Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat is one of those novels that I really enjoyed, but it took me a while to get involved. The first 100 pages moved slowly, but after the action heated up, I couldn’t put it down.

Cassel is the only one of his family that isn’t a Curse Worker. There a many different types of these powers, such as bringing people luck (good or bad), changing people’s memories, and even causing people’s deaths. The government has made using these powers, or “working,” illegal. Because of this, a criminal underworld has developed involving the use of this magic, and Cassel’s brothers, who do have these abilities, are involved. 

The best part of the story is the Curse Workers’ world that Black has created. Her creative details make everything seem very realistic. The gloves, the stone charms, the blowback, as well as the Curse Working itself are totally unique and described in such a way as to seem completely plausible.  But, setting up this world and introducing Cassel takes a large portion of the book.

The relationship between Cassel and his brothers has all the typical elements of sibling conflict, but with a paranormal twist. It is apparent that there are many secrets in this family, and figuring out those secrets is what keeps the reader involved.

Once we realize that Cassel is in extreme peril, the pace is unstoppable. Over and over again I kept thinking, “Now, how in the world is he going to get out of this?” There are twists and turns and, while the immediate threat is over, the ending leaves plenty of questions for future adventures of the Curse Workers.

Paranormal fans will be interested in this one, but this will also appeal to fans of crime fiction. It’s basically a story of the mafia in this very fascinating magical world. 

Published by Margaret K. McElderry, 2010
Copy obtained from the library
310 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I have been having a hard time getting this book to move from my library. Perhaps I need to push it more on mystery type readers rather than paranormal fans?

  2. This is sitting on my desk! Glad to hear it's a 'realistic' paranormal. :-)

  3. I have heard so much about this book lately. I appreciate the review and the warning that it could take some time to get into.

  4. Sometimes I really like world building and so, if done right, it doesn't bother me if that takes up a large part of the book. I'm really curious about this series. Thanks for your review!


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