Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Heist Society #2

Uncommon Criminals

Rate this book
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

298 pages, Hardcover

First published June 21, 2011

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ally Carter

52 books15.2k followers
Ally Carter writes books about sneaky people and movies about Christmas. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series for teens as well as WINTERBORNE HOME FOR VENGEANCE AND VALOR for younger readers. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages.

She encourages you to visit her online at allycarter.com and embassyrowbooks.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
17,638 (41%)
4 stars
15,458 (36%)
3 stars
7,590 (17%)
2 stars
1,428 (3%)
1 star
541 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,414 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,868 reviews69.2k followers
May 10, 2019
This was my very first audiobook!
I'd never found a reason to listen to a book (rather than read it) because it just takes so much longer to finish. Also, I noticed that most people who love audiobooks tend to have a commute, and I'm never in a car (without kids) long enough to listen to anything.
So, no reason for audio books.
I started exercising...because flab happens.
And for a while, it was fun with Richard.


Eventually, however, I moved on to an aerobic walking video. Because I'm cool like that. And also because it hurts my knees to even watch stuff like this:


And as much as I benefit from the low impact exercise, the lady who does them is like Fran Drescher in yoga pants.


Is your workout in a slump? Then come join us! We're sisters in SWEAT!
{insert braying laugh} This is REAL sweat, ladies!
*in fake Italian accent* I lika to sweat!
{insert more braying laughter} I'm soooo silly!

God help me, for 45 minutes a day, part of my workout consisted of not throwing my shoe at the television.
Then one glorious morning at the library, I was introduced to a little something called Play-A-Way.
Not by My Librarian, mind you. No, she was too busy collecting late fees (probably from orphans!) to bother showing off this technological wonder to an honored patron like myself.
Not mad, Danielle, just disappointed...
And now, with tiny things that the kids these days are calling earbuds , I can block the goat-like bleating of Walking Chick's voice, while still making my doctor happy with my daily dose of aerobics, AND I get to listen to a story while I do it!

So, was Uncommon Criminals any good, you ask?
I grabbed it because it was available that day at the library, and not because I'm a big fan of Ally Carter's series.
I was just so friggin' happy not to be listening to those lame jokes & horsey laughter that I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed anything.

Having said that, I think this was a cute story. Not fantastic, but cute.
I had a hard time swallowing that these kids were good enough to fly all around the world and con professionals. But, then again, I'm waaay outside the age range for teeny-bopper heist stories. And this is definitely a teeny-bopper story. I do love YA, but this isn't a series that I would recommend to adult readers.
But it is something that I would recommend to my daughter in a year or so, which says something.

Recommended for teens.
Profile Image for Sophia.
55 reviews
June 22, 2011
I haven't read the book yet, obviously, but I know that this is going to be a good one. All of Ally Carter's YA books ave been a success and I'm sure this will be too. The only thing I will be disappointed with if she doesn't have is some kissing with Hale and Kat, I mean, it's soooooo obvious that they like each other...

*EDIT* The cover is gorgeous!!!

*EDIT* Reading the synopsis just makes me more excited, and I'm about to die of anticipation!!!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
July 19, 2012
If there was ever a Young Adult book written almost exclusively for actual young adults, it’s Uncommon Criminals. In fact, with its light tone, overly simplified plot, short chapters, third person narrative and extremely subtle romance, it is at times more appropriate for younger young adults or even middle grade readers and should be judged/rated as such.

After successfully stealing (back) four paintings from the seemingly impenetrable Henley museum and returning them to their rightful owners, Kat has acquired a Robin Hood-like reputation. Therefore, she is only mildly surprised when an old lady, the rightful owner of the Kleopatra emerald, asks her to steal the supposedly cursed stone and return it to her family. Still feeling lucky after several well-done jobs, Kat shuts down her instincts and accepts the job. Hale is the voice of reason, very much against it, but as always, he goes where Kat goes, regardless of the consequences.
If Heist Society reminded me a lot of Ocean’s Eleven, Uncommon Criminals is an oversimplified version of Ocean’s Twelve. The crew gets conned by a better thief and they must find a way to outsmart that thief and retrieve what they lost. (Though the thief here isn’t as hot as Vincent Cassel, that’s for sure.)

