Sunday, August 1, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Page Count: 310 pages
Summary: "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."

Review: I've been in love with every single one of Holly Black's books - I think they were my introduction to urban fantasy. White Cat was no exception to this!

The world building in this book was fantastic. Cassel's family has all types of powers, which is pretty rare because there's so few curse workers in the world. Workers (as they're called) are all seen as criminals and an awesome detail that I loved was that Australia had more than normal because it was originally a penal colony - cool connection to the real world! My favorite part about curse working though were the 'blowbacks' - the kind of aftershock a worker gets when they curse someone.

Cassel was a great character - easy to sympathize with but also kind of awesome. His mom, an emotion worker, taught him all types of cons because he didn't have powers to fall back on, and he's really clever in using them. The secondary characters were awesome as well - I love Holly Black's ability to make all her characters just jump off the page.

The twist was another thing I really loved. Something I never saw coming, maybe because I'm stupid. I should have guessed it, but it just popped up out of nowhere.

The one thing I didn't like, and maybe this is just me: I couldn't really follow the action scenes that well. I have a problem with that in most books, because too much is happening at once, but I got really confused in some parts because there wasn't a whole lot of tell as to what was going on. Some things you had to guess and so it took me a little while longer to do so.

I feel like I'd have to read this book a few times to catch all the cool details, because I positively sped through this one. But overall, I loved it! I think I liked some of Holly Black's earlier books better - namely Ironside - but I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.

Overall: 4/5 stars

No comments: