Author: Holly Black
Title: White Cat
Series: Curse Workers (#1)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (May 4th 2010)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. 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” GoodReads’ blurb
Do I really have to rate this book? It’s so hard! I think at the moment it’s swinging between 3 and 4 stars... The next book will determine the course of the series for me.
The truth is that I’d been wanting to read this one for ages—come on, look at that super cool cover! Plus, it was told in a guy’s POV, which in my book pretty much equals a “should give it a shot”. So I finally had some credits free on Audible and got myself White Cat...
And it worked, mostly.
There were things I loved: the references to conmen, to conning; Cassel’s “brilliant” mastermind always trying to think in business terms, his not being a good person... Those caught my attention most, and kept me reading until the book fully took off.
That’s perhaps the thing keeping me from giving White Cat the four stars: it took me some effort to get into the book. If I hadn’t liked Cassel’s character, his references, the world he lives in where cursing is just your everyday occurrence... I’d not have pushed myself to read it. I didn’t dislike it, but I wasn’t gripped either. At first, I was indifferent and that’s never good.
Perhaps the flashbacks are to blame. I know they are important, but perhaps there were too many, or they were too long. Perhaps Cassel spent too long in the dark. I honestly can’t put my finger to it, but the first half of the story was uneventful for me.
Then, finally, there’s a purpose and all is right.
Well, not all. Cassel makes a choice regarding his brothers that I don’t think I can understand... not after what they’ve done to him. But, as they say, blood runs thicker and so on, so that’s not really detracting from the story. It’s just setting things up for books 2 and 3, I guess.
The ending was the part I liked best. The conman who is conned. And why. Very deep, and different from your average ending. If you’ve read this book, I’d love to compare ideas on how *that* is going to evolve...
I know I’ll read the next book. I’ve already purchased it, actually—but the competition in the audiobook pile is harsh. Dresden Files (who doesn’t love some Harry?) and The Laundry Files (Best. Series. Ever!) so I might not get to it right away... But I know it’ll be soon, because I want to know how Cassel does in the family business.