Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Double Crossed by Ally Carter
published by Hyperion in January 2013
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book #5.5/Heist Society, Book #2.5

The Story: Double Crossed is a novella that combines both of Ms Carter's series, the Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society. Macey McHenry and W.W. Hale V are charity event with their socialite parents. They meet, flirt with each other a little and quickly recognize that the other is more than just a spoiled, bored brat born with a silver spoon. In order to keep their cover, distance seems prudent. However, when the charity event is hijacked by thieves who intend to steal the Calloway Canary diamond and escape by holding the social elite hostages, Macey and Hale need to team up. With their special set of skills and outside back-up, the thieves won't know what hit them :)

My Opinion: I was looking for a short story to bulk up my number of reads in January and thought Double Crossed was perfect. I'm really glad I picked this one up because it turned out to be a very fun and enjoyable novella.

I think the idea of combining these two series into one short story was genius on Ms Carter's part :) While the basis of the series are opposites - on one side you have girls training to become spies and on the other, a crew of cat burglers - the feels are very similar, what with the youngsters being more than what they appear to be thanks to their extra set of skills. Also, the lives they have are also very different and interesting... And really, while the end result is opposite, some of the skills they learn are very similar :) Subterfuge, languages, knowledge, stealth, etc. LOL. So I thought the combination of the two series was very natural and the story in Double Crossed kept the spirit of both series :)

It was also a very good idea to feature Macey and Hale as the protagonists because these two have a lot in common... and were more likely to be at the same place at the same time given their background LOL. But seriously, I actually find Macey more interesting than Cam because I think she has more depth and life experience. Cam has always known her path and her whole life has been focused on spy-stuff. In contrast, Macey's path hasn't been as obvious and she's just more complex personality-wise. She has her public persona, especially while her father was campaigning to become USA's vice-president, and her true self. Anyway, Macey being one of central character of this novella was one of the reasons I picked up Double Crossed and I'm really happy I did :)

As for the story, it was fun and actually exciting. It was also the perfect situation for a spy and grifter to join force because each had their strengths such as Hale knowing that the Calloway Canary diamond was false and Macey recognizing and understand the language the thieves were speaking. What was fun also was Macey and Hale recognizing the situation - knowing there was danger - but also wondering why the thieves were doing such and such. If there's a complaint from me is that I wished there's been a little bit more action ^_^; But otherwise, this was a good novella.

My Grade: B+. As I said, a very fun novella. If you're a fan of either or both series, you won't want to miss Double Crossed. Me, I had only read the Gallagher Girls series prior to reading Double Crossed, but afterwards, my curiosity sure was piqued and I went to check Heist Society. In any case, I hope that Ms Carter has plans to write more of these cross-over stories because I'd definitively pick them up :)