Sunday, 22 August 2010

White Cat by Holly Black

April 2010, Simon & Schuster
310, Hardcover
Personal copy

YA Paranormal
Some moderate violence and gore, hints of romance including a kiss, lots of suspense

Summary from Simon & Schuster:

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.

Amy's thoughts:

In White Cat, the first novel in the Curse Worker series, Holly Black deftly plunges the reader into a world that is so much like our own - and yet different in chilling, subtle ways. Cassel, the main character, is well rounded and likeable, and it's easy to feel both sympathy and nerves for him as the story progresses and the plot thickens. As well as magic users who, in a world where magic is illegal, are labelled 'curse workers' - workers, for short - White Cat boasts a host of fantastic supporting characters: the quirky girl from school who ties her hair with twine and carries a hemp handbag; the science nerd who's also a drama props expert and is totally obsessed with fake blood; relatives to make your skin crawl; and of course, one white cat with an Attitude.

You can probably guess that I'm totally in love with the characters in this novel :o) But the plot is also awesome. I was so excited when I figured out a major twist halfway through the novel - only then the twist was revealed a few pages later and didn't turn out to be the major reveal of the novel after all! This book just keeps you guessing and guessing as Cassel digs through his family to sift out the secrets and lies from the truth - and learns that memories never count for as much as you think they do.

Final conclusion:

Oh. my. SQUEE!! Seriously. I can has next book in series (released March '11) yet, please? O:)

Find out more about author Holly Black at her website.


Aleksandra said...

Great review! I really should get this one :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic review! I think I'm going to have to add this to my wish-list as it sounds great!

GABY said...

Sounds fantastic! I've seen this book a lot of times, but I think it's time to read it.

Thanks for the review!