Tag Archives: thieves

To Catch a Thief

perfect scoundrels coverIn Perfect Scoundrels (Disney/Hyperion 2013) by Ally Carter, teenage master thief, Kat Bishop, is left hanging (literally. There’s a zip line involved) in the middle of a job in Argentina when her boyfriend, billionaire W.W. Hale V, gets a call that changes everything. His beloved grandmother — the only family member who ever really understood him — has died and surprisingly left the whole Hale empire to him. Soon Hale is acting cold and distant and is sucked back into the world he was so desperate to run away from. Kat’s not sure how to help him, especially when she learns that his grandmother’s will might have been forged in a nefarious scheme to steal the Hale family fortune. To figure out what’s going on and stop the possible thief, Kat gathers her “family” (Gabrielle, Simon, the Bagshaws, Nick, Uncle Eddie, her dad, and more) to help save Hale’s. However, by saving her boyfriend’s company she could lose him to that fancy-pants world forever. It’s quite the dilemma.

As with the first 2.5 books in the series, there’s a lot of fun to be had in Perfect Scoundrels. I have a few minor quibbles (and one major one), but overall I really loved it.  Here are my somewhat scattered thoughts, in no particular order: Continue reading

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Spies and Thieves

Double CrossedI believe I’ve mentioned my love of stories about spies and thieves before. In fact, one might say that I’ve discussed it incessantly. It should be no surprise then that Ally Carter is one of my favorite YA authors. I mean she has one series about teenaged spies and another series about teenaged thieves. What’s not to love? Now in anticipation of new books coming out in BOTH series in 2013, Ally Carter has put out the holy grail for obsessive fans like me: a crossover story.  And the best part is that it’s free!

Double Crossed (Disney/Hyperion 2013) finds Gallagher Girl Macey McHenry and Heist Society’s W.W. Hale V meeting up at a fancy society charity gala.  Both were born into immense privilege and both can tell that the other has more going on beneath the surface. So naturally when a group of thieves crash the party and hold everyone hostage, Macey and Hale have to team up to save the day, with a little outside help from master thief Kat Bishop and super-agent Aunt Abby. Yay!

The plot is kind of beside the point here. I mean all I really ask in a crossover story is that there be a legitimate reason for the characters to cross paths.  And of all the characters from both series, Macey (who is my favorite Gallagher Girl, by the way) and Hale make the most sense. Not only were they both born into that uber-rich world, but they both use that world to hide their true badass selves. There are lots of fun “why is that billionaire boy pick-pocketing the mayor (because he can)” and  “why does that socialite know Albanian (because it was for extra credit) kind of moments. The heist plot makes enough sense and it’s satisfying when they inevitably take the bad guys down.

Double Crossed is a treat for the fans. Not to get too greedy, but it made me want a whole bunch of stand-alone crossover novels, like those Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys specials from when I was a kid. You don’t need to have read the previous books to understand the story though. And since it also contains the first three chapters of Heist Society and I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, it’s a good way for readers to sample Ally Carter’s world. The story is only available electronically, but you can read it at SpiesAndThieves.com if you do not have an e-reader.  And only a few more weeks until the next book!


Wherein Librarians Take the Big Easy by Storm

I spent last weekend at the ALA conference in New Orleans.   It was an exhausting few days, but it’s really fun to see all of the new stuff that folks have coming out soon and meet authors you love already or new ones you didn’t know you cared about.

A trip to New Orleans seemed like a reason to finally read a Dave Robicheaux novel.  They’ve been on my TBR list for years, and this seemed like the opportune moment, so I borrowed The Tin Roof Blowdown (Simon & Schuster 2007) from my parents and dove in.  This one takes place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and to be honest, those scenes are not easy to read.  The book also focuses on the seedy side of The Big Easy, and it will make you wary of walking around alone in the city.  Or with other people, really.  While the subject matter can be tough (natural disaster, looters, murder, gang rape), Dave, his family, and friends are interesting characters, and I really enjoyed reading this one.  James Lee Burke is a fantastic writer, too, and I’ll definitely be reading more of Dave’s adventures.

While I was at the conference, I got the opportunity to meet Orson Scott Card, who I’ve loved ever since I read Ender’s Game.  (Seriously, if you haven’t read this yet, you need to pick it up.  It’s epic.  I hear that the movie is finally in the works, and I can’t wait.)  I picked up a copy of Laddertop (Tor 2011), which he co-wrote with his daughter.  It’s also a manga, which I’ve never read before, but I’m open to new experiences.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I also picked up Under Heaven (Penguin 2010) by Guy Gavriel Kay.  I couldn’t make it to his book signing since I was supposed to be working occasionally while I was there instead of just picking up signed books.  However, one of the staffers in the Penguin booth got one signed for me and delivered it.  Such service!  She is my favorite Penguin employee, hands down.  I am really looking forward to this one, but it’s such a brick of a book that I may have to finish The Fountainhead before I can start in on it.  I should probably limit myself to one long and complicated novel at a time.

I love books about thieves, and I’m pretty excited to have scored two new ones.  The first is one that I saw at TLA back in April, but I foolishly did not pick up a copy there.  It’s called City of Lies  by Lian Tanner (Delacorte 2011), and I just noticed that it is the second book in a trilogy, so it looks like I’ll need to find the first book.  The cover copy says it’s about a “trained thief and a skillful liar,” so it has a lot of promise.  As soon as I find book 1, we will be in business here.  Or I’ll start mid-trilogy and hope for the best.

The other thief book is Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier, who I actually ran into every day, including at the airport on my way home where we discussed such important topics as the abundance of avocados in California, disappointment in watching Full House reruns, and why I am entirely too Southern to live in a cold climate.  In creating these links, I just noticed that he has his own ALA postgame up if this round-up isn’t enough for you.  Anyway, I started Peter Nimble Tuesday (not on the plane as promised. Sorry, Jonathan.  I had to find out what was happening with Dave Robicheaux. Crazy guys were trying to murder his daughter), and I am loving it so far.  The back of the book promises swashbuckling.  Check.  There is the aforementioned thieving.  Check.  Fun phrases like “Adventure-ho!” pop up from time to time.  Check.  All in all, an excellent start.  It makes my gym time go by quickly, which is not an easy feat to accomplish.

Finally, I am going to post some pictures of the program from the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder banquet on Sunday night because I am enamored of it.  It looks just like a library book with the Dewey decimal tag on the spine and the little card holders in the back showing previous winners.  I will also say that while everyone did a great job, Tomie DePaola’s speech in particular was really wonderful and it made me sad that I didn’t own any of his books as a child.  I plan on going out and investing in many of them shortly as I feel that they will enrich my life and library significantly.