White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago. But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen.
I’ve been hearing about this series for absolute years. Not just this series, but Holly Black as an author in general too. This is the Holly Black series that seemed the most intriguing to me. I’m glad I finally picked this up -especially glad I chose to listen to this in audio format.
I would recommend listening to the audio version of this book! It’s narrated by Jesse Eisenberg. I love Jesse Eisenberg, which is the main reason I chose to pick up this book. I find his voice both soothing and captivating. So it relaxes me, yet keeps my attention so my mind doesn’t wander.
Because the book isn’t that long, the audio book is only about 6 hours and 45 minutes. That’s really not long at all! I felt like his reading pace was very pleasant, I didn’t feel the want to speed it up.
I actually think I cared even more for Cassel because he had Jesse’s voice. It made him feel more real to me, and I subsequently pictured Cassel as a young version of Jesse Eisenberg.
The story revolves around Cassel, who is part of a family of curse workers. By touching you, they can manipulate certain things. For example, his grandfather is a death worker. By touching you, he can kill you. That’s why people always wear gloves in this world, it’s impolite not to. Cassel lives in a boarding school away from his family, because he feels like he doesn’t belong. He’s the only one in his family who isn’t a curse worker.
I really liked the story line of this book. There is this whole mystery surrounding current events and Cassel’s past. I have to admit that I guessed quite a big part of the mystery early in the book. Not all of it, there were certain aspects that still managed to take me by surprise. Yet I guessed one of the big revelations quite early on. It didn’t really bother me though, I was just cheering for Cassel to figure everything out AND find a solution.
What got me though, was the ending of this book! I mean, whuuuuuuuuuut. Didn’t see that one coming. I can’t imagine how awful that must feel.
Obviously, the main character of this book is Cassel. I got so attached to him, partly because he’s a great character, and partly because he had Jesse Eisenberg’s voice. I liked him, truly. He’s nice, but no doormat. I don’t think I’d want to piss him off, honestly.
What I loved about this book is that it is completely family-centered. Almost the entire book revolves around Cassel and his family. They may not all be great people. Yet they’re family. His mother is in prison, for working a rich man. She can control emotions, so she works rich men so they give her money, then leaves. As working people is actually not legal -I think- she went to prison. His father is a retired death-worker, his brothers work for a curse-worker-mafia-crime family. I kind of dislike every member of the family, aside from his grandfather. He was awesome.
I really quite liked this book. It was a fun and quick read, especially on audio. I’d truly recommend the audio book if you’re interested in this one. The narration was great, and the pace comfortable to listen to. If you’re into crime family/urban fantasy books in the YA spectrum, check it out!