Review – White Cat
  • Posted:
  • June 3, 2010

This is my first time reading Holly Black… well, her young adult books anyway. I picked up White Cat yesterday and read it in two quick sittings. It was really absorbing.

The premise is pretty good. In the world Black creates magic was outlawed with prohibition years back and is now controlled by the mafia. In the hands of skilled con-artists Curse Working can be a real asset to the job. Cassel comes from such a family. He is the only one who is not able to work curses and, as a result, feels he has to make up by being a great con-artist without it. With his Father dead, his mother in jail for Emotion working, his brothers in their own sordid games and his Grandfather a skilled former Death Worker for one of the biggest Mafia don in the country Cassel has a lot of ground to cover.

Cassel has one great secret though. Three years ago Cassel killed the girl he was in love with, but he doesn’t remember how. Riddled with guilt he tries to adapt to a “normal” life. But normal is relative when your dreams are haunted by the girl you killed. One night finds him on the roof of his school with dreams of a white cat chasing his heels. When the incident lands Cassel suspended he begins to analyze what his dreams mean and why he can’t remember Lila’s murder.

I like reading Holly Black. I really like her style. The prose is very simple but she knows how to create so much with just a few well-chosen words. It’s very sensual when it needs to be too… her description I mean. She masters adjectives and profound imagery with as little syllables as possible. I like it. She is almost leaving out things intentionally to let your imagination fill in the blanks. Very refreshing. It’s nice to have an author who lets the audience fill in the world.

Besides that, I really liked the world. Illegal Magic? Brilliant. Simple, and brilliant. The rest of the world fleshes itself out around this idea. I also love whenever YA authors use male protagonists in their books, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like. The lion’s share of main characters are largely female. I doesn’t change a lot, but the dynamic feels skewed in a way that I like.

Overall 4.5 out of 5. I very much want to read the next one.


P.S. The cat is my own little white cat, Yuki… I get an excuse to show her off. Squee!

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Kaiden Blake

2010-06-03 10:26:03 Reply

Your cat is just too cute! 🙂


2010-06-03 13:24:00 Reply

Thanks. She’s stuck in the corner. I couldn’t resist posting it in conjunction.



2010-06-03 14:52:47 Reply

I have this to review… I’ve heard mixed reviews, but the positive ones have been sticking with me!


2010-06-04 00:37:26 Reply

I liked it Sara.. That said, I haven’t read the faerie books yet, and people seem fiercly loyal to those… perhaps if I hadn’t come to this first, etc etc… but I still really enjoyed it.