Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter - Book Review #14

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Heist Society
by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip 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 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 history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

There was nothing extraordinary about this story… Maybe that’s why it was so extraordinary good.

Heist Society has a classic plot of con-artist’s story with some alterations in characters – this time characters are much younger than they used to be, which, I must say, only adds an exciting novelty. The plot is a cliché, but not in a bad way. This is that type of cliché that only becomes one, because it works so well, and I, personally, never get tired of it. Characters might change a bit – either it is a young couple (How to Steal a Million) or not so young (Entrapment, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) or it is someone who works solo (After the Sunset), or maybe it is a whole team of eleven or more people (Ocean's Eleven, Gone in 60 Seconds). The score may change - it either a sculpture (family reputation) or huge diamond, or paintings, or enormous amount of money, or even someone’s life. However, we still have a team building – tracking old friends that scattered all over the world, making impossible – possible, only using skills (not paranormal) and brains. We still have a travel around the globe in very short time. We still have a plan creation. And, which is the most exciting, this is all - is the race against the time.

I loved Heist Society and I’m enormously grateful to Ally Carter for retelling one of my favorite stories. She did it so skillfully, without destroying it, carefully preserving the essence of the story and breathing in a new life into it. So I’m not surprised that movie deal has been signed even before the book was released.

If you like stories about con-artists, big scores, genius plans and about people who can outsmart almost anyone and anything, I strongly recommend to read this book, you will get three – seven hours of pure enjoyment.


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