Author: Jude Watson
Buy The Book: Amazon
On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It’s Alfie McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he’s dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: “Find jewels.”
But March learns that his father is not talking about a stash of loot. He’s talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, they’re picked up by the police and sent to the world’s worst orphanage. It’s not prison, but it feels like it.
March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father’s business inside and out, and they’re tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist, and they’ll live the life of riches and freedom most kids only dream about.
Watch out! There are wild kids on the loose and a crime spree coming . . .
There is a lot to love about Loot. Jewel heists? Master plans? Kid criminals? Yes, please! I love stories about kid spies or criminals (both would be even better!) and this book had potential. Sadly, I can’t call it a favorite. I don’t love it…but I don’t hate it either.
The main characters were Jules, March, Darius and Izzy. They were all pretty awesome and even though the likelihood of kids having their abilities is practically non-existent, I enjoyed the humor and energy between them. The teamwork is incredible. For example, even though Darius is the stereotypical “tough guy,” he is very protective of Izzy, who is practically a younger sister to him. It was adorable.
I think my main issue I have with this book is that the whole story is highly improbable, particularly the ending. This book is meant to be entertaining. I get it. But these kids are easily breaking into heavily-guarded places with merely a few hours of planning. How likely does that sound? Not very probable. The ending was also highly unrealistic. This ruined the reading experience for me..
That being said, there were many aspects of Loot that I enjoyed a lot. Besides stellar action scenes, this book could also be very funny. I don’t laugh out loud very often but this book cracked me up sometimes. Here’s an example taken from the ARC (not final) in which Jules and March (who named these kids?) are visiting Hamish, one of their father’s *ahem* business associates.
“Jasmine, can you cover the register?”
“You told me to concentrate on e-commerce orders today,” she said. “Change messes up my aura.”
“The universe has many paths, and yours leads to the cash register,” Hamish said.
“Peace out,” she answered with a shrug, and left.
Before beginning Loot, I wasn’t sure how the whole “being a criminal” thing would be handled. This is a MG novel after all! In real life, criminality is absolutely horrible. Gang wars, drugs, guns,… etcetera. It wasn’t all covered (for obvious reasons) but Jude Watson didn’t do a bad job of representing the backstabbing and treachery of the criminal world without going into gruesome details
It was an entertaining and funny read that I can recommend to MG fans of Gordan Korman (The Hypnotists) and 39 Clues (Jude Watson wrote #4 Beyond the Grave and #6 In Too Deep). I am glad I had the opportunity to review it, even if it won’t be something I will likely reread. Three stars!