Saturday, July 02, 2011

Review: White Cat

Book: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 310
Source: KPL
Stars: 3/5
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.

(summary taken from Goodreads

Imagine a world where everyone is required to wear gloves no matter where they go, because no one is sure who's a curse worker or not. Bare hands scare the public for fear of being "worked" without knowing it. Everyone is under suspicion and nobody is safe.

This is the world that Cassel lives in except he's more educated than most because he was raised in a family of curse workers, although he doesn't have any magic. Cassel is sixteen, guilt-ridden for thinking that he killed the girl he loved, but not at all what he believes he is.

I love how Holly Black creates her story world! It's so easy to imagine how curse workers are practically forced to be con artists or mobsters because using their magic is illegal. The characters that we get to know through Cassel's corrupted family fit in perfectly to this Earth.

There's not much I can say about the romance element without giving much away, but there is definitely a love interest for Cassel who is trying to help him whether he knows it or not. I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the girl, but she has this deviousness about her that makes you respect her.

With mystery, suspense, and a whole lot of curse working, Holly Black manages to construct a compelling story of a guy trying to find his place in a judgmental society where he feels he's caught in the middle.

White Cat was a quick, fun but complicated read, and I'll definitely pick up its sequel! 

BUY or BORROW?: I wouldn't mind having this book on my shelf! :)



  1. Great review! I had heard of this one, but I didn't really know what it was about. It sounds fantastic! The white gloves, conmen, and a ton of mystery mixed in, this is something I'd love to read! It sounds like a very interesting book, and I'll definitely be picking it up!

  2. @T.B. : Thanks so much! :) You've got it spot on! Conmen + mystery = a really interesting book! I'm glad that you're planning to read it! Maybe we could have some tea time and talk about ruling the world with mega-awesome curse working powers after you finish? ;)

  3. Great review! I have this on my To Read shelf at home so I'm going to get to it ASAP!


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