Friday, 23 July 2010

64: "White Cat" by Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Page count: 320 pages
Date begun: June 28th, 2010
Date finished: June 29th, 2010

Cassel comes from a long line of curse workers, but is the only one in his family who cannot work a curse. Curse working is basically magic, and it has been outlawed for a long time, meaning that the people with such abilities, are not allowed to use them. Most curse workers are mobsters or con artists, and Cassel's family is no different. As the only one not able to curse, Cassel has had to make himself better at conning instead. He is haunted by memories of his best friend Lila, who he killed three years ago, and whose murder his family helped him cover up. Recently, he keeps having strange dreams and waking up in strange places, having sleepwalked, and his school is threatening to expell him. His brothers and sister-in-law are behaving strangely, and his grandfather refuses to tell him anything. Then there is the white cat, which appears both in his dreams and in the backyard of his old house. Cassel needs to figure out what is going on, and fast.

Having read Holly Black's Modern Tales of Faerie - Tithe, Valiant and Ironside, of which I really like two and absolutely adore Valiant, I was very excited to try Holly Black's new series. I'm not entirely sure what I think of it. It's good when authors try new things, but I'm not sure the male POV in this book worked entirely for me, it seemed unconvincing in parts. I thought parts of the narrative dragged, and was not exactly surprised by what Cassel discovers as part of his investigations, either. But I didn't hate it, and will probably check out the later entries in her Curse Workers series, in the hope that the sequels get better.

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