Title: White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Cover Designer: Russell Gordon
Age Audience: YA
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. But Cassel's carefully built up façade of normalcy starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled 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.
White Cat is the first YA book by Holly Black that I’ve read (a while ago I read one of her children’s books, The Field Guide). And I must say, I was very impressed! I liked that the story was told from a guy’s POV; you don’t see that much in the paranormal genre.
There wasn’t a single person in White Cat who I didn’t like (not even the villains). Holly Black creates such intriguing characters! Cassel was a great protagonist, though I can’t put my finger on exactly why he was so awesome. Another character I didn’t stop thinking about was Maura, Cassel’s sister-in-law. She was eerily interesting and creepy. Since Maura was more of a side character here in White Cat, I hope to see more of her in the sequel.
The concept of Curse Working was pleasantly new and fresh. Combine the crime-family aspect, and what you got was absolutely enthralling. What was especially unique was that the general public knew about the Curse Workers; they weren’t hiding their true identity like in, for example, Harry Potter.
Another thing I liked about this book was that there was more action and mystery than romance. I’m not saying that there wasn’t romance; it just wasn’t very integral to the plot. Some people might have a problem with that, but I didn’t mind at all.
Overall, White Cat was an unpredictable and captivating read, perfect for fans of supernatural fiction or crime fiction. I can hardly wait to get my hands on Red Glove!