As much as I like Hale (and he’s one swoon-worthy boy, believe me), his wealth and status seem awfully convenient at times. His contacts open all doors, the crew travels in private jets, and if they need a yacht near Monte Carlo, well of course he has one ready! I loved how devoted he was to Kat in Heist Society, but in Uncommon Criminals, he went from being devoted to being a doormat at times. Kat too seems to have changed for the worst. After the Henley job, she developed not just a reputation, but an overabundance of ego as well. She had reason to, up to a point, but she went a bit too far by taking sole credit for something that was a team effort.

Keeping in mind what I mentioned at the beginning, I won’t lower my rating because the heists themselves seemed far too simple. I look at this book the same way I’d look at The Famous Five – I would have adored it when I was twelve, loved it still when I was 14. At 28, I found it entertaining, but I really can’t take it seriously.

I’ll read the third book mostly because it focuses on Hale, and from all the characters, he’s the one I haven’t managed to figure out.
392 reviews333 followers
July 6, 2011
For a bit of W.W. Hale eye candy go to http://irresistiblereads.blogspot.com...

Rating: 4.5

Favourite Quote: Luck is a strange thing in the life of any thief and halfway decent con man. What is it that keeps the mark from counting the till or the guards from looking up at precisely the wrong moment? Kat had learned at a very young age that luck is for the amateur, the lazy---those who are unprepared and unskilled. And yet she also knew that luck, like most things, cannot be truly missed until it is also truly gone.

When it comes to sequels they can be a scary thing especially when you love the first book. But Uncommon Criminals is just as good as Heist Society. Once again Ally Carter offers all the right elements for another fun read - clever writing, a quick and suspenseful plot and entertaining characters.

Again there were plenty of twists in this cleverly constructed plot making it impossible to put Uncommon Criminals down. And when I did I was thinking about all the ways Kat could possibly get herself out of trouble this time. I also love how Carter brilliantly describes the settings. She really knows how to capture the beautiful places like Monte Carlo the crew visits and you can picture everything perfectly thanks to Carter's wonderful writing.

Kat is a genuine and likeable character. She is independent, smart and stubborn. In this instalment Kat has to learn to that she doesn't have to do everything on her own even if she doesn't need help. That it is okay to want help from her crew. Kat showed a lot growth. I also love the distinctive bunch of secondary characters. As soon as I started the book I was eagerly awaiting when Hale, Gabrielle, Simon or the Bagshaw brothers would pop up in the story and when they did they didn't disappoint.

I know fans of the first book will be wondering about the romance. Does anything happen with Hale? Well all I can say is the spark is still there and you will have to read the book (I recommend immediately).

Overall, this is one addictive series that I highly recommend. I really hope Carter writes a Heist Society #3.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
848 reviews447 followers
October 29, 2017
2.5 stars

I'm reading the reviews for this book and all I can say is that I definitely agree with many of you who said that this book is truly a YA book intended for young adults. I wish I read it when I was 14 or 15 because I would've adored it. It's light, fun and overall cute. Of course, sometimes we get a bit of drama-llama situations and questionable choices made by our interesting characters but overall, this entire trilogy is entertaining. Hale is cute, though, I love him.
Profile Image for C.B. Cook.
Author 6 books196 followers
May 7, 2020
HOLY COW. I didn't know it was possible for me to like a book more than Heist Society... and then BAM. Book #2... was crazy good. Those were some awesome plot twists, and to be honest, I think this was even better than the first book... if that's possible. I'm going to start making a list of the names Kat guesses for Hale's first name... Basically, LOVED IT!!!!

Update: After reading this and the first book, I now have an official list of the names Kat has guessed for Hale, along with whether he definitely said no or if it was a noncommittal answer. If you'd like me to post it here, let me know!
Profile Image for nαомι αndιno.
175 reviews54 followers
April 3, 2021
At first I was excited because they mentioned that Uncle Eddie was in Paraguay (my country rarely gets mentioned in books) but then Kat mixed it up with Uruguay…it’s ok, it happens. But then se proceded to mix them up EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER. And it was just her, because everyone kept telling her it was Paraguay not Uruguay. At this point she was just being an ignorant and that’s not a pretty character trait, sweetie.

Also, like I mentioned in my review of Heist Society, they are all 15/16 years olds and they’re pulling off all these heists, and to be honest they don’t even plan it much. How are there no adult present, like, ever?

