Review * White Cat by Holly Black

April 23, 2012 Reviews 12 ★★★

Review * White Cat by Holly BlackWhite Cat by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on May 4, 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Red Glove, Black Heart
Add to: 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 facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade 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 out-con the conmen.

What I thought…

  • This book was almost a DNF for me.  I was very lost and confused in the beginning.  I decided to go just a bit further and I’m so glad I did.  While I can’t rave about White Cat like some of my fellow bloggers, It was enjoyable and I plan on reading the other two books.
  • Cover complaint: Why did they write over his face?
  • There is a lot going on in the beginning of White Cat and a lot you can’t see.  All the magic and cons kept me confused, and while I’m sure that was the authors intention it made me very frustrated, especially in regards to his brothers and the workers.  I was also confused because it takes place “now” but with an alternate history, though once someone compared it to the Sookie Stackhouse series it made a lot more sense and that cleared up some of my confusion.  Honestly, I’m not sure why that confused me so much but it did.
  • The biggest reason I kept reading (other than Jenny of course!) was because of Cassel.  There aren’t many YA books told from the male POV so that’s a point, plus I just really, really liked him.  He was a well written, likeable character.
  • I liked all of Cassel’s friends, his family not so much.  Sam and Daneca were the ultimate sidekicks for Cassel.  I didn’t really like anyone in his family.  I’m sure part of that is because I was so confused but I didn’t really like the things they did either and it was hard to muster up any sympathy for them.  And what his mother did at the end… That was so wrong!  Really, really wrong!
  • The storyline was very intriguing in the second half (once I was no longer confused).  I was much more caught up in the conning the con men part (a la Leverage) and their ultimate plan.  I also liked how I wasn’t clued in to the whole plan either.  That made it much more enjoyable.

Overall I’m really glad I stuck with it, the ending was really good, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

I read The Curse Workers series because Jenny (Alternate Readality) and Steph (The Fake Steph Dot Com) absolutely rave about this series.

* If you really want to break this down it’s a 1 star for the first half, 4 star for the second half.


12 Responses to “Review * White Cat by Holly Black”

  1. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    Yeah, I hate the writing over the face, it’s like when the price sticker covers up the summary of a book!

    I really need to make time for this series, but it’s becoming apparent that there’s just no way for me to read all the books I need and want to read. :(

  2. ....Petty Witter

    Seemingly a book bloggers either really, really like or find lacking in an essential something or other, many thanks foe sharing your thoughts on this one.

  3. fakesteph

    I didn’t review this book the first time I read it. I had a hard time figuring out how I felt about it, but when I listened to the audio book, it blew me away. I think you’ll like the second and third books.

  4. Jenny

    Phew! I’m so glad you stuck with it. It was a touch confusing in the beginning and this one was very predictable but I just love Cassel. I think now that you have the hang of it you’ll like the next two.

    • Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

      Steph said the same thing, so I definitely plan on continuing. I was just so lost that I wished the author would have just spelled it out for me in plain simple English. I’d probably like it better if I reread it, but I have too many other books I want to reread it.

  5. Bittner

    Steph got me to read this series and I love it mainly because I just loved the concept that there was a consequence for using magic! But I also just started rereading this series before I get to read Black Heart!

    Also, I remember thinking that the thing with the mom at the end made me laugh because I thought it was really funny, but I swear I wasn’t really thinking about the repercussions of that!

  6. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

    Leverage!!! Okay, I’ve been wanting to read this series ever since Courtney talked about it but now you’ve got me hooked with Leverage! Hmm, maybe I’ll be picking up my copy really soon! Great review, Kim!