Monday, July 1, 2013

Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Title: Double Crossed
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney Publishing
Rating: worthy

DISCLOSURE: Unlike the majority of reviews in this blog, I've neither bought this book nor borrowed it from the library. This is a "galley" copy ebook, supplied by Net Galley. I'm not receiving (nor will I expect to receive or accept) remuneration of any kind for this review. Since this is a new novel, this review is shorter so as not to rob the writer of her story.

Note that this book is (as of this blogging) available free from the above-listed Barnes & Noble location.

I reviewed three of Carter's Gallagher Girls spy book series earlier this year (I'd tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy. I was impressed by the first one, but the subsequent two sucked majorly, so I quit reading the series. I've never read her 'Heist Society' series, but I have considered it, which is why I took the opportunity to give this one a try. It’s described as a novella, but the real story here is that it’s little more than a commercial for Ally Carter's books. Not that I can blame an author for getting their work out in public!

There are three sections, the first being an original work which seems more like a short story, not a novella, to me, although without knowing the word count, it’s a bit of a wash. According to wikipedia, a novella should be 17,500 to 40,000 words, whereas a short story is under 7,500, so maybe Carter's effort here is more like a novelette, which comes smack between the other two. By that accounting, my own Poem y Granite contains one novella, three novelettes, and several short stories as well as a bunch of poetry, cartoons, and other idiocy. Not that any of this really matters that much. The second section of Carter's work is an intro to her 'Heist Society' series in the form of a couple of sample chapters; the third is an intro to her 'Galagher Girls' spy series using the same means.

The basic story of the 'novella' is that Macey from the spy series runs into Hale and Hearty (actually Hale and Kat - yet another 'Kat' girl) at a high society charity event, attended by the rather curdled cream of New York society. Half-a-dozen armed men take the guests hostage, but they seem to be taking too long about their business if this were a mere robbery, so what are they really up to? Macey, Hale and Kat (who might be attending the Gallagher Academy before long) decide to take things into their own hands.

This short story/novelette is sadly derivative. Carter apparently took the thieves' wearing of US president masks idea directly from the movie Point Break, and she purloined the thieves taking hostages so the FBI will cut the power to the building from the movie Die Hard. That aside, the story is passable, but it really doesn’t give much. I'm still considering reading at least the first of the 'Heist Society' novels (I love that title), but I was neither persuaded nor dissuaded any by this story. I'm going to rate it as a 'worthy' because it really wasn't bad.

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