- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416963960
- ISBN-13: 978-1416963967
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 238 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Cassel, 17, is an anomaly as the only untalented one in a family of curse workers. While his mother, grandfather, and brothers make their living by illegally performing death curses, manipulating memories, and casting emotion charms, Cassel relies on his quick wit and con-artist skills to convince his private-school classmates that he's normal, despite bouts of sleepwalking and patchy memories of standing over a murdered friend named Lila. Nightmares about a white cat that resembles Lila, his family's ties to organized crime, and evidence of a mysterious plot against him threaten to pull Cassel into the world he's fought hard to resist. Black has written a dark coming-of-age tale with a likable hero. Teens will empathize with Cassel's desire to fit in and his occasional clashes with his family while rooting for him to unravel the conspiracy. Though readers will enjoy the fast-paced plot, there are points, particularly in the last few chapters, where the action is confusing and clarity appears sacrificed for expediency. Some secondary characters, such as Cassel's grandfather and friend Sam, are three-dimensional, while others, including his brothers and Lila, are less well realized. Despite these minor flaws, White Cat will appeal to readers who grew up on Holly Black's "Spiderwick Chronicles" (S & S) and are ready for something edgier.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD
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This novel is eerie and dark, with terrifying secrets and evil plots. Black weaves a beautiful world where magic exists and is feared. You'll see how backstabbing your loved ones is just as easy as loving them. This starter to a sure-to-be-a-hit series shouldn't be missed.
Summary: Curse working is illegal, and curse workers are branded as scoundrels and con artists. Cassel is the only one in his family who's not a curse worker. Although he's the "straight" kid in a cursed family, he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago. How he's having terrifying dreams of a white cat and suspects a secret plot between his brothers. He'll have to unravel his past to out-con the people he thought he knew best. — ROMANTIC TIMES BOOK REVIEWS, May 2010
* "Beautifully realized dark fantasy" - Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Urban fantasy, con story, coming of age--whatever you call it, read it." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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Top customer reviews
Wow, just wow! I had heard so many amazing things about White Cat, but I have been having a hard time getting into Y.A. and ended up waiting so long to finally read it. I was lucky enough to get a chance to read Red Glove through the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab program and decided that it was about time I buckled down and read White Cat and I am happy to say I loved it!
Cassel is the only "normal" person, if you can consider an expert con-man normal, from a family of Curse Workers. Because he doesn't really fit in into his own family, Cassel has spent his whole life trying to blend in. However, knowing that three years before he killed the girl he loved, doesn't really help. When one night he wakes up on the ledge of the roof of his school, he realizes that there is something very wrong and all signs point to a conspiracy created by the people he should be able to trust the most in the world.
White Cat is the first book in an incredible series by Holly Black. Holly has created an amazing world full of lovable criminals and lies that you can't help but be fascinated by. Cassel is not your regular leading man, however you can't help but feel drawn to his charm and awkwardness at times. He is the last person you'd consider a hero, but with so many deception in his world, he is definitely not the worst choice.
White Cat is a brilliant book that took me completely off guard and made me fall in love with a con-man and his friends. If you enjoy Paranormal Y.A. and haven't read White Cat, I totally recommend it!
Originally Posted at Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life
People are so scared about being worked by a curse worker they all wear gloves and won't touch bare hands. Because curse work is illegal, most workers are criminals and get absorbed by the local crime families to do their dirty work. Since he isn't a worker in a family of thugs and workers, Cassel just wants a normal life away from the business. He sees his normal prep school as salvation from the family business. But when he is found on the roof in the middle of the night after having sleepwalked out of his bedroom window, the school won't let him return. Forced to return home to his crazy hitman grandfather, his two shifty brothers, and with his mother currently doing time in prison, Cassel tries to live life as normally as possible.
That might be possible if he could get it out of his head how he murdered the girl he loved, Lila, daughter and heir to the rival crime family. His memory is spotty on exactly what happened and why he did it, but all he can remember is all that blood and his family helping him hide the crime and the body. As he spends more time with his family, it becomes clear that something strange is happening. His brother Barron seems to be losing his memory and someone has clearly worked his brother Phillip's wife. As Cassel digs a little deeper, he discovers his memory of the night he killed Lila might not be so clear after all. Fearing he has been worked, Cassel takes steps to assure he can't be worked anymore. In doing so, he might discover the truth about his family that he never, ever wanted to know. But you know what they say? The truth will set you free!
The idea of a supernatural mafia is a pretty cool concept! This is like "Sopranos" meets "X-Men"! And the government's move to make curse working illegal has only made them all flee to illegal venues for their craft where mob families collect them like tchotchkes. Cassel's character was a perfect mix of a product of a family full of criminals (he ran book at his prep school) and wanting a normal life (desperate to return to his life away from his worker family). He was clearly torn between his two worlds, a feeling I am sure many teens can relate to (although probably not in the supernatural killer way, of course). I would love to see the parallels our kids could find between their own lives and Cassel's life.
This was an intriguing start to a series that would appeal to any fan of supernatural/paranormal stories. There isn't much romance, although the hint of its possibility to come is out there. The story ends well, but clearly continues in the remainder of the trilogy, so you can read the one book or continue on if you wish. It is also relatively clean for a variety of ages, although it might appeal to a middle school/junior high group rather than much older students. I am interested to see where the rest of the series goes!
Most recent customer reviews
WHITE CAT is gritty novel that weaves between crime, mystery, magic, murder, and mayhem.Read more