23 May, 2010

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black


I bought this book
Picture Courtesy of Good Reads

Cassel Sharpe is in trouble. He wakes up one day to find himself on the roof of his school... with no memory of how he got there. He remembers seeing a white cat, right before he regained consciousness. But, that is just the beginning of the mystery that is Cassel's life. And incidentally, that is the beginning of WHITE CAT, by Holly Black.

In his world, magic is illegal, and as such, has become the domain of crime families. Those that can do magic are called curse workers. They are feared by the public, and Cassel is the only non-worker among a family of workers. His grandfather is a notorious death worker, his mother is in jail for her curse work, and his brothers are involved in one of the most powerful crime families in the state of New Jersey.

The leader of this crime family happens to be the father of his best friend and first love, Lila. A girl that Cassel killed. He has little memory of this killing and only his brothers know of his crime. The tidy little world that he has created through lies, and half-truths is about to come crashing down, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. The white cat that he sees could be the answer to all of his memory problems, but the truth will alter Cassel's world forever.

This book was very widely anticipated, from bestselling author, Holly Black. I was pleased to read another book from a male character's point of view, and not disappointed by the skill with which Holly Black wields a pen. Cassel is a well-thought out character. The kind of bad guy that is hard not to sympathize with, all the while knowing that he has committed one of the most reprehensible crimes- murder.

Black takes on the fantasy/ urban fantasy genre with a very cool, new twist. Her use of magic, isn't so far removed from the illegal drug trade, or black market weapons exchange in contemporary society.

I can imagine being a part of Cassel's world, because it is not unlike the one that we currently live in. WHITE CAT definitely lived up to its hype. More than that, it showcases the considerable talent of Black as an author and storyteller.

I've posted an explanation and deeper look at the book, on my Good Reads site, but it does contain spoilers.

My Rating: 13.5/15 Must Read
Bonus Cover Points: 4/5


  1. This is another one I have on the shelf here to get to. I am so glad to see you enjoyed it so. And to rate it a Must Read. Awesome! Thank you! It sounds like a great world to visit. :)

  2. I'm going to check if this is on my wish list. It sounds like something I'd want to read.

  3. It is definitely worth reading! A little grittier than the fantasy I usually read, but so good.

  4. Thanks for the review on this one. I've been interested in it but saw some mixed reviews so far.


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