Tuesday, May 18, 2010

White Cat by Holly Black Review

White Cat 
Holly Black
May 4th, 2010
310 pages (hardcover)
Publisher - McElderry
Source - Borrowed/Bought
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 facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade 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.
Addictive, deadly, and a bit surprising, White Cat delivers an excellent and intriguing story.

For my first time reading a Holly Black book, I wasn't disappointed. Cassel has a lot to sort out, especially since he's discovering lies and loose ends everywhere he turns. After waking up from a sleepwalking incident, he's starting to discover more things about his family than he can even imagine. Cassel's brother's are hiding something from him, and figuring everything out will take every con that he has in him.

When it comes to the plot, it is fairly easy to see what's coming next. However, it was still very enjoyable. I'm going to try to keep this review spoiler free, because it there are a few surprises tossed in. Black's writing keeps you addicted, and wanting to learn more about the curse workers and the abilities they all have. Even the end, I knew what was coming, but the way it played out surprised me.

Highlights: Sympathizing with Cassel was easy. He was always being left out of all the secrets and conversations, which is easy enough to relate to. After finishing  White Cat, I desperately wanted more. I also really liked the ideas behind curse workers, just a touch and someone can change your memories, kill you, harm you, et cetera. It was completely fascinating.

Lowlights: A lot was very predictable. It tends to bother me when I can see a storyline coming from the first fifty pages. I want surprises, and shocks (there were some, so I was pleased). There were also some blah, boring moments. Yet, as a whole, I was enjoying this story.

Rating: 4 out of 5


  1. Great review! I have never read a Holly Black novel but I have been interested in this one. I am glad you liked it even with some of the flaws.

  2. I definitely want to read this one. I myself am a Holly Black virgin, but I hope to change that soon! Wonderful review! Very honest!!

  3. Great premise. Looks like another Holly Black winner. Thanks for the review. Glad to know it's worth the slow bits.

  4. Sounds really mysterious and intriguing... I'll put this one on my wishlist ;)

  5. Great review. I love good writing :)

  6. I've never read a Holly Black book before, either, but I keep hearing good things about this book, so I have no doubt that I will be soon!

  7. Sometimes predictability can be a good thing. I've never read Holly Black, but this does sound fab!

  8. Aw, I was truly undecided whether I ordered this book or not. I chose not to pick it up right now... Though I'd really like to meet Jace (from TMI) again. Hehe. :) I may leave it for the next opportunity!