The plot was good, I just found the execution of it all a little boring. Once again, the villain is said over and over to be like bad and powerful but I’ve never met a villain more dull than this one.

Profile Image for Nonie.
4 reviews31 followers
September 17, 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. :)
Profile Image for Daiane.
179 reviews202 followers
June 27, 2015
“Love is the biggest con of all”

This sequel is really better. I could totally picture the world and loved Carte's way of making the characters look like good badass people. They are thieves who have no unbelievable tech, guns or really dangerous people behind them and still made the book enjoyable. I liked how they were conning and robbing in a classic and elegant way and still were the good guy. And how sly they were.

The writing was really easy and pleasant but the romance...

“Kat felt her heart beat faster, adrenaline pumping through her veins, and she knew he was right. She studied him for a long time. "Do you believe in curses, Hale?"

He looked at her. "I believe in you.”

It had some cute and cheesy lines but I expected so much more with Hale that I was kinda disappointed.

Or at least more with Nick! So because it was lacking is some ways, I wouldn't say this book is a YA but had more of a Middle Grade feeling to it.
The plot twist got me by surprise but the ending was really predictable. It was a really easy read and would recommend it for sure :D

Profile Image for Melannie :).
341 reviews195 followers
July 19, 2011
Ahhhh. Where do I begin?
I remember reading Heist Society a loooong time ago, I remember listening to the audiobook of it quite a few times,
I remember loving this series. I just didn't rememmber HOW MUCH.

I loved this book! I was so surprised and pleased to discovered it is as good as the first one, plus more adventures,
more truths, even more lies, and oh so many incredibly kick-butt action!

The characters! Gosh the characters! I didn't recall them being this awesome!
they were all SO CLEVER, SO SMART. It takes some (okay, a lot) of talent to write a book like this, and to me,
Miss Carter deserves an standing ovasion! I can't even imagine how much time it took for her to plot all her characters' actions.
Each and everyone of the situations on this book were complicated and tricky at first to be ended later in the most simplified way you could think of
(or actually, haven't think of) these guys are teenagers after all, and trust them to find the answer to an exit problem using five hundred doves (not kidding, don't ask)

What I also loved about this second book is that it shows Kat's flaws. I mean I knew she had them, SHE knew she had them,
but it's nice to see them aknowledged. She can be a super kick ass thief, but she's also a fifteen year old girl who has normal problems while living an extraordinary life.

And Hale, oh W. W. Hale the Fifth, how I love you! He kept the loyalness he has come to be known for. He's awesome, you can tell he's deeply in love with Kat,
but he's not gonna take her crap, and I like that, he's fierce! reminds me of a GOOD Chuck Bass, utterly confident, careless in a way only the extra-rich are.

Every other character kick major butt in this one too. Gabrielle was cool in book 1, but I LOVED her in this one. And Nick, oh Nick I love you too <3
I just hope Miss Carter has something good prepared for him, cause in the short amount of pages he's been in, I've come to love him and wish him nothing but the best.

This book is incredible and I can't wait for the people at WB to give the green light so they can start turning this series into a movie!
It'd be the ultimate action-packed, romance-full, funny-filled film I've ever hoped to watch!
Profile Image for Siiri (Little Pieces of Imagination).
533 reviews106 followers
July 26, 2016
Hmmmm. I didn't love this one as much as I loved Heist Society. Maybe because there wasn't much plot in my opinion? Until the crew arrives in Monte Carlo there are a few key scenes but most of the time is spent on Kat thinking she has it all cover all by herself and totally secluding her crew + not listening to anyone when they try to give her advice. Of course, she learns and grows throughout the novel, but I really struggled with being 100% supportive of Kat during the whole book.

My favorite character is probably Gabrielle and I adore the friendship the cousins are developing. Kat wasn't a huge fan of Gabrielle in the first book, but she slowly begun to realize that her cousin is in her corner and their relationship in Uncommon Criminals is really endearing. Speaking of relationships, I loooooooove the shippy feels! They're so great! It's not overpowering, but it's constantly there and I am fully on board (͠≖ ͜ʖ͠≖)




1. THE VILLAIN WAS ANNOYING. She's only said to be this bad-a thief by EVERYONE but nothing is ever shown except . None of her jobs are talked about except that one job with and the other jobs are all like "oh she probably invented that trick" ummmmmmmm ok. So yeah I didn't really get the big bad part and found her more annoying than anything else tbh.

