Pages - 310
Review copy from Simon and Schuster. Published April 2010.
I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles. Looking dizzily down. I suck in a breath of icy air. Above me are stars. Below me, the bronze statue of Colonel Wallingford makes me realize I'm seeing the quad from the peak of Smythe Hall, my dorm.
I have no memory of climbing the stairs to the roof. I don't even know how to get where I am, which is a problem since I'm going to have to get down, ideally in a way that doesn't involve dying.
This is the story of Cassel, a young lad who comes from a family of curse workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your luck or even your life, just by touching you with their hands. Everyone wears gloves to protect themselves, as curseworking in illegal. Cassel is the only member of his family, who isn't a curse worker, and tends to be a straight kid, apart from the minor detail that he killed his best friend Lila three years ago.
Originally this book was to be reviewed by Amanda over at A Library Of My Own , but as she was moving and knew I loved Holly Black and the fact that this book is yet to be published in England, she asked me to review it for her and I jumped at the chance.
I absolutely love Holly Black. I loved Tithe, I loved Valiant and now I love White Cat. Although to be honest, it took me a little while to get into it, but I think that was purely because the whole curse worker situation was a little confusing to me. Once I understood what was going on, I couldn't put the book down. The curse workers situation gives the book an air of darkness and foreboding, as magic is feared by all. Holly Black is just such a talented writer and has brought a whole new fantasy world to my doorstep.
Cassel is a brilliant character, very dark and brooding, just the type I like. The story had lots of twists and turns which I am not going to delve into because it will really spoil the story. There were quite a few times where I stopped and went 'Oooh' and 'Never!' As Cassel learns about his past, we learn at the same time. Unfortunately, the other characters don't stand out as much as Cassel, but luckily for me, he stood out enough for me not to notice too much.
This book is the first one is a series about the curse workers and I can't wait to read more. If you are bored by vampires and fairies in your YA, then curse workers are the new best thing. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read more.