A Librarian Reads White Cat

white-catThe Curse Workers Book 1: White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe is trying to be a good guy, but that is difficult when you come from a family of con artists. What makes it worse is that everyone in his family are curse workers except him. Curse workers are people born with a magic touch. Some workers can grant you good luck, or curse you with bad. The same goes with dreams, memories, emotions, pain, and even some workers can kill with just a touch. Unfortunately these people are shunned by society, and curse workers are a secretive bunch. Cassel is stuck in the middle, not accepted by society because of his family, but not really accepted by his family because he is normal.

Life is complicated enough by being alone, but it gets worse. Cassel starts sleepwalking while at boarding school. He wakes to discover himself on the roof of his dorm. But it is not the height that worries him. It is his dream. A white cat had stolen his tongue, and taunted him to follow her. Everyone at school fears that Cassel is suicidal. The dean places him on leave until they can decide whether it is safe for him to return. The only place for him to return is his family. But he soon notices that things aren’t what they seem at home. His sister-in-law is hearing strange music no one else can hear. His brother, Barron, seems to be forgetting things, while his eldest brother, Phillip, is more controlling than ever. And then when Cassel goes to live with his grandfather. There he discovers a white cat living in the barn. It is the exact same cat from his dreams.

Something is going on with his family, something they don’t want him to know about. If he is going to solve the mystery of the white cat he will need use all his skill of working the con to succeed. But what is even harder is that Cassel may need help. This means he might actually have to make friends and trust other people. But when you are dealing with mobsters your life is always on the line. Does he really want to risk his life, and his friends, on the mystery of the white cat?

This is a good start to a new urban fantasy series. Recommended to those who are into the supernatural, mobsters, fans of Holly Black, or want something new and original. Appropriate for ages 14 and up.

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