2. The whole Paraguay/Uruguay part was super annoying as well. Kat (and everyone else) is supposed to be this mastermind of all things and now you're telling me that she can't remember whether it's Paraguay or Uruguay? They're two different countries. If I was from one of them I'd be offended because that's probably what happens irl all the time that people just don't care enough to remember and to make it into a running joke that's supposed to be cute and quirky is not that appealing.


*is this a literal or figurative family? because as far as I know -- Simon and the Bagshaws aren't connected to Kat and Gabrielle through blood; also, there are quite a few uncles mentioned and we know pretty much nothing about them except 2.

*if not then how did Simon and the Bagshaws end up with "the family"?

*where are Kat's grandparents if Uncle Eddie and are her family but her grandparents aren't anywhere to be seen? From either side of the family. And same about Gabrielle since Eddie isn't her grandfather either.......

*what exactly happened to Kat's mom ? (this may have been said and I just don't remember)

*don't the other families ever want the same jobs that "our" family wants? do they try to take them? what kind of conflicts does this cause and does "our" family have families they are more close to? have there been any marriages or allegiances between some families? why haven't we seen any of those families?

There were more things but I just don't remember. As a whole I liked it and I laughed out loud quite a few times, but omgggg I have so many questions and none of them are answered. I'm not a huge fan of all these plot holes and lack of information on everything and especially the character backgrounds. I think these books could benefit from 20-30 more pages at least just to give some background and talk about the characters more in depth.

*you can see the graphic in HQ on my tumblr in this Heist Society graphic set here.
Profile Image for Erin.
232 reviews103 followers
August 12, 2012
I honestly thought that I would like this better than Heist Society, but the ending failed so miserably that I am left feeling nothing but disappointment. The ingredients for a fun, intelligent read were there, but they were wasted. Overall, the story was distractingly unrealistic, the characters were bland, and the ending was poorly put together.

First, let's talk about the novel as a whole. I am echoing myself from my review of the first book, but really? I'm supposed to believe these kids are capable of huge, dangerous heists? They don't seem to put much thought into their plans, and after awhile it gets tiring to be told what brilliant young thieves they are when I haven't been successfully shown that this is true.

There's also a lot of telling (instead of showing) when it comes to the characters. I have no emotional attachment to a single one of these people, probably because they never come alive to me. I don't even remember the Bagshaw brothers' names, let alone understand the differences in their personalities. (Because liking to blow stuff up doesn't count as a personality trait, FYI.) Even the two main characters, Kat and Hale, seem like your typical reader stand-in and vaguely dreamy love interest, respectively.

Quick sidenote about Hale: I am so over this archetype. Overprotective, possessive dudes are running rampant in 95% of the teen fiction I've been reading lately, and I find 0% of them attractive. So Hale needs to either grow up or go away.

However, despite all of these issues, the biggest problem for me was how weak the ending was. There were several plot-twists that occurred simultaneously, and none of them were executed well. I was irritated by how impossible the ending was-- impossible to guess, that is. I even went back and reread key scenes, but Carter neglected to lay even the most basic foundation to show how her plot-twists could happen. There were no subtle clues, no vague wording, to give any indication that the ending was even planned.

And it really sucks that this is the case. Because up until the ending, I was moderately enjoying myself. These books are fast-paced and action-oriented, which is refreshing in the sea of emo romances dominating the YA section. If only Carter had put more thought and effort into wrapping up her plot (and I wouldn't mind more rounded characters, either), then this book might have been something.

Profile Image for Abby.
528 reviews111 followers
March 13, 2021
"If it works, it works," Kat told him.
"And if it doesn't?" he asked.
She looked at him. "If it doesn't, then I've heard Monaco has the nicest prisons in all of Europe."
"It does," both Hamish and Angus said in unison.
And with that, it was decided.

gosh I love this crew. the squad goals are just so on point.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,693 reviews855 followers
April 20, 2016
2.5 stars

I wish I had more to say about this book. This is my third Ally Carter book (I've read Heist Society and I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You) and so far I've found all her books kind of meh. But with the promise of teen art thieves, heists, cons, action, espionage, cursed jewels, ancient Egypt and Hale, I couldn't resist trying again.

