Monday, 10 October 2011

White Cat by Holly Black

Series: The Curse Workers, Book One
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback
Published: First Published: 4th May 2010
This Edition: 1st April 2011
Number of Pages: 336
Book: Borrowed From Library
Genre: Paranormal, Magic, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Fantasy, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Mild Swearing, Death and Alcohol
No Drug References
Author's Site: Holly Black

No one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer.  No-one at home is every going to forget that he isn’t a magic worker.  And now he is being haunted by a white cat…
Cassel’s family are magic workers.  Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime.  His grand-dad is a black-fingered death-dealer, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of heir family who can’t do magic.  Byt there is a secret at the centre of Cassel’s family and he’s about to inherit it.  It’s terrifying and that’s the truth..
White Cat is the sensational new novel of a changed world and the price we have to pay for magic from the internationally bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Cassel Sharpe has a big secret.  He killed a girl when he was fourteen years old.  He was found standing over the body, covered in blood.  No one in his family will ever forget that.  They also won’t forget that he isn’t a worker.  His whole family are curse workers, working for a major crime family.  Cassel is the only one without magic, and his brother Philip can’t even look him in the eye.  And now Cassel is being haunted.  By a white cat.  Something big is going on in his family.  Or rather, some big secret is about to come out.  One that will change Cassel forever…
I was addicted to this book.  What is it about Holly Black?  She just made me want to read on and on.  I loved trying to figure the mystery out.  All the characters were great.  The plot superfast and the world both terrifying and amazing.  I adored the writing, Cassel and the way I could never be sure of anything.  I loved this book!  It was totally addictive.
Cassel Sharpe was someone I liked straightaway.  He was funny, and rather snarky.  And from the word go, he honestly, really didn’t seem like the kind of person who would kill someone.  Ok, so he was a con artist and a bookie, but that was only because he was good at surviving: adaptable and resourceful.  He was very odd, really sweet and always said what he thought – which gets him in loads of trouble.  Plus he was an evil freaking genius.
Cassel and his family really stole the show.  His eldest brother, Philip, was married with a son.  Six years older than Cassel, he was a physical worker, which meant she could break bones with a touch.  Something was iffy about him from the word go.  The middle brother, Barron, studying law at college, was a “compulsive liar”.  He was the only one Cassel felt he could talk to.  Now, Barron was a bit of an odd one…  Their mom, who was “scary and manipulative”, and locked away for working, but obviously loved her boys very much.  What I couldn’t believe was that she taught her kids how to commit crimes!  Cassel was seven – seven – when he committed his first crime.   The family was odd – very odd, but it was really interesting.  They looked out for each other, even as they beat one another up.  The relationships and emotions between them all were intriguing, and always changing…
The “back-up cast” were just as good.  Sam Yu, Cassel’s sort-of-friend and dorm-mate was a great mate and rather bonkers.  Daneca Wasserman, daughter of an out-of the-closet worker, who was wonderful – completely insane, but wonderful.  The baddies were creepy, scary and intimidating – just how I like my crime lords!
I have to admit: I felt a little lost at the beginning.  Like I was thrown in at the middle of a story.  But that was only a very brief feeling.  I love this world and I loved this book.  I mean, I just loved everything about the world Holly created.  Everything was revealed little by little, and I just gobbled it all up.  All the different kinds of workers (seven in total, luck the most common and transformation the rarest), how everyone had to wear gloves at all times, how the ban against working was put in place in 1929…  As you can see, I memorized rather a lot of these facts.  Does that make me totally sad?  But, seriously, amazing: I would love to be a worker!
Again, I have to say that the family ties were really eye-opening.  Cassel was torn in all directions by his loyalties to his family.  Even after everything they did to him.  And though he wanted to hate them, he couldn’t help loving them a little too.  The way Holly described the ties was just amazing and completely believable, even with all the very impossible things about the family.
It also had an amazing plot!  Twists, turns, surprises.  And I honestly did not see one of the big twists.  I completely misjudged some characters.  I ended up loving people I hated and hating people I loved.  And it just just such a new take on magic!  Unlike anything, ever.  Brilliant!  I mean, what more do you want?
Action, magic, murder, secret crime families.  I adored this book: it honestly had everything.  Plus, it was insanely gripping.  I wanted, no scratch that, needed to know what happened next.  I sped to the end, devouring every page.  It was wonderfully dark and brilliantly twisted.  Now, Book Two please!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading


Cliona said...

Wow, this sounds amazing! I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles, so I think I'll like this! Fantastic review, I really enjoyed reading it!

Zoe Crook said...

Great review! This sounds great! :)

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Cliona: I love that series too! Guilty pleasure! ;) Thank you!
Zoe: Thanks! It is great!

HollyG said...

I have been wanting to read this for ages! But I first picked it up as it was just published and I really don't do waiting for the book next in a series very well.
Maybe now Red Glove is out I'll just have to pop down to the library?