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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) » User review

Black delivers another fantastic story

  • Jul 19, 2010
  • by
Cassel comes from a long line of curse workers--people born with the power to change your memories, emotions, luck, or shape with a single touch from a bare hand. Since curse work is frowned upon, most curse workers are mobsters and con artists. Cassel's family is no different, and even though Cassel isn't a curse worker like the rest of his family, he was raised with the con. It's almost a way of life. But everything changes when Cassel starts to have sleepwalking nightmares of a strange white cat intent on telling him something. Suddenly, things start to make less and less sense, like the memories of killing his best friend Lila three years earlier, the strange and secretive behavior of his brothers, and why Cassel has always been told he isn't a curse worker. Is Cassel just a pawn in another wicked con game? And how can he outcon the real conmen to find out the truth?

White Cat is another fantastic and unique story from skilled author Black. The many selling points of this novel, curse work, conmen and mobsters, and the promise of a larger scandal, all work superbly well together. Black's imagined world where magic or curse work is real is so fascinating. On one hand, there is the wonder that such power is possible, and on the other, there is the fear of the different held by normal people. I just love how Black develops the sociopolitical scene here and how that, in turn, influences the rest of this tale. The story itself is enthralling; only a few details are predictable, and all the secrets and cons will keep most readers guessing until the end. The characters as well as realistic within their circumstances, but I have to say that the plot is really what kept the story going. I thoroughly enjoyed White Cat and look forward to more installments in the Curse Workers series.

White Cat will be enjoyed by fans of Tithe, also by Holly Black, Revealers by Amanda Marrone, and Firespell by Chloe Neill.

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More White Cat (Curse Workers, Book... reviews
review by . July 08, 2010
I am a huge fan of Black's, and while I did love this it paled slightly in comparison to her earlier, greater works. The story revolves around Cassel, a young man in a family full of workers who lacks being a worker himself. Workers are much like modern day witches, some with darker powers some with lighter. There are luck workers, death workers, even transformation workers, which is all very interesting to learn about along the way. Because it is unknown by glance who in society is a worker and …
review by . August 03, 2010
A different take on magic, Holly Black wove a very compelling and surprisingly believable tale of black magic and crime families. My expectations were high leading into White Cat, and Black did not disappoint. Her characters were richly developed and the back-story well depicted and portrayed. White Cat spun a tale that had me engrossed from start to finish. This wasn't a cuddly, romantic little YA novel though, and it's sharp edges had me enjoying the ride even more.    REVIEW: …
review by . June 07, 2010
Cassel lives in a world where curse workers can alter your emotions, luck, memories, dreams, and well-being by simply touching you. It's a dangerous ability, which is why everyone wears gloves and curse working is illegal, and those who do possess the ability are criminals and con artists. Cassel is an outsider in his family of criminals for two reasons: he doesn't possess the ability to work curses, and he killed his friend Lila three years ago and doesn't remember doing it. He's been attempting …
review by . April 25, 2010
Review courtesy of [...].    What's a guy to do when he's the only member of a rare family of curse workers who can't work a curse to save his life? Take after his incarcerated mother of course: block out the past and learn to con everyone he meets, even himself.     "I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles. Looking dizzily down. I suck in a breath of icy air."-Opening line from WHITE CAT    WHITE CAT is written from the perspective …
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Rachael Stein ()
Ranked #798
THE BOOK MUNCHER is the reviewing alias of a prolific teen reader. She is guilty of several overflowing bookshelves in multiple states. Her literary diet is mostly dedicated to the young adult fiction … more
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Grade 9 Up—Cassel, 17, is an anomaly as the only untalented one in a family of curse workers. While his mother, grandfather, and brothers make their living by illegally performing death curses, manipulating memories, and casting emotion charms, Cassel relies on his quick wit and con-artist skills to convince his private-school classmates that he's normal, despite bouts of sleepwalking and patchy memories of standing over a murdered friend named Lila. Nightmares about a white cat that resembles Lila, his family's ties to organized crime, and evidence of a mysterious plot against him threaten to pull Cassel into the world he's fought hard to resist. Black has written a dark coming-of-age tale with a likable hero. Teens will empathize with Cassel's desire to fit in and his occasional clashes with his family while rooting for him to unravel the conspiracy. Though readers will enjoy the fast-paced plot, there are points, particularly in the last few chapters, where the action is confusing and clarity appears sacrificed for expediency. Some secondary characters, such as Cassel's grandfather and friend Sam, are three-dimensional, while others, including his brothers and Lila, are less well realized. Despite these minor flaws,White Catwill appeal to readers who grew up on Holly Black's "Spiderwick Chronicles" (S & S) and are ready for something edgier.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD
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ISBN-10: 1416963960
ISBN-13: 978-1416963967
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
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