Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers #1)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publish Date: May 4, 2010
Hardcover, 320 pages

My Review:
I read this during the read-a-thon and really enjoyed it.  It captivated my attention from the start and kept me interested so I was able to finish in a few hours and pretty much read it start to finish.  This was my first book by Ms. Black and I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more books in the Curse Workers series.

First off, what I loved about this book is the completely different world it is set in.  This isn't your mere vampires or werewolves paranormal.  No, this is far more real.  The setting is modern-day America, but with a spin of a breed or type of people with magical powers.  And there are different magical powers, bordering on the simple to the much more complex.  Add in the mob and it gets very interesting.  I enjoyed watching the world unfold slowing through this book and look forward to it being expanded on in future books.

For the characters, Cassel was definitely intriguing.  He is brought up in a family of workers but he thinks he isn't one, and then one night he finds himself on top of a building at school ready to jump and he's not sure how he got there.  He does have one secret in his life and it is one he and his family share and he doesn't want that to come out, but there is something mysterious about that night that he just can't figure out.  He's definitely a wounded hero and he's just trying to make sense of his life.  His brothers also are interesting and I spent the story trying to figure out if I liked them or not.  There are lots of shades of gray in this book and that is one of the intriguing things about it. There is humor, a darkness and a realness to this book through the plot and the characters.

And I think that is the key to this book for me.  The realness. Even though it is a paranormal and it is very edgy, you can see this kind of world existing, in fact it does in a way.  It's just something you have to read to understand.  If you like the edgier side to young adult paranormal then this is the book for you.  If you aren't sure then this is the book to try.  I just can't recommend it enough and as I said before I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
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.

About the Author:
Holly Black is the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Teens, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has been translated into twelve languages. Her second teen novel, Valiant, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Magazine Recommended Read, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her third teen novel, Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, was a New York Times bestseller. Her new novel, White Cat, is coming Summer 2010. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. (From

Holly's website:
Holly's Blog:
Join Holly on Twitter:

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.