Tuesday, November 6, 2012

[Review] White Cat by Holly Black

Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Published: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Curse Workers (Book #1)
Source: I purchased a copy from a bookstore.
Blurb 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 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.


General thoughts: This is a first-on-a-series book. At first is a little bit of a slow reading, mostly because you have to get used to the idea of a different world. As a rare thing, in White Cat I found difficult to accept this alternative reality. But after several chapters, I found myself more comfortable with the story and suddenly what was so hard to understand at first, then it made perfect sense and became kind of predictable
It is a good book and a good start for a series too. It explains how everything works in this world and still keeps you entertained. This was a new idea, with a fresh premise that I had never seen before in this genre.

About the plot: The world in the story is similar to the today's world. Aside from some very important details: Magic is actually a real thing, everyone knows about it, but just a few has been gifted with it and they use to be criminals associated with the mob (including the protagonist's brothers), because curse-work is forbidden and they're like the black market of magic. People pay them to do little curse works, such as erasing the memory of someone, beat the crap out of a guy who didn't pay his debts with a supernatural strength, make someone who hates you to fall in love with you in a second and all kind of things like that. Cassel, the protagonist, is a seventeen-year-old boy who seems to be the weird one of his family. Which is pretty odd itself, given the fact that he's actually the only one of this family who isn't a curse worker. But after a really vivid nightmare, Cassel begins to question everything he has ever believed in and he'll soon find out that his family has been lying to him for a long, long time. 

About the characters: Cassel has always believed he killed his best friend, Lila, and that he's some kind of maniac who everyone should stay away from. So he tries to act normal, but always remains on the outside, beating himself up for not being good enough for his family or for the rest of the world. He is a very authentic character and I really liked him, because he is not some prince charming, he's damaged and he knows it.
Lila is a b*tch. I have to say it. I don't like her. She's selfish and childish and mean to Cassel. She should've stayed as a cat. 
Cassel's brothers, Philip and Barron are nothing like him, they are selfish too, and they just want power and money and put that before his own brother, so I don't like them either. 
I love Sam, Cassel's friend. He's a sweetheart and a really good friend. I consider myself as a good friend, but I wouldn't leave my house at six in the morning just because a friend -who doesn't even treat me that well- is calling me. I admire this kid.

About the writing: It was different, in a good way. I was written in first person, from Cassel point of view and I love it. His mind works in such an amazing way! I learn to love him on the way of the story. I love the style and everything, although it wasn't as fast-paced as I prefer, it definitely caught my attention. 

About the ending (contains spoilers): I absolutely loved the ending. It wasn't what I was expecting, but the quotes of the last pages of the book, were cool and got me thinking. I have to say I hate Cassel's mom, she's such a nosey lady. Everything was finally falling into place and she has to stick her nose. 

I would recommend it for: Lovers of paranormal books, and new worlds with magic and anyone who enjoys a male point of view



“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.” 

“Once someone's hurt you, it's harder to relax around them, harder to think of them as safe to love. But it doesn't stop you from wanting them.”

“We are, largely, who we remember ourselves to be. That's why habits are so hard to break. If we know ourselves to be liars, we expect not to tell the truth. If we think of ourselves as honest, we try harder.” 

“Pet the cat dude," says Sam. "She brought you a present. She wants you to tell her how badass she is."
"You are a tiny tiny killing machine." Daneca coos.
"What's she doing?" I ask.
"Purring!" says Daneca. She sounds delighted. "Good kitty. Who's an amazing killing machine? That's right. You are! You are a brutal brutal tiny lion! Yes, you are.” 

“Memory is slippery. It bends to our understanding of the world, twists to accommodate our prejudices. It is unreliable. Witnesses seldom remember the same things. They identify the wrong people. They give us the details of events that never happened. Memory is slippery, but my memories suddenly feel slipperier.” 

About the author: 

Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and the forthcoming Black Heart). She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this series a lot. :)
    Thanks for the awesome quotes.