Friday, June 18, 2010
WHITE CAT Review
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
This story revolves mainly around Cassel, a boy in college who suddenly begins sleepwalking and having vivid dreams, something from his childhood. Many of these dreams circulate around the girl he murdered at age fourteen, Lila, and a mysterious white cat who continues to reappear in everyday life.
But Cassel is no ordinary boy. His family comes from a line of curse workers, people who are gifted with a power, such as luck or death, yet Cassel grew up being the only one in his family who didn't have a power, and therefore was not included in family meetings with the higher and more powerful Zacharov family. Their family is loyal to the powerful Zacharov family in a way like people are loyal to mobsters. Con men, criminals, and powerful workers make up the people who bow down to the crime family Zacharov.
The story begins quickly with Cassel awakening on his dorm roof, ready to jump, but having no idea how he got there. From that point on, the story jumps in to action with a series of mysteries that surround his family and the death of Lila Zacharov. As the story goes on, Cassel learns that not everything is how it appears to be, and that he needs to choose wisely the people he can trust.
In all honesty, upon beginning the book, I was worried. A long time ago, I started reading Holly Black's faerie book, Tithe, and didn't enjoy it, but since I had heard nothing but good reviews about White Cat, I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did.
White Cat was an amazing story with intrigue, mystery, suspense, and even a bit of romance, scattered with flashbacks, dream sequences, and magic, all the while happening in a society too real to seem impossible. Holly Black cultivated her characters well. I enjoyed seeing how much Cassel had grown throughout the novel, despite the situations he got in to.
Overall, I enjoyed how quickly the story moved and how the ending wrapped up just enough to end the novel, but left enough open for the sequel. A very well written and sophisticated novel which will appeal to a variety of readers, White Cat has earned itself a place on my favorites list.
You can view the book trailer for White Cat by Holly Black below.