Wednesday 24 April 2013

Review -- Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels

Title: Perfect Scoundrels
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society (3)
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: 05 February 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆

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 scion 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. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. 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.

Ally Carter, you've done it again. I love you so much, it hurts.

This had a very different tone than the previous Heist books. It was somber and I just felt very heavy while reading it. Like I had a 5-tonne boulder resting on my shoulders or something. This time, one of their own is the one getting conned and Kat is working hard to steal Hale back.

Hale is not the Hale were used to. He's not the playful confident inside man we all knew and loved. He's vulnerable after the death of his grandmother, Hazel, possibly the only member in his family that actually cared for him. The weight of inheriting the Hale Empire is on his shoulders after his grandmother named him the sole owner. It was so weird seeing inside Hale's world. The stark contrast to his and Kat's world gives you insight to how much he really loves Kat and her family. Thieving and heists are what he loves to do best. It makes him feel alive so it was such a heartbreak to see Hale broken.

As awesome as this series is, one thing it's not so great at is characterization. Most of the time, it's focused on the heist or the con or the cleverly twisted reveal of the plot. But Perfect Scoundrels comes the closest to developing the series' characters to more than what essentially are one-dimensional characters. Granted, it was mostly focused on Hale but this is a step towards the right direction and I will only expect more from Ally.

I love Ally's writing style. There's this certain... fairy-tale-like quality to it. It just flows really well in my head and it sounds so enchanting. I can't stop listening/reading even if I wanted to.

I recommend anyone who hasn't given Ally Carter a shot to read some of her stuff. The Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society are both fantastic. She's also got a cross-over novella called Double-Crossed if you want a smaller sample.


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