Review: “White Cat” by Holly Black (Audio Book)
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
Review Copy: Audio book via Random House
Description From Goodreads:
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.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I downloaded the “White Cat” audio book from Random House for free after joining their mailing list. I’ve had the hard cover lying around for a while, so the audio book was reason enough to get me to read it (I read along as I listened).
My thoughts on Jesse Eisenberg as the narrator? Perfect.
As for the story itself? I liked it, a lot. “White Cat” is about Cassel, who comes from a family of Curse Workers. Everyone in his family is a curse worker, except him. He’s showcased as the normal member of his family, even after killing his best friend three years earlier. “White Cat” has mystery, it has adventure, and it has a truly unique plot that will lure readers in.
I do have to admit that the beginning just wasn’t that interesting. It did take me a while to get into the story, but once I did, I liked it. The magic aspect, well the curse work, is really interesting and I think Holly Black did a great job building the world around it. The fact that a bare hand could be dangerous? It was really intriguing and well thought out. Her characters are flawed, but it makes them likable – especially Cassel.
One of my favorite quotes from “White Cat”:
“Memory is slippery. It bends to our understanding of the world, twists to accommodate our prejudices. It is unreliable. Witnesses seldom remember the same things. They identify the wrong people. They give us the details of events that never happened. Memory is slippery, but my memories suddenly feel slipperier.” (Page 96)
“White Cat” as my first audio book was probably a smart move. An interesting story read by an actor who was able to actually embody the tone of the characters? Yes, please! I did enjoy it and I plan on reading (or listening to, we’ll see)“Red Glove” soon.
I had a bit too much fun picking out quotes: