Friday, February 4, 2011

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (February 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1423116399
ISBN-13: 9781423116394

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.


Traveling across Europe and New York, USA, Katarina and her unexpected crew work under a literal deadline in order to clear her father's name and keep everybody from the watchful eye of powerful mobster Arturo Taccone. The subtle strength in independent Kat is highly radiated throughout the pages of Heist Society. With help of her abandoned best friend W. W. Hale the Fifth, she has all she needs to pull off the ultimate heist against the best museum in the world. Known for her sensational heroines, Ally Carter out does herself with this intricately woven "state-of-the-art" series.

Unlike any other writing style I've encountered, Carter has a way of making the mysterious addictive and the unknown torturous. How can anyone do that, you ask? Well, if you stick a come-back thief, a benevolently betrayed family with its own set of rules and a billionaire all in the same toss-up, you get Heist Society. In order to keep up with the schemes and different points-of-view in this book, one would have to do some of work to fully understand why a specific character chose this path to take, or withhold that information to get the answers they needed. Some serious thinking had to be done at various points of this book, and I loved it all the more for it because it held my attention and would not let go. At the same time, it got creative in a unique way and showed you that not all life-stressing situations have to suck the fun out of everything; there can be a few laughs from time to disastrous time. While trying to save her father, Katarina had a way of being aloof but simultaneously hands-on--she's not one to be trifled with--when it came to accomplishing the most difficult operation she had ever encountered.

"We're in," Angus said into Kat's ear a second later. The kids kept walking, moving through the Henley's halls like a tide, but when Kat turned to leave, she turned in the opposite direction. She wasn't an ordinary kid, after all.
Katarina Bishop followed no one.

I loved reading about each individual character mostly because of their in-depth personalities--each has a background to base their disposition on. Even the ones not in Kat's crew were alluring and some quite amusing when it came to the final scenes of the heist and the game's end. I hope to find many more installment in this series to delve into.

I recommend Heist Society for all who wish to read a modern take on a fresh view of the retrieval of historical art by a motley crew with a common mindset and goal.

Grade: A