But I almost wish I hadn't bother.

This book was just dull. None of the characters developed in the slightest since we last met them, and I had the same problems with them that I did last time. We barely seem to see them at all! We see what they did and what their role in the various heists were, but we never got to sit back and really see them... which was annoying, obviously. I think this was mainly because of the weird writing style.

The writing purposely left a lot out or skipped over important scenes so that we wouldn't know what was happening and be surprised at the end. Well, you know what? I don't like feeling manipulated... especially when I know that I am being mislead on purpose. If you could have surprised me at the end, I would have loved it. But instead we know that everything isn't as it seems, and then it tries to spring it on us that everything was a ruse. Well, sorry if we all saw through that. It wasn't half-obvious or anything... *rolls eyes*

Anyway, I'm not exactly impressed but I am still interested to see how everything wraps up in Perfect Scoundrels. I'm hoping we'll find out what the heck is up in Paraguay/Uruguay. Unless the rumours of a fourth book are true?
Profile Image for Carla.
618 reviews98 followers
December 27, 2018
Love this series so much! The crew is great!
It feels like a guilty pleasure, because these kinds are so much younger than I am, but those are just really well-written books!
Profile Image for Reading Relish.
356 reviews26 followers
December 1, 2021
I DID NOT see that plot twist coming in the middle!!!


I will say this, I liked this a lot more than Heist Society! It wasn’t that Heist Society was bad, I just wasn’t as engaged with it as I’d thought I’d be. Uncommon Criminals, on the other hand, felt faster-paced, had higher stakes, and a plot twist I couldn’t see coming from a mile away.



•Not surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle. I mean, can you really call it a love triangle? Love triangles typically involves a character having to having to choose between two love interests. Kat doesn’t seem to show a lot of romantic interest in Nick, but Hale seems to be upset whenever Nick tries to flirt with her. Either way, I didn’t like how jealous Hale got. I understand Hale being suspicious of Nick, especially since the crew knew nothing about Nick or his intentions when he joined both heists. But getting jealous that he was trying to steal Kat? And getting mad at Kat for not telling him that she saw Nick before, and didn’t tell him? Yeah, that kind of made Hale less attractive to me.

Let’s also not forget the fact that when Kat DID show her feelings for Hale, he rejected her. I understood why, with Kat not acting like herself, and Hale being disappointed about it. But I still found it frustrating that Hale would be like that, and then get jealous about the next boy who tries flirting with Kat.

•Kat’s mother was hardly brought up in this book. She was briefly mentioned in Heist Society, and all we really learned was that she’d been dead for sometime. I wanted to learn more about her, and how Kat feels about her mother. I wanted Carter to drop more hints about what happened to Kat’s mother, and how it had affected Kat (I still have a feeling it was partly the reason Kat tried to leave her life of thievery). I can only hope that we get more answers in Perfect Scoundrels.

•I’m still confused about how Kat’s history with Simon, Angus, and Hamish. We obviously know Gabrielle is Kat’s cousin. We get Kat and Hale’s backstory because Hale’s her love interest. And Nick joins the crew after he pickpocketed Kat in Heist Society. But how did Kat meet Simon??? How long has she known Hamish and Angus??? As hilarious as they are, I want to get to know Simon, Angus, and Hamish more as characters.

•Just like the first book, I wish we would’ve had more page time with everyone in Kat’s crew. Uncommon Criminals starts off with Kat, Hale, and Gabrielle in the first heist. Simon joined them early on after, and Nick, Angus, and Hamish showed up WAY later. Like, with Kat was still figuring out how to pull off the second heist later. In both books, I’ve never felt like there’s enough page time of Kat’s crew all together. Which is a shame, because I love the banter when the crew does get together! I just wish we had more page time with all of them together as they planned the heist.


•I remember being confused sometimes with some of the switches of the POVs in Heist Society. I feel like this was improved in Uncommon Criminals. The shifts were a lot smoother, and me already being familiar with the switches might’ve helped with that.

•In Heist Society,,I felt like the first book had a lot more building up to the heist. The buildup wasn’t a bad thing, but I did think it dragged the plot from time to time. But in Uncommon Criminals, we jumped into the two heists pretty quickly! And the pacing was a lot faster, especially because there were TWO heists in this!

