7 November 2013

White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: June 17th 2010
Source: Library

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.

Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers 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 terrfying and that's the truth.

I'd seen this book around but I hadn't heard much about it, and then I saw it in my library and just decided to pick it up. It did take me a while to actually get around to reading this book, I just wasn't in the mood for it. I'm so glad I finally got around to picking it up though because I really enjoyed it.

White Cat follows a boy called Cassel who murdered his best friend. He's constantly haunted by the memory of it and he puts on a front to try and fit in at school. Cassel's family is one of the big five crime families in America. Each member of these families has a unique power they can use to manipulate people. Cassel thinks his brothers hate him because he's the only person in their family who can't do magic. But there's something else going on and Cassel is about to uncover a dark secret.

To start with, I was unsure whether I was going to enjoy this book or not. It was quite slow and confusing at the start but I gradually managed to grasp what was going on in this book and then I was suddenly hooked. I wanted to know what Cassel's brothers were hiding from him and find out more about what happened when Cassel murdered his best friend.

Cassel has grown up haunted by the memory of what he did. He's always questioning himself and wondering whether he'll do it again. I felt so bad for Cassel. He couldn't even have a normal life because that memory destroyed him. He's in constant fear that this monster is going to jump out of him and kill again that he tries to hide who he is and puts up a shield. He doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere. Cassel was a pretty strong character. After everything he'd been through and everything he deals with everyday, he manages to keep it together. He's also very determined. As soon as he realises something is being hidden from him, he does everything he can to try and figure out what it is, even if it means endangering his life.

The whole storyline revolving around workers and their powers was extremely interesting. I loved finding out the back story to them and finding out why they're banned now. It was also interesting finding out what powers the characters in this book had.

The one problem I had with this book was that Cassel wasn't figuring things out quick enough for me. I'd figure something out and it'd take him another 4-5 chapters to realise. I wanted to hit him and make him realise sooner! Some of the things were just so damn obvious and I couldn't believe that Cassel didn't realise until later.

I felt so bad for Cassel at the end. After everything he'd been through, his mother went and done that and I wanted to punch her. I'm actually really looking forward to seeing how everything it going to play out in the next book and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Cassel will be able to find a solution for what happened at the end.

Overall, this was an intriguing and enjoyable novel. There were times it was slow and predictable, but I still really enjoyed it. It's a book I'd definitely recommend giving a go.


  1. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds really interesting. I love the premise of having magic workers being driven underground and into crime.

    1. It was a really interesting concept! So far, the two Holly Black books I've read have had really interesting ideas behind their worlds. I loved finding out about the workers and what led to them being driven underground.
      I'd definitely recommend it :)

  2. This is one of my favourite books. I love the way Holly Black mixes the gangster novel with the magic novel.