Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: "White Cat" By Holly Black

Barnes&Noble Synopsis:

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 façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade 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 outcon the conmen.


This isn't your typical cookie-cutter, life is grand, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow type story. I found it dark yet enticing. Cassel is anything but innocent, aside from the small time gambling bets his classmates place with him, and his near fatal sleepwalking experiences, how deep does his darkness really go? Is he a murderer? Is he being worked? And among the several cats that appear out of nowhere, why does the white cat seem so familiar to him?
Aside from the complexity of his character, his family is a whole other situation. With their twisted values, and their loyalties to a crime boss. Figuring out just what their hiding shows to be essential if Cassel wishes to survive through another nightmare. As far as "normal" families go, this family is anything but, and as the story unravels it only gets worse. If you're looking for a love story, I would first like to ask; just what is your idea of love? In this story love is being so head over heels, that you would give your last penny, your last anything to that person, the shirt off your back even, because in your eyes you didn't know why you loved them you just did. And as time goes by the feelings slowly dissipate, but it doesn't occur to you, until it's too late, that anything is wrong. And one day, you'll awake in a haze and realize, that you've been worked.
If that's the kind of book you're looking for, look no further, because Holly Black delivers all that and more.
Magic, mischief, murder and deception are just some of the words that could come even a little close in describing what I just read. Holly Black's "White Cat" was beautifully dark and wonderfully wicked. I'm certain you will enjoy it as much as I did.


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