WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BOTH BOOKS
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BOTH BOOKS
⭐⭐⭐Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
8 hours 39 minutes| Hachette Audio | Fantasy | 1/02/18
Here we go.
I’m a big fan of Holly Black’s Curse Workers’ series and I’ve always found it interesting that The Curse Workers series is SO unlike her other writings which feature witches, wizards and fae. Black has been writing YA about faerie for years and Curel Prince has been a big hit. I was intrigued because of the high review Kat gave it and was ready to dive in.
The book follows three sisters who are whisked away against their will to Faerie where they live among the gentry. But to truly earn a place among the Folk, they must make a way for themselves no matter the cost.
17-year-old Jude Durate is fierce and determined so when she has the opportunity to join the Court of Shadows, a group of royal spies, to ensure the next King of Faerie is crowned she takes her chance. I sort of wish the book was about this–but it wasn’t. Jude’s role as a spy in more of a side plot to make room for all the …cruelness.
Honestly, I found the first 30% of the book kind of unpleasant, I didn’t really enjoy watching the main character basically get tortured only to have her main tormentor, Prince Cardan, on the way to partially redemption at the end. It truly felt like we were supposed to look at the events that happened and understand he didn’t mean for it to be that way. Because he can’t stop thinking about her. Ugh.
“Marks forget that whenever something’s too good to be true, that’s because it’s a con.”
– White Cat, Holly Black
Synopsis: Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. . .Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something.
I first came across Holly Black while reading Cassandra Clare. Clare and Black are often on tour together and even edit each other’s work. Plus characters from Black’s Valiant series appear in The Mortal Instruments and Jace Wayland is even mentioned in this book.
So, when I picked up White Cat in audiobook form I expected to find something similar to the Mortal Instruments–White Cat was anything but that. Instead, it is a high-octane fantasy heist novel sprinkled with family drama.
Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of curseworkers, individuals who have the special ability to “curse” others in things such as luck and death. In a world where curse working and crime go hand-in-hand, dark family secrets rise to the surface and Cassel’s life is turned on its head. Soon he finds himself caught up in the biggest con-game of his life, all because of one white cat.
Black does an amazing job of crafting the world in which Cassel lives. She creates a slight alternative history that does not overbear the plot or force itself into the setting of the novel, it flowed so naturally, it makes you think it could have actually happened. She allows the characters to speak and define themselves. We get to know them for what they do and say not because of shimmering eyes or perfect hair.
The novel does follow a few cliches associated with con jobs, which includes trying to misdirect the audience to give an exciting pay-off. While this might work on TV it made the end of the novel confusing and a caused a few plot holes to stick out.
The novel does go a bit dark and there were a few nightmare fueledmoments, but you can usually catch them in time to glance over it.
I really liked the audiobook for this, it’s a short one with only 6 discs, but Jesse Eisenberg gives a great performance. I would definitely recommend it for someone who wants to get into audio books.
If you are a fan of heist dramedys like Leverage, Ocean’s Thirteen or The Italian job I think you will enjoy this book. I also found this book to be very similar to All These Things I’ve Done with the mention of crime families, alternate history and family drama.
For all you Holly Black fans, is there some inside joke about coffee in Holly Black novels ? Because she mentions coffee in atleast every chapter and there is a picture of coffee on her website? Anyone?
Curse Workers 2, Red Glove is out now, but this story could certainly stand on its own.