•The fact that the curse of the Cleopatra could be feared by even the world’s greatest thieves was hilarious to me. Like, here are thieves who can literally hack security systems, sneak into places they shouldn’t, and con some of the most powerful people in the world. But as soon as this emerald showed up, every thief was like, “Umm, yeah, right, Imma head out now…”

The curse also reminded me of the bad luck that comes when you say “Macbeth” in a theatre. Basically, if you say “Macbeth” in a theatre, bad luck will happen during rehearsal or the actual performance. Thespians will FREAK OUT if you say it, just as some of the characters (i.e. Gabrielle when she hurt her leg) freaked out when they learned had Kat stolen the Cleopatra.

•THE PLOT TWIST IN CHAPTER FREAKING 12. My mind is still spinning about how Carter pulled that off!

Well, okay, I won’t say I was totally clueless and gullible. As soon as Kat, Hale, and Gabrielle stole the Cleopatra the first time, I knew something was off. They couldn’t just steal the emerald, give it back to Constance, and then end the story there. It just seemed too quick and easy, especially with a jewel that’s supposedly cursed.

So when it was revealed that Constance was actually a con artist named Maggie who was going to sell the Cleopatra, claiming it as the Antony…yeah, I was just as shocked as Kat! And I loved how that that lead to this book having TWO heists, both about going after the emerald! Well played, Ally Carter! You conned me with that plot twist!

•I loved the incorporation of Charlie’s character and backstory! When Charlie first appeared, I thought he’d only be in one scene, just creating a fake emerald for Kat. His and Eddie’s history with Maggie was built some great tension! The backstory also didn’t feel forced or random as a plot twist. Looking back, the hints were there, and all of it was executed wonderfully!

•This is kind of weird, but I laughed when Charlie said, “Don’t let men fall in love in love with you, girls. It's not the sort of thing that ends well.” Like, that sums up practically every love triangle perfectly! I loved it!


All in all, Uncommon Criminals was a wonderful sequel to the Heist Society series. Going to Perfect Scoundrels, I have so many questions! What is W.W. Hale the V’s full name? Will we find out who Visily Romani is? What happened to Kat’s mother—and is it the reason Kat left thievery in the first place?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Seesen9.
143 reviews39 followers
March 23, 2016
Can’t believe it’s over. I still don’t really get what actually happened but I can’t stop grinning. Who could have seen it coming? It was just so bloody complicated, twins, fake stones, cons, plans for this and that... yet so simple! I wanna be a thief! Very, very much. I’m still not sure about the rating (shocking, I know) but I just adore Kat and W.W. Hale the 5th together (and not so much together) it totally made me blush. Also I will mistaken Paraguay for Uruguay for the rest of my life, thank you very much!
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,084 reviews215 followers
June 28, 2018
Uncommon Criminals is the second book from the Heist Society. I don't really know how I feel about it.. so many towards the end of this review I will know? Maybe?

Okay, so, this book was meh. Just like the previous book. I don't really know if I want to torture myself with more of these meh books but I haven't made my decision.. yet. Maybe they will get better or worse.. but I wont know until I read them. Maybe I'll flip a coin.

So this book was dull, boring, and again MEH. I still haven't really connected to the characters and I also haven't seen a lot of development between them either. I also don't really like the writing style. I'm pretty sure that's why I'm not really connecting to anything because we are only really seeing what they did but not what were doing throughout the whole book. It was annoying and frustrating to read. Does it change throughout the series? Does it get better? I have no idea.

Besides the frustrating writing, I just feel like I either missed a shit ton of things happening.. or the author just skipped over things really quickly. Either thinking in it her head.. and thinking she typed it? I don't know but it happens - a lot, to me.

