Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her 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 her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection has been stolen and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled off 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.
I’ve already read Ally Carter’s other series, Gallagher Girls, & I’m a big fan of it. But I was delighted to discover that I enjoyed the new series at least twice as much as I enjoyed her other series. Perhaps the characters are more entertaining & mean more to me, or perhaps I enjoy hearing about the thieves behind heists more than I like reading about the spies who protect our country. Not to bash Gallagher Girls, of course, but I think this book is aimed at a bit higher age group, with the teen character sounding a bit more like a teenager instead of a tween, even though both characters are about the same age.
Kat is a great main character – she’s independent, smart, & great at holding her own when trading snappy comebacks with the much older bad guy. Hale is also enjoyable to read about, although I wish their relationship together was a bit smoother. Gabrielle may seem ditzy, but she can be a mastermind when she wants to be, and Simon literally is a mastermind. Then there’s Angus & Hamish – always giving a laugh. It’d be hard to pick a favorite character, so I’m content with saying that I basically love all the characters. This book has a great ensemble cast, one which I’d love to meet in real life (if they were really alive, of course).
So, overall, I loved this book, and can’t wait for the next one, which will hopefully be out sometime soon, although I don’t think the first draft of the book is finished yet… Sigh, it’s gone to be a long wait. At least I can always reread this gem of a book!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars