Apr 24, 2012

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black
(Curse Workers, #1)
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 310 pages

The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty—he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas—and a plan to con the conmen.

White Cat is the first book in the Curse Workers series. The main character is Cassel Sharpe. He comes from a family who are all Hyperbathygammic. Hyperbathygammy aka HBG or the "heebeegeebies" is someone who is born with the ability to curse someone. There are many different curse workers. Some include death, luck, emotion, physical, and the rare curse, transformation. Cassel unfortunately, or fortunate however you may see does not have HBG. He is the only one in his family who does not have HBG. To curse someone all you need to do is simply touch them. Cursing is illegal, and to prevent curse work everyone wears gloves, even non workers. Because of this there is no way to tell if someone is or is not a worker.

I first came upon it at a book signing for another author, but the author for this series was there as well. The plot of it really intrigued me, so I decided to pick it up. At the signing we were giving gel wristbands of the different types of workers. The one I received was a "dream worker" and I admit that I actually still wear the wristband because I love this series so much. This book intrigued me from the very first chapter. I immediately took a liking to Cassel. I love his wit. I find him to be very charming. Cassel is a seventeen year old con artist. A very good con artist. In fact through out the book, his antics made me smile. It's fitting that his last name is Sharpe because he is indeed very sharp. I often wonder how he is able to keep his sanity. His mother is in jail, and his two older brothers Barron and Philip really seem like they couldn't be bothered with him. Also a few years ago he seemingly murdered his best friend Lila, but he has trouble remembering all the details. Also he currently has a sleepwalking problem, and he has dreams of this mysterious white cat.

I enjoy the pace of this book and the writing. I love how you as a reader are trying to figure out what's going on in the story, just like Cassel is trying to figure out what's going on. It really is a mystery, and once it starts to unravel you sort of snap your fingers and go, "Oh okay that makes sense". The story never dragged on, I was never once bored. The world that the author created is very fun and scary at the same time. For me this was one of the few books I've read in recent years that's entirely from a male's point of view. And Cassel is such a likeable character. And as the series goes on, I love him more and more.

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