White Cat by Holly Black
Just finished reading White Cat by Holly Black. I loved it. It’s so original.
Okay, this is told by Cassell. Cassell is a 17 year old boy who comes from a family of workers. Workers are people who have magic – not like with pointy hats, wands and broomsticks but with the ability to pass on their magic simply by touching someone. Unfortunately Cassell isn’t a worker and this makes him an outsider in his own family (as all his family are gifted). He’s sent away to school after his mother is sent to prison for working (which is illegal after all) and the story kicks off with Cassell waking up on the roof of his building after sleep walking and subsequently being suspended from school (as they think he may have been trying to jump)!
I loved the way this was written. You’re dropped straight into the story and pick it all up as you go along. Cassell, from the start just seems to go from one bad situation to the next. He might not be a worker but he’s been brought up learning how to work a con by his very adept mother. The pages just kept turning, fast. I didn’t bother trying to second guess what was going to happen – there was no point the story just moved so quickly it was like riding along on the crest of a wave. One thing after another. I was gripped. I wanted him to GET OUT OF THERE NOW. Then I wanted to find out what was going on. Then I was shocked, dismayed and horrified – by what was going on. Then I still wanted him to GET OUT OF THERE. (But I guess that would have been the end of the story so I I’m glad that he didn’t!) And this plot twists and turns like a twisty turny thing – how on earth did Holly Black come up with all this. So refreshingly different. Great Urban Fantasy.
Magic/meets mafia/meets the perfect con. And I liked Cassell, I can’t wait to see how he develops in the next book – and, thankfully, I don’t have too long a wait for that which is always a good thing.
This is a gritty read and it’s not shy of a bit of violence but this is tempered by a fast moving plot, a sound leading character and a few laugh out loud moments.
I really didn’t know what to expect with this book, it being such a step away from the fey series penned by HB which I really enjoyed, but this was a really pleasant surprise.
I await Red Glove with eager anticipation.