Saturday, August 27, 2011

Heist Society

The Heist Society is a book series by Abby Carter who is still best known for her first series- The Gallagher Girls

It is natural to compare the two series, because they're from the same author, they are written for the same general audience, and the characters in each series have very similar sets of specialty skills and relatively similar lifestyles. Fundamentally, however, the characters in each series are opposites from each other. One series is about spies and the other is about thieves.

I saw the Gallagher Girls as a very entertaining vehicle for young girls to see character values that were positive and conservative. The special agents in training are all characters with high morals and each has a strong sense of justice and loyalty (even though as spies they are always using the art of deception in a plethora of ways, but we forgive them for their lies). The good guys girls and the bad guys are pretty clearly defined and when they're not- that is the element of the plot.

Heist Society is like the older and more mature and rebellious sister to the Gallagher Girls. Where the Gallagher Girls worst sin is lying and will always try to please the parents, Heist Society are getting away with what they can, they lie AND they steel. Another departure from Gallagher is the 3rd person perspective of narrative. While we still follow one character, here we occasionally get a glimpse at the thoughts of other characters. The 1st person narrative of Gallagher Girl, Cameron Morgan, is cleverly written like a post-ops report which works well with that series. It feels like this method is easier to write and feels more like a film. I've always found the 3rd person narrative the most natural. We are with Kate Bishop as she organizes a heist with a young mismatched team to save her father from the criminal underworld.

One thing I had a hard time with Heist Society was it wasn't until about half way through the book that I started to like anyone in it. By the nature of the characters' lives they are bad-guys/girls. None of them could stand up to any of the Gallagher Girls (in skill or virtue). The ending of the first book, however, was so pleasing that I instantly forgave any misgivings about the characters. The 2nd half of the first book was excellent. I look forward to diving into the second book.

The two books that are available are Heist Society was written in 2010 and the second book- Uncommon Criminals is the latest, in 2011.

It appears that the popularity of the Gallagher Girls series will be eclipsed by the Heist Society series as soon as Drew Barrymore's production of the Heist Society film starts to hit the media.

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