Friday 13 July 2012

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Curse Workers
Publishers: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: 4 May 2010
Date Read: July 2012
Rating: ★★

Curse workers are people who can control your emotions and your dreams, change your luck, your memories, or bring you death, all with a touch of their bare hands. Curse working is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe belongs to a notorious family of curse workers, a family of notorious criminals. Only, he doesn't really belong. He is the only one in the family who is not a curse worker. He doesn't have the ability, therefore he is an outsider, even if he did murder his best friend.

He counters this feeling of loneliness by trying to fit in with his school mates. He tries to be the person he thinks thy would accept, just to belong. But his guise falls apart when he starts sleepwalking. He keeps having strange dreams of a white cat. Add in the fact that his brothers are acting weird around him- weirder than normal. He soon uncovers dangerous secrets, dangerous enough that he should fear for his life and his well-being.

The White Cat is a fresh and exciting new novel. It is original and there's never a boring part in it. Holly Black created a believable world where gangsters and magic coexist. It is such a random pair but Holly Black makes it work. In parts, the book had a very old-black-and-white-film-noir feel to it, what with the gloves and the big criminal families.

Cassel is a strong hero. He doesn't bitch or whine when things go awry. His sarcastic wit and cunning nature certainly adds to the novel. But he's not perfect either. He enjoys the adrenaline that courses through his veins every time he's pulling off a scam, or if he's trying to con somebody. His personality has depth and Holly Black does a good job of writing from a guy's perspective.

The side characters are well rounded, with their own personalities and flaws. Cassel's brothers are unique to each other and it's easy for me to understand how each mind works. Cassel's school friends were humurous and offered an easy light-hearted feel to the situation.

White Cat is filled with mystery, cunning plans, powerful villains and suspicious allies. I would be very interested in continuing the series and finding out what other kinds of trouble Cassel gets himself into.

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