Thursday, 5 May 2011

White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat
Meet Cassel. High School student in the prestigious Wallingford private school, with a lot of friends (or so he thinks), running his own betting scheme, and member of a criminal family. He tries to appear normal. In fact, everything he does is a façade, just pretend, a long con to get people to do what he wants and to like him.

Until he finds himself on the rooftop of the school. During the night. In his boxer shorts. With no way of getting out of there without help. Any semblance of normalcy is lost, and soon enough he is suspended from school because there is no way to know if he was only sleepwalking or had been cursed.

White Cat is clearly YA. That much was clear from the start. And I was kind of dreading that, but thought of the name on the cover and persevered. I mean, the other books by Holly Black I had read were also YA, and I liked them. And, well, I liked White Cat. But…

Let’s start with the good things. Holly Black writing has this strange power of sucking me in even if I’m set on not liking the story. There’s a mixture of good plot and mystery that makes me turn page after page to know what happens next. And in this case the plot was quite good, a bit of mob story meets magic meets YA.

The mystery however, while nice, was not exactly a mystery. Nothing really surprised me there. Not who dunnit, nor the stuff about the white cat, nor any of the other little mysteries. Predictable, and would have been really boring had the writing been worse.

I liked the characters, I really did. But I loved the minor ones: Sam, Cassel’s roommate and Daneca, his friend. And Grampa. Although they get enough screen time, I wish they had a bit more. I really liked the parts they were in and got a bit curious about them.

And now for the bad things. I say again, White Cat is clearly YA. Had it been longer and targeted to more adult audiences, I would have loved it to bits. There were things hinted at, that if they were to be expanded and explored would make this book awesome. The fact that everyone wears gloves and skin touch is something intimate and a bit perverse. That the History of this series is an alternate one to ours, only with curse workers, and that they are victims of discrimination and prejudice, but are also, on most of the cases, the worst criminals. There are undertones of dystopia that I would love to see developed.

So, White Cat is a nice book, entertaining and gripping. But there was a glimpse of something great that disappointed me more than it would had it just been missing. Let’s hope that Red Glove, the second on the series is better.

Rating: 4 out 5

Other Reviews: A Blog About Nothing | Book Lovers Inc. | Musings of a Reader Happy | Soul Sisters | What Book Is That?

This Book on: LibraryThing | GoodReads | BookDepository UK | Book Depository US | Amazon UK| Amazon US|

Other Stuff: This book was a Birthday gift to me by a friend. This review is a birthday gift for her. Happy Birthday Carlita!


  1. D'awww! My first B-day gift, thank you :'D *so glad&relieved it's a 4 out of 5 review*

    Everyone wears gloves? Why in Heaven's name?!

  2. Oh, right, forgot to explain that! People are cursed via skin touch, usually through the hands - so everyone uses gloves!

    Happy B-day once again!!!