Series Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Series Review: Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 9, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 287
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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.

Despite a not totally outstanding experience with Gallagher Girls, Gillian urged me to read Heist Society, and I couldn’t resist the cries of SHIP SHIP SHIP. Immediately, I fell in love with this series the way I’d hoped to with Gallagher Girls.

Ally Carter should definitely write in third person. She doesn’t lose the vibrant voice of first person, and there’s a greater maturity to the writing than in Gallagher Girls. Where Gallagher Girls tries really hard to be funny, Heist Society made me laugh and smile effortlessly. Though the premise is every bit as unlikely, I bought into it here in a way that I never ever could with Gallagher Girls, partly because it doesn’t try quite so hard to sell me. To sum up, even if you weren’t totally sold on Gallagher Girls, give Heist Society a shot.

One of the big differences here is that Carter introduces the ship right off the bat. You could kind of tell in Gallagher Girls that Carter regretted making it an all girls school, because there were such loose reasons for why Zach was always there. Jewel thief Kat can hang out with boys all the time. Most notably Hale, who is rich and bantery and delightful and totally in love with Kat just waiting for her to catch feelings back. They are such an amazing team, and I also love one hundred percent that Kat leads the team and Zach’s happy just to be part of the team.

On top of all that goodness, I actually really like the premise. Kat specializes in art heists, and there’s this undercurrent of restoring art that was stolen during wars (specifically WWII by the Nazis) to the rightful owners. Plus, the orchestrating of the break-ins is really clever and full of excitement.

Heist Society was just the perfect bit of fast-paced shippy fluff to follow up a series of underwhelming reads and DNFs.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Series Review: Heist Society by Ally CarterUncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on June 21, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 298
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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.

The quality level in Uncommon Criminals is consistent, and I had just as much fun reading Kat Bishop’s second adventure, which is basically an art theft Ocean’s Eleven so yasssss.

Something I very much appreciate about this series (and Carter in general thus far) is that there’s regular acknowledgement that there aren’t that many women in this world, while also focusing on badass boss bitches in charge. Kat Bishop is the leader of the team, the George Clooney (it all comes full circle!) with the good ideas. The antagonist of this installment is also female, and there’s a healthy amount of sympathy there too, which is always tricky to pull off.

I’m really fond of the whole team, but obviously my faves are Kat and Hale. The ship development in this book is SO REAL. Kat’s realizing that she does have more than friendly feelings but, clever though she is, she has no idea how to do the romancey stuff. Hale could help her out, but he also wants to make sure she’s ready, because he knows her tendency to run away from things she’s not committed to.

Kat has a pretty common character arc in Uncommon Criminals, the hero/leader who pushes people away to keep them safe and realizes everyone’s better together. This dovetails beautifully with the plot of the book, and it fits perfectly with where Kat is right now.

The plot remains clever and twisty. Seriously, these books are basically unputdownable. However, View Spoiler » It makes a great story, but that was a bit of a plot hole.

I could not be having more fun with these books.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Series Review: Heist Society by Ally CarterDouble Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2.5, Gallagher Girls #5.5
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 22, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 60
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

Double Crossed is a cute little crossover (I see what you did there) between Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. Plot-wise, this novella doesn’t do much relevant to either series as a whole, except to set up potential future crossovers. Totally worth reading though to watch Hale and Macey flirt but not with each other, and also to see Hale being totally adorable about how in love he is with Kat.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Series Review: Heist Society by Ally CarterPerfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #3
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 5, 3013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 328
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the son of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

Perfect Scoundrels is the most painful of the series for a bunch of reasons. I had a whole host of feelings, and I continue to be really impressed with the plots that Carter does in this series. What does worry me though is how much Perfect Scoundrels is not an ending, and it came out four years ago.

Hale’s going through some stuff in Perfect Scoundrels, and this book definitely has some ship torture moments, but just breathe and get through it. Kat and Hale are such a good match, and it shows especially in how maturely they deal with conflict in this book. They’ve got shit to work through, and they do. But oof this one hurt a bit at times.

Um also, I need book four. I need it VERY MUCH. Carter has said that she wants to do one, and that had better happen, because things cannot just end there. Nope nope. It’s not an open ending exactly but it’s also just not an ending. I love this series and I need more.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Series Review: Heist Society by Ally CarterThe Grift of the Magi by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #3.5
Published by Self-Published on November 15, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 105
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Katarina Bishop is a thief. To many it wouldn’t matter that she now uses her considerable skills to re-steal valuable works of art and return them to their rightful homes.

She’s still a thief.

So that’s why Kat’s surprised when an Interpol agent comes to her one snowy evening, asking for Kat’s help.

The Magi Miracle Network was set to auction off a very rare, very valuable Faberge egg two days before Christmas, but the egg’s been stolen and now the charity’s reputation—and their future—is on the line.
Kat’s family and Interpol might be opposite sides of most jobs, but someone just stole Christmas.

Now it’s up to Kat and her crew to steal it back.

The Grift of the Magi is a Heist Society novella and is approximately half the length of the other novels in the series. It stands alone, but if you want read more about Kat and her crew check out Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals, and Perfect Scoundrels.

Okay, so technically, there is more, but The Grift of the Magi also isn’t an ending. This does seem rather encouraging re: book four. I’m hoping for an official announcement soon. *crosses fingers, legs, ankles*

This Christmas novella does retell the gift of the magi with the typical Heist Society flair. As you might expect, the plot’s a bit less complex than in the novels, but it’s a really nice novella. Rather than feeling like an unnecessary add-on, this one definitely does stand as a story in it’s own right, including small bits of character development. Very cute and not to be missed by Heist Society fans.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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2 responses to “Series Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter”

  1. Shira says:

    Have you ever read the Age of Legends trilogy by Kelley Armstrong? I’m assuming not based on your previous reviews of her adult fiction! My good friend forced me to read them because she needed someone to talk to about them…and oh, boy! It led to a lot of furious txting at midnight last night right after I finished the third book. It consisted of a lot of “What!?!?! Why?!?! What was she thinking???!”
    If you ever decide to revisit her work, I would love to hear what you have to say about that series!
    I know it might seem like I’m trying to get you to read a book series that went wrong just to read your thoughts…..but that kinda is what I’m doing! Sorry!

    Also, totally loved the Heist Society books as well. I didn’t know there was an option for a 4th, and now I need it too!

  2. Chrystal says:

    I love this series too! And I cannot wait for book four. It needed to happen… yesterday! I have not read the Grift of the Magi yet. I’ll have to do that soon to get my Kat/Hale fix.

    Love your review of the series.
    Chrystal recently posted…Intimidating TBR TagMy Profile

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