Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Genre: Contemporary/Thieves
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When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…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 Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. 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 history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

This is my second Ally Carter book and I like it a lot more than the first. That's probably because I've always liked thieves more than spies. (Unless we're talking spies like the ones from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - because they're oddly cool.)

So, in this book we follow a teenaged thief who wanted desperately to get out of the business but is pulled back in when her father is threatened. I'll admit that, at first, I wasn't sure about liking Kat. She's kind of broken, yeah - which it totally great - but she also didn't want any part of the thief lifestyle. At one point in the book she said something like 'this life looks better when you chose it' which is probably totally correct, but I'm one of those people that would give anything to have a more exciting life than she's got so the people that have those lives and don't like them… Let's just say we seldom get along.

Kat though, she really grew on me because she's… A character. She's not perfect; she makes mistakes. She usually learns from those mistakes, but she is far from being some perfect girl - even if she is an awesome one. She's flawed enough to be likable.

And the others in her little 'heist society' that she puts together are great. I really like each of them, though I wish there had been more group interplay than there was. One of the things I just love in books is how each person in a group has special skills and they might not always get along with everyone else. Personally, I think it took too long for the group to get together for the attention that I like to be paid to the entire group.

Before I get to the plot, I want to make special mention of romance. Now, I don't know if this was a fake-out or a double-fake-out. Kat has a very obvious love interest (who, I might add, is a total sweetheart with absolutely no jerk-ass tendencies at all) and all is well. Until we're introduced to the flirty guy. However, this isn't a love triangle. In fact, I'm not even sure this second guy shows up in the second book. This was super nice to see.

Now, the plot is… Quite a bit like an episode of Leverage. Kat's dad is suspected (by the 'victim' and Interpol) of committing a crime that he couldn't have committed because he was - well… But no one believes him except his daughter and she puts together a crack team of other teenagers to steal back what was already stolen. Now doesn't that sound like a teen version of Leverage?

I think that was actually my biggest issue with the plot. Not that it's like Leverage, (which is a show that I really like) but that they are teens. Fifteen to seventeen, I believe. Now, I'm not saying that teens can't be amazingly talented and better at things than their elders. But, seriously? No teen should be this competent, amazing and flat-out awesome. Teens are not this suave, either. Now, even though this was distracting, it didn't make me hate anything about this book. However I can totally see how some people would be bothered by this a lot more than I was.

There's a certain plotline that I can't tell you about without giving away spoilers. Let's just say it has to deal with Germany and art and leave it at that. Oh, and I'd also like to say that this plot got a full star all on it's own because I love these type of stories.