Overall, I have no idea if I wanted to dive into the third book. I took a second chance on this series and I'm still not impressed, intrigued, or even slightly enjoying myself. I'm just numb to reading this series right now.
Profile Image for Sara (Freadom Library).
443 reviews242 followers
August 25, 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars

This review was originally posted at https://freadomlibrary.wordpress.com/

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book. It was entertaining, fun and full of action. It’s full of suspense and twists and turns that I did not see coming at all. Thankfully, there’s more background information on the character’s and their family’s lives of thieving. This book focuses a lot on family and friendship but it has more of a romance as well.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is funny, simple and really easy to read. Honestly, I always fly through Ally’s books because they’re so entertaining and fun and sometimes even intense that I always want to know what’s going to happen next. It’s detailed, descriptive and fast paced. It has a third person POV most of the time from the main character but with also extra chapter with different character’s POVs which bring new and extra details to the story.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This improved so much more in this second book. One of my biggest complaints for the first book was the fact that we didn’t get enough background information on the character’s and their family and that is totally rectified in this book thanks to the plot. I definitely found myself connecting a bit more with all the different characters in part because I got to know them more through their relationships. It was just what I needed. Kat has grown from the first book but not necessarily in the best way. She’s gotten over confident and extremely independent. She’s stubborn and it causes a rift between her and the rest of her family… again. I’m glad she grew in this book as well toward a more humble attitude which aligns with her determination and makes this a great book to read. I was kind of upset with Hale in this book though I totally understood where he was coming from. He’s hurt and angry and he feels vulnerable. It was nice to see a more emotional side of him even if he still carries on with his charming and protective self. I feel like the side characters in this book didn’t have as much exposure as they did in the first book but again, there was a lot more family background information so I guess I can live with it.

Profile Image for Hannah:).
345 reviews8 followers
April 3, 2021
Ok... so no 5 stars this time...
I kinda wanted something to HAPPEN (between Hale and Kat) I mean plssssss stop just continuing it to the next book - when are they going to get together?? Idk

Hmm... we never find out who earlier used Visily Romani... maybe in the coming books? idk

Yeah well... I loved the writing as usual - but the plot was a little confusing at times... ok so a lot confusing at times!

Also, was it significant that Kat kept forgetting Paraguay was Paraguay?! Coz repeating that so many times just got on my nerves...

But anyway....

this is actually 3.5 rounded up *gasp* the lowest I've ever rated an Ally Carter book

oh well.
Profile Image for Tara ☽.
303 reviews242 followers
August 12, 2018
✭✭✭✬✩ ~ 3.75 Stars

This was really fun and enjoyable, but I'd say I didn't like it *quite* as much as I liked the first book. Just by a smidge.

Kat and her crew are back in Uncommon Criminals, and this time their mission is to steal the Cleopatra Emerald from a man named Oliver Kelly, whose grandfather stole it from an Egyptian tomb. This is the biggest job Kat has ever had: nobody has ever successfully stolen the Cleopatra before. And if that wasn't enough, the Emerald is also supposedly cursed, bringing misfortune upon anyone who comes in contact with it.

It was a fun time! Kat & Co are in Monte Carlo this time for the majority of the story, which means: casino scenes and ballgowns. Yes please. I've never been to Monaco but it's always kind of fascinated me - this tiny country the size of a town with a royal family, chock full of casinos and hotels. It's like another world.

Unfortunately Kat did annoy me a little bit in this one, mostly surrounding everything to do with Hale. It annoyed me how he was always incredibly sweet and there for her and clearly loved her, and she kept insisting on her "I work alone" shit and taking Hale for granted. She also seemed to take sole credit for the heist in the previous book, when it was very clearly a team effort.

Still, I do like her as a character, and I LOVE all the other characters. Hale is amazing. WHEN WILL WE LEARN HIS FIRST NAME???? Gabrielle is my girl crush, Simon is adorable, and Hamish and Angus are hilarious.

Overall I'm really enjoying this series, I'm in love with the Art Thief Aesthetic, and any story with a heist is bound to have me hooked.
Profile Image for Maiven Lee.
10 reviews
Want to read
February 16, 2011
I know its going to be ahmazing! can't wait!! i am seriously getting upset though because i know i will have to wait so long for this book to come out, then i will read in like one day, then i will have to wait forever for the next!! lol oh well
Profile Image for Olivia.
165 reviews13 followers
July 4, 2022
I have to say, Kat really annoyed me the first half of the book. But then I caught that that was a bit of the point. And by the ending this IS my favorite of the three.

What. A. Ride!

