Monday, April 19, 2010

Review : White Cat

Synopsis: 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.

Thoughts: It took me a while to get into this. The first half of the book explains Cassel's life, family and what Cursed Workers are. With a few occasional flash backs, slow pacing and very little action, it took me about 150 pages to finally get into the story. Once the action picks up, the rest of the story is a breeze.

Chapter after chapter, I was surprised by the characters and the actions they took (Especially from Cassel's brothers). It's one of those books where one question is answered, but then another mystery pops up. All the while, you're left wondering "What in the world is up with this white cat?"

When I think about it, my favorite aspect of the book is all the character developements. Think "Sopranos with supernatural powers." Imagine being raised in that kind of environment, and you'll have an idea of where Cassel comes from. I love the details in not only Cassel's family, but the other Cursed Worker families as well. And the normal kids Cassel goes to school with? Cassel's grandfather? Hilarious! Once you read it, you'll see what I mean.

Last but not least, I wanted to talk about the ending. While I'm not going to spoil it for you, I will say it completely caught me off-guard. I'm usually pretty good at predicting things, but this? Totally didn't see it coming!

Overall, I enjoyed reading White Cat and look forward to the rest of the Cursed Workers series.

White Cat releases May 4th, 2010.


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