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The White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) Paperback – 1 Apr 2011


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The White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) + Red Glove (Curse Workers 2) + Black Heart (Curse Workers 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575096721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575096721
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Holly Black spent her early years in a decaying Victorian mansion where her mother fed her a steady diet of ghost stories and faerie tales. An avid collector of rare folklore volumes and spooky dolls, she lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband, Theo. For more information, visit www.blackholly.com.

Product Description

Review

"A noir thriller." - "New York Times Book Review"

Book Description

The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Manning on 12 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cassel is cursed. He comes from a family of magic workers and lives in a world where magic was banned decades ago, but Cassel can't work magic. His family hate him for being the only non-worker...and because they helped cover up a murder he committed as a child. But when Cassel finds himself being haunted by a white cat, and his dreams are leading him to sleepwalk to increasingly bizarre places, he is forced to turn to his family to discover the secrets hidden in his past.

This is the first book in the Curse Workers series and the first book by Holly Black I've read and it blew me away. Finding young adult urban fantasy can be near impossible, but this is an incredible example of just how good it can be. Holly Black has reshaped our world by pushing curse workers out of the closet in 1929 and now in the present day their existence is banned so they are forced to hide their identities. One thing I love is that in this world, magic comes at a cost, so whatever you do will rebound on you in a somewhat karmic way.

The plot is brilliantly written and packed with twists and turns. There is an incredible depth of storyline and the world of the curse workers is fully fleshed out. Workers are divided into different groups (death workers that can kill with a touch, memory workers who can rewrite your life) and exist as an underground society since the ban, with most working as con artists or for organized gangs. There are even worker equality groups in the non-worker community. The idea of a con is woven throughout the storyline as it is a skill Cassel learnt at his mother's knee.

Cassel is a great lead character.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Books Worth Remembering on 6 May 2012
Format: Paperback
The Curse Worker trilogy has just recently finished with the April release of the final instalment, Black Heart. I had seen many people say great things about the series but it was just one of those that I never got round to reading.

White Cat was definitely not what I expected, reading the blurb or hearing summaries using the word `magic' does not really capture what this story is about, it's more to do with curses, ones that can potentially back fire. What was really interesting was how it changed society - to perform curse work you have to touch someone with your bare hands and therefore everyone goes around wearing gloves and it's seen as taboo to have bare hands - that was a really interesting concept. I found it to be an incredibly new take on magic in general, I liked that they couldn't just get away with doing these evil things without having something happen to them in return - Karmic retribution if you will.

I also really loved that it's set in our world but with an alternative history - everything is the same as our world but with curse workers, all the historical events happened such as the Wall Street Crash in 1929 but also the ban on curse working; which as a history nerd I found to be a really cool idea. I also loved that it's kind of has a mafia/ old school gangster feel going on with families and initiations and big parties and also organized crime and killings - it was fascinating and not something I've ever read before.

However it took quite some time to get into White Cat, I can't explain why but it wasn't one of those books that I had to devour all in one sitting. I think the story took quite some time to develop and to pick up speed. I loved the ending, the twist was great and I did not expect it!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
Holly Black is fast becoming one of my favourite female authors. I now rank her with Terry Tempest Williams, Madeleine L'Engle and Kathy Shaidle. Her works are dark, witty and sublime. Her world creation is believable and compelling, and something about every one of her books I have read has touched something deep and sometimes dark inside myself. Black has a way of drawing the reader into her world that makes you become a part of it. While reading this book I dreamed about it, and found myself reflecting upon it and the alternate reality it presents again and again. I cannot get the story out of my head, and to be honest I do not want to. Not since reading Madeleine L'Engle's books about a decade ago has an author's words and worlds impacted me so completely from a fictional novel.

The story is set in an alternate reality to our own timeline. Except instead of just booze being banned during prohibition, so is magic, or working as it becomes known. Though the ban on booze was lifted, the ban on magic was not. So in a time very close to our own, most people wear gloves for fear of being touched and worked by one with the gift. And people either fear that they have the ability or that they don't and are just 'normal'. Our hero Cassel comes from a family of workers. Not one of the controlling crime families, much like a magic mafia, but a family with certain skills and powers. He is the only one without them, and as such he always feels on the outside. Outside his own family because he does not have the gift and is not fully part of their plan, and on the outside at school because he comes from a family of workers. Cassel, just wants to be a normal boy in high school.
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