(ARC) The Curse Workers: White Cat by Holly Black

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 façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade 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.” –Book Cover

I usually write a resume of my own, but the book cover’s resume mention everything I would have said lol.

White Cat was fan-tas-tic. Holly Black created a world (and an different world history) where workers are known and feared by the public. Politicians are working on law projects to force everyone to be “tested” to reveal their worker potential, and Working is already illegal. Which means Worker families are like the mafia of this book. Organized crime, murders, “missing” people is daily matters. Also everyone is wearing gloves because the Work happens with a hand touch.

Cassel is the outsider of his family, he is not a Worker, and isn’t in on the family secrets. His mom is in jail for Working some rich dude and he is trying to live a normal life, going to Wallingford, a private school. They say an apple never falls to far from the tree, and it’s true in Cassel’s case. He might not be a Worker, but he loves the Con just as much.

I think the whole lore of this book is refreshing, Workers each have their own talents (may they work dreams, emotions, luck, memories or death, to name only these) and every time they perform a Work there is a blowback. If you create a good luck charm, the blowback is a share of good luck for yourself. Awesome right? But if you work death, the blowback might be loosing a finger, an hand or even death. Not so cool anymore right?

I loved that the whole book you have to try and figure out what’s true and what’s a Con. Or what’s the biggest Con that will top ‘em all? How can you ever be sure you are not being worked if someone can change your feelings or your memories? Cassel has doubts he is being played and will work really hard to put the truth to light.

I really liked Cassel’s character. He is full of guilt because he killed his best friend when he was 14, but the memory he has of the event are rather scattered. He is trying hard to fit in with normal people, and he is running his Bookie business taking bets and all. He is really smart and resourceful and it was a thrill to see what Con he was gonna play next. And when matters gets serious, he steps up his game.

The end was great, you really get to see how good Cassel is and the story wraps-up nicely. I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen in the second book.

*slight spoiler*

I really hope Cassel will still be the main character. Or maybe Lila (Cassel’s best friend), I really liked the girl.

Browse Inside

 

Book Stats:

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416963960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416963967
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    Book Source: Review Copy provided by Simon&Schuster Canada

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    2 comments on “(ARC) The Curse Workers: White Cat by Holly Black

    1. I really can't wait to read this book. I think it will be my first Holly Black book. Been putting off reading her for some reason, probably because I've been overrun by faerie YA books. Loved the review.

    2. I really can't wait to read this book. I think it will be my first Holly Black book. Been putting off reading her for some reason, probably because I've been overrun by faerie YA books. Loved the review.

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