very mysterious....*scratches chin*

Uncommon Criminals can get serious sometimes as the themes of the story-family, friendship, betrayal- are serious, but it's always, just like any well-made Hollywood popcorn summer blockbuster, fun.

Recommended to all. :)
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