02 February 2012

White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black
Curseworkers #1
Release Date: May 4, 2010 (US)
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Rating: Essential

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. - Goodreads
First and foremost I want to talk about the world that Holly Black has created. Taken directly from my notes: "THE WORLD IS AWESOME!!!" I love books about people with powers, and that's what this book is. The entire concept of curseworkers and the gangs and the different laws surrounding curseworkers in each country was amazing and really weel set up. There is a lot of rich history there as well, which I loved reading about and I hope with be explored more in the next two books in the trilogy.

I did find this book to be very predictable and I was shouting (in my head, of course) at Cassel because he just wasn't figuring things out fast enough. I don't think the predictable plot took away from the story, although Cassel did frustrate me because I alreayd knew what was going to happen to him if he didn't figure things out. It was kind of like dramatic irony in a Shakespeare play, but the audience wasn't supposed to know in this case.

Cassel was an adorable main character. He was a guy, obviously. YAY for male MCs! He was really loyal and kind, yet he was also cunning at times when he needed to be.

The writing was also great. This is the first Holly Black book I've read, but I can say that after reading this I will be reading more of her books in the near future!

Overall this was a fantastic book, with awesome characters - especially the bad guys - and POWERS!

Question for those of you who have read the book: If you had been born a curseworker, which curse would you rather work? Not that you could choose or anything.

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