Sunday, May 15, 2011

White Cat by Holly Black

BOOK ONE

WHITE CAT

From the back page:

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.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

My review:

Whenever someone tries to tell me I won't figure out what it is they're lying about or hiding, I have to try to think about all the things they could possibly be talking about. So when I read the above description of Holly Black's new book "White Cat," (book 1 in what may turn into a series) I had to try guessing what would happen. She tricked me a few times--but I figured out one deceit a few chapters before I think she'd have liked. This is a book for mystery fanatics and Young Adults alike--it's got plenty of action, with calm points, as well as some healthy suspense.

The characters are fun and untrustworthy and you won't know whether or not you should like Cassel--I wasn't sure either when I began the book. Give it a chance and read this excellent new book by Holly Black. I don't want to say too much or I might give something away. It's also difficult for me to write a long review of a book I have few problems with.

Holly Black has written children's books ("The Spiderwick Chronicles"), graphic novels ("The Good Neighbors"), and Young Adult books (three book about faeries: "Tithe," "Valient," and "Ironside"). The sequel to White Cat is out and a third is on the way. If you haven't read anything by Black, now is your chance--she has a number of short stories published in anthologies as well. Find one!

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