White Cat

This is a review of “White Cat” by Holly Black. It is the first novel in the Curse Workers Series.

Cassel is the youngest in a family of Curse Workers. Curse Workers are people who have abilities. There are Memory Workers, who can make you forget things ever happened, or make you remember something that never did happen. There are Emotion Workers, Physical Workers and Luck Workers. There are Death Workers and Transformation Workers. But Cassel is none of those. He’s the only non-Curse Worker in his family. Which blows. Curse Working is illegal, but that doesn’t stop Cassel wishing…

Cassel is a pretty good con artist, he learned that from his mother. His entire family are great criminals. His mother is in jail for emotionally working a millionaire, but she’s sure she will get out soon. His two older brothers, both workers, are successful in their own lives, and Cassel’s not doing so badly himself, attending a swanky boarding school. But not all is ok with Cassel. He has to live with a horrible memory. A few years ago, he killed his best friend Lila. He has no idea how. But he has the memory of her body, his hands, a knife and blood. So much blood.

Cassel’s just started sleep walking. That hasn’t happened since he was a kid. After waking up on the roof of his dorm after dreaming of a white cat, Cassel is suspended from school pending a medical opinion and school board decision. He has to go back to his strange family home. He’s really not keen on the idea. His mother’s house is straight out of an episode of Hoarders. But there, lives a group of feral cats. And there’s a white one, just like the cat in his dreams. What could it mean?

Why were his brothers and grandfather discussing him in secret, thinking him to be asleep? And what’s up with his brother’s wife? Why does she hear bizarre music, and forget things?

I bought this book a few weeks ago, and it’s been sitting in my ‘To Be Read’ pile. I loved Holly Black’s novel “Tithe” as a teen, and decided to give this series a look. I am waiting on the rest of the Morganville Vampires Series to arrive in the post, and although I wasn’t keen on beginning another series when I had not finished that one, I decided to give this a read. It was not disappointing. I liked Cassel’s character, he reminded me of Holden Caulfield. The story was an intriguing one, and I stayed up very late reading. The world of the Curse Workers is much like ours, but everyone gets around wearing gloves so as not to get worked (think Rogue in X-Men). I think it would be pretty cool to be a worker, though the blow back does sound awful. I am looking forward to reading the other two novels in this series.

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