What is more fun than an smart and sassy heist story? That would be a smart and sassy heist story written by Ally Carter, author of the incredibly popular, incredibly clever Gallagher Girls series. I was excited enough when I heard that Carter was working on a new series, and then even more so when I read it was going to feature a girl from a family of professional thieves who masterminds the heist of some of the greatest works of art in the world.
I have already raved plenty about Ally Carter, writer extraordinaire (here and here). Her Gallagher series is one of those rare finds in YA series-land that manages to be fun, fun, fun and yet at the same time, not trashy beyond measure. Not trashy period, in fact. Rather, the series is really, really smart, tightly written and memorable. It is a series that I can recommend very happily to teen readers because I know they will love every second reading it, with the added bonus that I do not feel in the least guilty because I am not giving them something brain-numbing.
I am pleased to report that Heist Society is every bit as satisfying, readable and smart as The Gallagher Girls. In fact, there are aspects of this book that I like even more than GG, and that’s saying something. Here’s Ally Carter, introducing the book:
One of Carter’s real strengths is plotting. Man can she move things along at just the right pace, keeping things brisk without sacrificing detail or characterization along the way. There are a lot of characters in this book, and I think that Kat and Hale, the two most central figures, are particularly well-drawn and you get enough of a sense of the other players that you will hope to see more of them in future books. Kat is complex. She can’t find a way to easily pull back from the family business, nor does she completely want to because it is so much a part of her identity, and she just happens to be really good at it. At one point, the nasty mobster man characterizes her perfectly when he notices, “It is rare to find someone who is both so young and so wise, so fresh and so jaded.” There is great tension within this one character and I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes as the series continues. The fact that Kat is both proud of her skill as a thief and also conflicted about how much she craves the thrill of that life makes her interesting. At its heart, Heist Society is really a story about family and belonging, wrapped up in a thrilling art-stealing, globe-trotting package.
Heist Society is published by Disney Hyperion and (no surprise) it has been optioned by Warner Bros.