4 out of 5 StarsKat is back trying to right the wrongs of the Nazi Plunder by stealing back and returning the stolen objects to their rightful owners. However, her crusade backfires when a mysterious female uses Kat’s compassion to take the Cleopatra Emerald. Kat needs Gabrielle, Hale, Nick, and the gang to steal the infamous jewel back. Two problems: Hale isn’t talking to Kat and the emerald may be cursed…In my opinion, Uncommon Criminals is more successful than the first book, Heist Society. While the first book focused on Kat coming back to her thieving roots, in this book Kat question her abilities and who she is. I liked how Carter addressed how thieving is a very male-dominated world, adding a nice wrench into Kat’s development and how she relates to the (female) villain. Kat also learns some pretty surprising information about her family and the mysterious Uncle Eddie. The heist plot itself is more original and unique than Heist Society’s and didn’t feel as derivative. The gang shows up and it’s nice to see all the quirky characters again, especially Gabriella (though the Bagshaws are starting to grate). I like how Gabriella is as much an important part of Kat’s life as Hale, Kat’s potential love interest. So often YA ignores female friendships to focus on romance. However, I HATED Hale in this book. Gone was the funny supportive boy in the first, and instead I had moody patronizing Hale. Kat goes through some really low moments where she doubts herself and instead of encouraging and standing by her, he ignores or second-guesses her. I guess the author was going for the ‘sexy moody overprotective’ thing that everyone seems to love about Edward Cullen and Christian Grey, but it mostly fell flat (not to mention I HATE THOSE KINDS OF CHARACTERS). I missed awesome Hale. In fact, I really liked Nick, the-other-possible-love-interest-but-not-really, in this book because he encouraged Kat and believed in her.Though I did love how Carter subverted the potential love triangle on its head.Overall, I thought Uncommon Criminals was a worthy successor to Heist Society and in many ways surpasses the original. If you like awesome female characters and fun capers, the Heist Society series is a must read.