I am woefully behind in my book reviews so will be posting some quick takes in an attempt to catch up. First up: India Black & Heist Society.
Author: Carol Carr
The Grade: B-
Quick Take: I suspect this fell victim to the expectations game. There is only one Alexia and it was foolish of me to think anyone could substitute for the witty, wonderful Gail Carriger and her books. I had mixed feelings about the role of sex work in the book (India runs a high-class brothel in Victorian London) and was more interested in mysterious government agent French then India and her escapades. Her street urchin pal reminded me a bit of Jim from the Sally Lockhart books (favorites) which is a bonus, and it sounds like I may like the second book more. I won’t be eagerly anticipating future India Black adventures, but I may continue reading the series.
Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Why I Read it: It was profiled in one of the Maine State Library’s fiction newsletters—art crime books
The Grade: A-
Quick Take: I listened to the audio book for this young adult novel and loved it. Sixteen year-old Kat Bishop is a thief and a con artist from a family of thieves and con artists. In an attempt to go straight, she conned her way into an elite New England boarding school (yes, I love the irony), but her new life comes to an abrupt end when her friend and fellow thief Hale brings news that her dad is in over his head. The book spans the next two weeks as Kat and her newly formed crew of teenage misfits plot the heist to beat all heists—and save her dad.
This is a fun heist novel. If you love heist stories (think Ocean’s 11) I highly recommend this one. Kat is a compelling and engaging heroine, her friends are funny and interesting, and there are enough hints of backstory and future mysteries to make me want to spend more time with Kat and her crew. My only disappointment is that the paintings referenced are not real. I’d love to see Girl Praying to St. Nicholas.