Monday, September 6, 2010

White Cat, By Holly Black- Review

I had been looking forward to this book for awhile, but after the enormous amount of books I had bought in New York in April, I decided to wait a bit before I rushed out and bought White Cat.  It wasn't like I was hurting for things to read after all! 
So I was very disappointed as reviews started to roll in and I realised a lot of people didn't like it, and it's likely why I hesitated longer than planned to buy it.  But a few short days before the release of Mockingjay, Indigo had a three day sale I couldn't refuse, and after deliberating in store about which of the many books I wanted, I decided it was time to pick up White Cat.

Cassel is part of a family of workers, but unfortunately he didn't inherit the worker gene and has spent his life as the odd one out.  Between the appearance of a odd eyed white cat, and with a little sleep walking adventure that nearly has him kicked out of his ritzy boarding school, though, everything he thought he knew about himself and his family seems to be changing.  Can he prove to be the ultimate con artist and work himself out of problems he's only beginning to realise he has?

Holly has built a unique world here, with people carrying a recessive gene giving some powers which everyone else fear.  Thus there's a lot of history about laws and persecution, which was really interesting, especially as she doled it out slowly, meaning I was easily a third of the way through the book before I really fully understood the layout of her world and the workers versus non-worker issues.

The mystery between Cassel and the white cat was the captivating part though, and although I am insanely biased to be wound up over a white cat with odd eyes I have to say Holly's twist was really fun.  There was also a  memento reminiscent part to the story giving the story a layering effect I wasn't expecting.  By the end I was left with the feeling that although it looked like all had been revealed, there was the potential for a complete bait and switch at a later point in the trilogy, so I'm eagerly waiting for book two, Red Glove (April 5th 2011, same day as Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels! Yikes! that will be an expensive day!!), to see what's going to happen.

Lovable characters, a suspenseful mystery and a really unusual world makes this book a must read, and I highly recommend you give it a chance if you haven't already.  It was especially exciting to see Holly Black move away from the dark and gritty faerie stories into another avenue of YA so seamlessly.  Between the Modern Faerie Tale's, the Spiderwick collection and now the Curse Worker books, Holly as proven herself to be a versatile and talented writer.

White Cat (book 1 of the Curse Workers Trilogy), By Holly Black
Published by Margaret K. McElderry, May 2010

The series currently looks like this from what I can find:
White Cat- May 2010
Red Glove- April 2011
Black Heart- May 2012

For More reviews of White Cat please see:
A Lush  Budget Production Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Mundie Moms
The Compulsive Reader
Beth Fish Reads

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