Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on May 4th 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 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.
White Cat is a nice edgy, dark read that sucked me into its pages very early on in the novel. Being the first novel that I have read by Black, I was pretty impressed with her writing style. The pages flowed easily and kept my attention.
What really intrigued me about this novel is the world that Black created. It is almost an alternative world from what we know… with a little magic sprinkled in. I loved the idea of the Curse Worker. But I am not so sure that I completely understood everything that Black was trying to convey. Basically, the reader grasps the basics of this world yet it never goes deeper than that. Personally, I wanted to know more. To understand why certain things where the way that they were.
The characters in White Cat were definitely interesting. I really enjoyed Cassel and his family. It is a nice mixture that will please most readers. In addition, I loved Cassel's voice. He is a strong character who I think has a lot of potential. But I am not too sure about his love life. The romantic aspect of White Cat felt a little forced at times, especially with the ending. Did I like the two characters together? Not quite sure yet. However, I believe that with more exploration by additional novels in this series, it could work.
Despite a few issues here and there, White Cat was a very enjoyable read. The plot kept my attention. The characters were great. And I loved the world that Black created, even if I did not fully understand it. White Cat's ending, while not a complete cliffhanger, did leave me desperate for more. This is definitely a series that I will be checking on in the near future.