Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: White Cat

The Curse Workers #1: White Cat
Holly Black
2010; Simon & Schuster; ISBN 978-1-4169-6396-7 (hardcover)

Summary: In Cassel's world, some people have the ability to make things go their way.  It might be working on a person's emotions, changing their memories, or inflicting physical harm--all of these can be achieved with a simple touch.  Cassel, though, isn't a worker.  But three years ago, he killed his best friend, Lila.  This action still haunts him, especially since he can't really remember killing her.  Being vulnerable like that makes Cassel, a talented con artist, feel very unsettled, and he's determined to con others before he gets conned again.  When he realizes his older brothers are keeping something from him-something that's tied in with curse-working, Lila's death, and more-Cassel sets out to find the truth.  But he'll discover that maybe the con is better than the truth.

Holly Black creates a compelling, layered world in her new urban fantasy series.  The first book, White Cat, gracefully builds the world and establishs its rules.  What's more, the story of Cassel untangling the mystery he's part of is an action-packed one, full of fistfights and subtle plots.  Through it all, Black's gift for language shines through.  White Cat will be enjoyed by readers of Sisters Red and Beautiful Darkness.

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