Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: White Cat

: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Pages: 310
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: McElderry Books
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description:

Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn't fit in at home or at school, so he's used to feeling like an outsider. He's also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen.

Admittedly, I’m already a huge fan of Holly Black (who I was lucky enough to meet in person a few weeks back) so I was really excited to start reading White Cat.  Prior to receiving the book though, I hadn’t actually heard of it before, so I read the description on the jacket cover to see what I was in for.  I’m a lover of all things fantasy, so at the promise of black magic and mobsters in White Cat, I knew I would like it.

I come from a big Italian family, so I found the concept of this modern day group of mobsters working with curses extremely fascinating.  Only Holly Black would be able to combine two elements like dark magic and mobsters, and make it work.  At the YA conference I recently attended, Holly discussed how writing fantasy can be difficult, because you have to recognize the limits of using magic.  In this book, the curse workers have to touch the person they’re trying to ‘work’ in order to cast a curse on them.  This becomes the limit of the magic in White Cat, because the society they live in knows about curse workers and expects people to wear gloves in public.  At times, this can get quite funny in the book, because they compare taking off your gloves in public to taking off your pants or shirt, in that it’s extremely private and something one should only do in the comfort of their own home. 

Another aspect of White Cat I enjoyed, was that it was also a mystery.  I can’t say I’ve ever read anything in the fantasy genre that included a good murder mystery! It’s nice to see a mix of genres sometimes, especially when it’s written well. 

The only reason I struggled with giving this 4 cows, is because the beginning was pretty confusing.  The book used words like the mark, the con, and blowback, without explaining what any of them meant in the curse worker’s world.  It left the reader to figure this out for themselves, and to be honest, I didn’t catch on to the idea of blowblack until I got at least halfway through the book.  I did stick with 4 cows though, because everything gets cleared up and you understand it more, as you read further into White Cat. 

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Castor Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I just finished reading the 2nd book in the Curse Worker Series after White Cat, which is called Red Glove, and that review will be going up soon!  So stay tuned if you are interested in hearing more about this series by Holly Black.  In the meantime, start reading White Cat! You won’t be disappointed!  


1 comment:

  1. I read this one earlier this year as part of a reading challenge and I struggled with the beginning too. I also like the mystery element to it. I didn't guess at all what was going on. I want to read the rest of the books because I'm curious to find out what happens, but I didn't really enjoy any of the characters! I'm interested in seeing what you thought about Red Glove.


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