July 30, 2010

White Cat - Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1)
Young Adult
Pages: 320
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: May 4, 2010

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the con-men.

I'm not quite sure why this book has so many bad reviews. My only thought would be that it's Holly Black so everyone expected more. I did enjoy this book. Black has a unique aptitude for creating her own realistic fantasy world. It was interesting to explore this creative world she created.

Forget the faeries, now there's curseworkers. They live and breathe for the con. Except for Cassel Sharp (how cool is that name!?), who's the only one in his family who's not a curseworker. Cassel killed his best friend, who was a dreamworker-- curseworkers that work on dreams. And now he's sleep-walking again. And dreaming of a white cat.

I wasn't bored at all with this book, which is a very good thing since I normally can't tolerate slow pace on action books. So I will make this clear: it is NOT an action-filled novel. That much is true. Yet, I enjoyed this mystery world so much, and I really liked Cassel (and his name) that I fully enjoyed the book. I loved the whole dangerous Russian-mafia twist to it. The plot unfolds quite predictably but still satisfying. The writing is, of course, wonderful. The ending was kind of bizarre though, but I'm hoping the second book will mend that.

Overall, I agree it is not the best we've seen from Holly Black but it is a very promising start to a series. I still can wait for Red Glove. If you enjoy male points of view and cool new mythologies, I'm sure you will enjoy this book.

1 comment:

  1. I still need to read this one. I did wonder why it got such bad reviews - glad you liked it though!


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