Saturday, May 22, 2010
White Cat by Holly Black
Review: Black is widely known for her Spiderwick Chronicles. She is notaries for twisted plot lines and changing the meaning of words. Her books often take place in a world much like our own with facts altered and magic introduced. White Cat is no exception to this unique style. An aspect I like about Black’s work, I never know what to expect.
It takes place in the modern world with a catch, less than half the population is cursed with powers like controlling emotions, erase or create memories, transformations or in rare cases... death. The society has adapted to the situation by wearing gloves, as the magic is triggered by the touch of bare skin. Removing ones gloves is equal to holding a loaded gun in daylight. The use of magic is illegal.
As a result this minority is associated with criminals and considered the Mafia, some even become con-artist. A tragic incident from Cassel’s past causes him to question his family’s involvement with the Mafia. However, it is hard to determine if one has been ‘worked’ when the possibility of erasing memories is a reality. This plot was different from many books I have read. The story caught my interest and the writing kept me captivated.
In White Cat the word which Black chose to shift was work. In this world individuals involved with the Mafia are considered cursed workers. They make money by working the non-cursed population. This repositioning of the word work was one of my favorite parts. I adored the idea of certain individuals possessing these powers. Combined with the realistic setting, it seemed possible for these abilities to exist outside Cassel’s world.
Though I have yet to read the Spiderwick Chronicles, I read Black’s Modern Faeries Tale series for young adults. I was not expecting this unique and twisted story from Black after being disappointed with Tithe but White Cat blew me away. I enjoyed it from start to finish. From the story, to the characters, to the dynamic twists, to the uniquely realistic world, I was entranced. I greatly enjoyed this new series that Black delivered. I look forward to reading more about Cassel and his future plans in the books to come.