Series: Curse Workers – Book 1
Author: Holly Black
No of Pages: 310
Release Date: 4 May 2010
CASSEL IS CURSED
Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn’t a magic worker. And now he is being haunted by a white cat...
Cassel’s family are magic workers. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their luck, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His grand-dad is a black fingered death-dealer, his mother is in prison and his brother’s detest him as the only one of their family who can’t do magic.
But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel’s family and he’s about to inherit it. It’s terrifying and that’s the truth.
After getting past the initial confusion, White Cat became quite interesting.
White Cat follows the story of Cassel, a non-Worker in a family of Workers. Workers are basically magic wielders each Worker has a gift whether it be Memory Working, Luck Working or even Death Working.
Cassel feels left out in his family, not only is he a non-Worker, and the youngest. He is also a murderer. When he was fourteen Cassel killed his best friend, who also happened to be the girl he loved.
Now he is trying to fit in, in the “normal” world. Workers have been outlawed throughout the world. Everyone must wear gloves and laws are trying to be passed to document every known worker. Workers are feared and hated and are treated as criminals. It doesn’t help though, that most of them are criminals.
Cassel may not be a worker, but he is a very talented con man. At the tender age of seventeen he already has his own illegal betting pool at his private school. He is trying desperately to fit in, even though he knows people don’t consider him a friend, they do trust and almost in a way, respect him, something he has been longing for his whole life.
It was wonderful having a singularly male viewpoint in a YA novel. Cassel is a little self-centred, and a little bit depressed which makes him annoying at times, but he is also extremely intelligent. He works things out very early on, and although he is continuously questioning his theories he also expands on them.
We don’t get too much into the secondary characters. His mother is in prison for Working a man and making him fall in love with her, and then signing over his wealth. His grandfather is a death worker and one of his fingers rot every time he kills someone with his touch. We also get to reminisce about Lila, the girl Cassel killed. To be honest, she doesn’t seem like the nicest of people, more like a spoiled, over excited bully.
There were two things that I absolutely loved about White Cat: The Mystery and the Magic. The Mystery actually kept me guessing. Although some of it was an easy guess there were things that came out even halfway through the book that turned it onto a completely new track.
The Magic, was real magic with everything having a balance. If you were to kill someone, part of you was also to die. If you were to give someone good luck, you in return would receive it. If you were to take someone’s memory, one of yours would also be lost. Magic had consequences, so people weren’t just running around with the ability to do whatever they wanted to when they wanted to do it.
White Cat was an intriguing read and built up a world that I can’t wait to get back into.