Monthly Archives: February 2012

White Cat by Holly Black

I know I’ve been gone for a while, but I loved this next book SO MUCH that I HAD to write something about it.


Cover of White Cat by Holly BlackCassel 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.

I first became acquainted with Holly Black’s work in the anthologies Geektastic and Zombies vs Unicorns. I enjoyed her contributions enough that I decided to check out some of her full-length work. I put White Cat–the first book in the Curse Workers series–on my “to-read” list with the intent to check it out soon. Instead, the book occupied a space on my “to-read” shelf for almost two years. My lack of interest in the cover lead me to skip over this book repeatedly when looking for a new read. It did not help that this book was also part of an incomplete trilogy. Luckily, Twitter convinced me it was time to finally purchase this book.

Last week I noticed several tweets on my timeline mentioning that the eBook of White Cat by Holly Black was now $2.99. I remembered previously wanting to read this book, so I followed the link to the Amazon page. I noticed the great new cover right away. That combined with the low price were enough to convince me to finally check out the sample of this story.

I started reading the sample while on an hour-and-a-half car ride. By the time I got to my destination, I had purchased the whole novel and had a serious case of queasy stomach from reading in the car. I was officially hooked.

The major reason I enjoyed White Cat was it was so different from most of the stories I have read recently. For starters, it was an alternate universe “AU” novel. This is a nice change from the dystopian novel trend that YA has recently experienced. As I was familiar with the overall setting of the story, the author did not have to waste time creating it for me. She was able to jump into the narration while still carefully interweaving details of the alternate universe.

Another difference is how the characters were defined in the story. In most stories, it is easy to figure out who is “good” or “bad.” The distinction is not as apparent in this case. Characters have their own intentions which don’t always align with the protagonist, creating a conflict that is representative of relationships. This grabbed my interest and kept me reading.

Review: Black was able to tell a complex story that left me satisfied with the end of the first book, while leaving plenty of questions for the following two stories in the trilogy. Upon completing White Cat I had to resist purchasing the follow-up story–Red Glove–immediately. I highly recommend this book.