December 12, 2011

Book Review of "White Cat" by Holly Black

Title: White Cat (Curse Workers #1)
Author: Holly Black
Classification: YA Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Bought

Overall Grade:
I Thought...
A unique paranormal world with a
fantastic protagonist!

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Summary (from Goodreads):

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 conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.


My Thoughts:

White Cat is a unique combination of paranormal and thriller that totally took me by surprise!

I loved Cassel as a main character... and not only because his name is awesome. To society, his family is no more than a bunch of mobsters; criminals that should not be associated with, but merely feared. This forces people to treat Cassel with respect, but disdain, as everyone thinks that Cassel is in on the family's dirty secrets.

But the reality is that Cassel is an outsider in his own family. He is doubly shunned, once by society, and once by his own flesh and blood. How could you not feel for a character in this situation?

Although the book starts off a little slow, (after Cassel wakes up on the roof of his dorm building, that is), as soon as Cassel begins learning more about his family, the pace picks up considerably! At this point, I couldn't put the book down... I had to know everything that Cassel's brothers and parents had been keeping from him. The pararnormal aspect of curse working, where certain people are born with different abilities to manipulate others, combined with the drama of a family of conmen and women, made for a seriously exciting story.

One thing that you would expect to see more of in White Cat that simply did not appear very often is romance. This isn't to say that there is no romance, but that aspect of the story is definitely muted. In my opinion, this was refreshing, and I wasn't disappointed that Holly Black chose to focus more on the development of Cassel's character and the overall plot, rather than throw in a bunch of making out just because.

The ending of this book is brutal... you will definitely need to have the second book in the series, Red Glove, available to start right away!

All in all, a smart and thrilling novel with a protagonist that you just can't help but love!


Overall Grade:
I Thought...
A unique paranormal world with a fantastic protagonist! 

Add to Goodreads | Order from Amazon

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