Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review of White Cat by Holly Black

Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Listening Library
Discs: 6
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★

Summary from Goodreads: 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 his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

What a scandalous read!  Curse workers are what happens when the mafia steals the X-Men's powers and try to blend in with the rest of the world (at least that's where my imagination took me).  They are ridiculously scary and it's crazy to think how much they can mess with a person's life.  It kind of makes me scared to touch other people now for fear they are going to mess with my memory or worse, kill me.  But alas I should have no fear since of course the curse workers live in a fictional world.

I thought it genius that White Cat was told from a males point of view.  For some reason it feels more intense and  adventurous hearing Cassel's take on things.  I came to really enjoy liked Cassel as a character as the book progress.  At first I though he was a scheming, arrogant, liar but that quickly changed when the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place.  He hasn't lived the easiest life, or had the best support a family could offer, but he seemed to find his own way through life.  Even though he tried to make friends, the death of his best friend still haunts him.  This part of the story confused me at first because his action of killing his best friend didn't seem to fit with his personality.  As the story progresses Lila's death becomes quite the scandal. 

Another aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed was the mystery the arises.  While I feel a little silly for not figuring things out sooner, the twists and turns the novel takes will have you changing your opinions of the characters often and always second guessing what really is true and who has been worked.  While the plot scheme is intense, it is presented in a way to entice the reader instead of confusing them.  Like anything 'the mob' is involved with, there is always some sort of power-play at hand and Cassel's seems to be stuck in the middle of it.  Poor boy! 

This book has a little bit of something for everyone.  There's action, adventure, romance, mystery and double-crossing.  I can't wait to see what Red Glove has in store for Cassel and his friends.


  1. i just finished it
    i sooooooo like reasing it

  2. Do they live in a fictional world? Do they?

    LOL! Okay, I shouldn't be trying to scare you...or myself. Have you seen the new covers for this series? They're awesome.

    My sister loves this series and has been trying to get me to read it. I'll have to make it a must soon.

    Glad to know a bit of romance plays into the story too.

  3. I got this from the library about 1 year ago but I never had time to read it. It sounds good, but I'm not sure it's exactly my cup of tea! But I'm glad you pretty much liked it, Lisa!

  4. I adored WHITE CAT - and RED GLOVE delivered the same intensity (perhaps moreso since we have a better sense of the characters).

    Am I reading right? Did you listen to the audio version with Jesse Eisenberg? What did you think? I don't normally go for audio, but I had LASIK eye surgery and couldn't read for a few days after and decided to invest in WHITE CAT because I loved the book and wanted to hear Jesse narrate. I think he did a pretty decent job with being Cassel. I need to get an audio copy of RED GLOVE to listen to.

    1. I listened to the audio. Eiseberg did an excellent job performing the book.


I love love love hearing your wonderful thoughts! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.