I’m so glad about what Kat learned about the kind of person she saw she could become and knew that’s NOT who she wanted to be.
By the end of book one but especially in this one I liked Gabrielle a lot better too.
I had liked Hale okay but this one shows us more than the pretty rich boy here and that was also nice.
Simon is adorable. And the Bagshaw’s were at it again! The job names and vague details while they come up with plans always cracked me up!

There’s so many things I wanna know about their family now though and I feel like it’s the kind of series where we’re not gonna get answers 😅

I love that this is clean, there is a kiss, but it’s just… so nice that it’s clean and fun.

A great pick me up while I’m not feeling good!
Profile Image for Bianca.
Author 1 book83 followers
April 1, 2020
The second book was just as fun as the first. This series is making me want to watch everything from National Treasure to Fools Gold for some reason. I’m here for it though.
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,733 reviews327 followers
October 14, 2019
Audiobook performed by Angela Dawe

Katarina Bishop is back with her crew of teen-aged thieves. In this second outing they are after the Cleopatra emerald, despite legend that it carries a curse.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this plot, and more than one intricate theft taking place. Not to mention cons and contra-cons. The relationship between Kat and Hale is on a continued slow-burn, but she seems disinterested for most of the book. Or perhaps she’s just so focused on her mission to … well, that would be spoiling the plot. Kat’s crew includes her cousin, the fabulously beautiful Gabrielle, as well as computer whiz Simon, and the Scots Hamish and Angus. And, of course, there are private jets, private yachts and the palace at Monaco to add color and interest.

It's a fast read, and I like a lead female who is smart, determined and generally self-sufficient. But I didn't think it was as good as the first book, Heist Society. Still, I see the appeal for the target YA audience.

Angela Dawe does a fine job performing the audio. She sets a good pace and clearly differentiates the many characters. I love how she voices Simon, who is suffering from a cold!

Profile Image for Brianna.
97 reviews2 followers
July 27, 2011
Pre-reading: Hm, I think I like the Heist cover better, this one seems a little less intense. But it's still nice, love that the model kept her smirk :)

After reading: I really loved this book. I liked the first Heist a lot, but I feel like Ally Carter has improved her writing so much since the last Heist. All the characters in Uncommon Criminals are really wonderful and extremely well fleshed out. I also think Ally Carter's third person prose has gotten a lot better.
Profile Image for Hanna.
215 reviews
February 28, 2016
actually i'd give it 4 stars but i just love these characters so damn much i gotta go with the 5 stars
Profile Image for Nitzan Schwarz.
1,040 reviews218 followers
April 19, 2022


So, if you read my review of Heist Societyyou probably didn't expect me to pick up book two. I didn't think I'd do that, either. But then, while looking through my local bookstore, I found a hardcover copy of Uncommon Criminals and I just... thought it was so damned pretty#Shallow

I was hoping Uncommon Criminals might actually live to the potential of the awesome idea behind these books, but while it was a better read than the first, it was by no mean anything incredible.

Maybe Carter's writing is just not for me - a lot of people praise this book as an exciting and fast story. To me, the book was the complete opposite - it was a fast read, sure, but the content of the book felt slow and somewhat anticlimactic.

I did like Kat a whole lot more in this book. While she's always been likable, she's also been a flat character. In this installment, she's added more depth and felt a lot more rounded. She still lacked a past, but it wasn't as intolerable as in Heist Society.

Alongside Kat, Hale and Gabrielle get an upgrade in the depth department as well. Unfortunately, Simon and the brothers are left as the one dimensional decoration they were in Heist Society which sucks because I really like these characters. Far more than I like Gabrielle.

As for the romance - it was still such a small, undeveloped and unsatisfying part of the plot, but I am proud to say I'm Team Hale, and luckily (if I'm reading things correctly) he's also endgame, so yay for me! Though, I don't think my curiosity in that aspect is enough to make me read on with this series.

One thing that really bothered me and drove me nuts were the heists themselves. Lots of parts were just left out and made no sense at all! Like, the Interpol. For god's sake, how did they make all these things explode? Or the doves and the casino. Maybe those are actually robot doves and that's why they did exactly what they wanted them to.

I felt like Carter thought of all those interesting ideas for the heists, but had no idea how to explain them... so she didn't, believing the reader would just suck it up despite it. It may not bother everyone, but to me this was a major issue.

Maybe book three will be better. Maybe not. I'll probably never find out.

Old Version
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,414 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.