Thursday, December 2, 2010

Same Book, Second Look - White Cat by Holly Black

Published: May 2010
Published By: Margaret K McElderry
Pages: 310
Copy Provided: bought
Summary: 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 mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, 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.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts 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, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

We have all read books with the same cookie cutter type storyline, plot and sequence of events. They remain popular because it is a formula that works and to some degree, we as readers are given control because we can predict the outcome of the story. Sure the characters have different names and sometimes the author may throw you for a loop but they are comfortable to read.

Holly Black does not do this with The Curse Workers series.

Right from the start I was intrigued with the idea of "Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest tough of their hands" (cover flap). She weaves the idea of magic with the mob and throughout this novel I kept wondering - what the heck is going on?? It wasn't enough to stop me from reading though. Cassel, the main character has a conscience and seeks answers. He is driven and vulnerable and we see the story from his point of view.

Attending the Holly Black/Cassie Clare book signing gave me even more respect for Holly. This woman really is passionate about writing and isn't afraid to tell you that it takes hard work, research and perseverance. For instance, when she first started writing, she had crazy ideas and once had to stand in front of a crowd during a workshop and read her piece. She admitted it was crap but that was OK as long as she kept going. For those of you who are writers, keep writing every day. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as you are writing.

So back to White Cat. I found this novel to be an original story, something I had not expected and enjoyed every minute of it. I love novels that have a very different premise or idea to begin with. I think you might enjoy it too. Looking forward to Red Glove, book #2 in the Curse Worker series coming out in April 2011.


  1. I've been wondering about this book--now I think I have to read it! I'm glad it's not one of those predictable, cookie-cutter books. I've read too many of those lately.

  2. I love anything that Holly Black does. Tithe and Valiant were awesome. No surprise that this one was too!

  3. oohh! Can't wait to read Tithe and Valiant!

  4. I enjoyed this novel too. Cassel is a great male character. I'll be reading the next in the series.