Friday, February 4, 2011
Holly Black's White Cat: It'll Sneak Up on You
After telling a friend of mine about my situation, she suggested that I read Holly Black's White Cat. With no reason not to, I went to my local library and checked it out. Once I was home, I proceeded to sit on my couch and read the entire book cover to cover. Here's why:
White Cat, about a seemingly normal boy with a not-so-normal name (Cassel) and a seedy family history, is a creative mixture of the fantasy, gangster, and con-artist genres. The story takes place in the United States, in a sort of alternate time (I equate with the "sideways world" in LOST) where everyone is required to wear gloves due to the presence of "curse workers"-- a subset of preternaturally gifted people who can affect things from dreams to luck to emotions to appearance with just the slightest touch of their hand. Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, but unlike them, has never shown the signs of possessing an ability.
After Cassel wakes up standing on the roof of his boarding school's dormitory, swearing that he was lead there by a white cat, he starts to second-guess everything he knows, and comes to find that his family knows more than they'll say.
I found myself swept up by this story, but didn't realize I was at the time. When I finished the last page, and closed the back cover, I sat there digesting what I had just read and realized that it was a work of brilliant storytelling. Ms. Black allows the reader to go on a well-paced journey with Cassel, and by the time you realize just how enamored you are with the book, it's almost over. It's sneaky that way.
Lucky for us, this sneaky book is part of a series!
Have you read White Cat? Tell me what you thought of it in comments!