Monday, 24 January 2011

White Cat - Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black is the first book in her new Curse Workers series.

Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker. Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic. But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrifying and that's the truth. The White Cat is a stunning novel of a world changed by magic. In this world only 1% of the population can work magic but they have the power of nightmares.

So first off I have to say how much I loved this book. It was smart, funny and pretty brutal in places. I can’t say too much because it will totally ruin it for anyone who hasn’t read it. But it is definitely worth the read.

The main character, Cassel, is excellent. You have to admire someone who tries to do the right thing when the odds are really stacked against them but that is what he does. Cassel is pretty much treated badly by everyone around him, the worst treatment comes from his family. But he comes back fighting every time and handles things a lot better than I would in his situation.

The world the book is set in is very interesting, the concept of curse workers and different “gifts” is fascinating. In a perfect world those gifts would be a good thing but in reality they just get abused and exploited like everything else. The potential of these gifts is limitless and I would love to see more of the way they can be used.

Magic aside the crime aspect of the book itself was enough to keep me interested. Usually I find it hard to root for a character who is a criminal but Cassel was so easy to relate too. White Cat totally made me want to become a con artist myself. I did actually go through a phase when I was a kid of wanting to be a criminal and this book totally made me relive that dream.

The end of the book was very frustrating. I am not good with cliff-hangers even small ones like in White Cat. So I am really looking forward to the second book in the series, Red Glove, I can't wait to see what Cassel does next.

I thought it would make things a little more clearer and a little more simpler if I put the actual book description up when I review rather than me trying to summarise it myself and making a mess of it. We will see how it goes.

That's all for now.

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