Saturday, July 9, 2011

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

Genre: fantasy
Series and Book #: Curse Workers Series #1
Pages: 310

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 criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, 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.

Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts to crumble when he finds himself 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. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and him memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon to conmen.


I loved Holly Black's Spiderwick Chronicles, and I was really excited when I heard she was making a series about conmen. I love the complexity behind a con (I know I'm weird) and I enjoyed this book and the cons and whatnot involved.

I was a little disappointed with the mystery behind the white cat in this novel. It became really obvious to me in the beginning what was going on, and I was frustrated that it took Cassel so long to figure it out. I didn't like Holly's characterization. I didn't care for Cassel, and the other side characters were more 2D. I was upset that I didn't know the characters well enough throughout the book.

I loved the curse workers and conmen world that Holly built. It's our regular world, with the same history and everything, except that it all involves curse workers. I thought it was really interesting that she didn't make an entirely new world. It was unique from other novels because of this.

Overall, I was disappointed that this novel wasn't as great as I'd hoped it would be. It was still pretty awesome (I love the conmen and curse workers) but I thought it could use more characterization. The world was fun to live it, and the cons were so great. I can't wait to see what happens to Cassel in friends in Red Glove!

The Cover: I think it speaks the novel perfectly. Unlike the original cover, I think this speaks to boys as well. It's not a girly novel and I think that the cover says that.

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