Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review of Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)
by Ally Carter
4 Scribbles
Unlike in book one, Katarina, a.k.a Kat, is all in when it comes to "the heist" now, and readers will be too! Apparently Kat isn’t as concerned about being labeled a thief after the Henley, so long as she judges the job is for an honest cause, but when is thievery ever honest? Someone’s used the sacred pseudonym of Visily Romani to steal the Cleopatra Emerald for personal gain, and Kat’s determined to recover the lost stone and put it into the hands of the rightful owner, even if she has to do it alone. But, after realizing that she needs the support of her crew, the plot rushes into familiar, yet riveting territory. Yes, the gang is all here—Hale, Simon, Gabrielle, Angus, Hamish, Uncle Eddie, and one character you might have forgotten. How will the teenagers manage to recover the lost emerald? And will Hale and Kat ever hook up? For those of you who haven’t read book one, not to worry—this caper can stand on it’s own—but I’ll warn readers ahead of time, a good Heist (novel) can be addicting!

Review of Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Edgmont USA
by Ilsa J. Bick
4 Scribbles
The novel is a successful marriage of recent apocalyptic-style novels like Life as We Knew It with Night of the Living Dead. Alex has run away from a terminal brain tumor to the wilderness where she plans to scatter the ashes of her beloved parents before she joins them in death. Skilled at hiking and survival, she embarks on a journey alone. She isn’t alone for long, however, when she encounters other travelers, a sudden excruciating burst of sound, and tragic events that change the entire course of her life. These events, however ironically, may have given her a new chance at prolonged living—that is if she can survive the present. The novel’s plot plows forward through increasing treacherous shortages of food and water, along with dangerous creatures that seem part human, part zombie the likes of which Alex and her new companions never imagined. What begins as a survival story cleverly mutates into a story about new families, new societies, and the sometimes twisted behaviors of those who believe they can form a utopia. Flawed, sometimes irritating characters you hate to love, overwhelming challenges on every corner, and a twist that will leave you begging for a book two, it’s a novel the reader will devour, even if it’s not an entirely new concept.