Title: White Car
Author: Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Publication date: 01 Apr 2011
Format: Paperback | 336 pages
Genre: YA | Paranormal
No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker. And now he is being haunted by a white cat…
Cassel's family are magic workers. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. His grand-dad is a black-fingered death-dealer, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic. But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrifying and that's the truth.
Cassel is the sole member of a family of magic workers without any magic. People with the ability to give good luck, dreams and change emotions as they see fit with just a slight of hand. Of course, not all workers use their magic to do good, in fact, most are criminals, some with the power to kill with a single touch or transform a person into an inanimate object. Cassel finds himself struggling to fit in with his family when he has always been an outsider and treated as such.
I had no idea what to expect from this book. I'd heard good things, so I bought it. Aside from that, I knew nothing - no reviews were read, I didn't ask anybody about it, I just bought it. Turns out I really loved it.
More than anything, I loved Cassel's point of view. I thought he was a brilliant character, full of depth, witty, charming one minute and devious the next - he was a really well rounded character that I kept learning about throughout the read. He had enough personality to keep me interested to the end of the book.
I've never picked up on this in any other books, but I noticed the dialogue in this novel was incredible. I mean it in the simplest sense. I found myself really enjoying whenever Cassel was having a normal, day to day conversation with someone from his family or school. Nothing involving magic or assassination plots, just everyday stuff. It's a testament to how much I like Cassel's character but I loved how Holly could make dialogue seem so natural, enough so that I could imagine myself speaking in that way to my own family. Until I started talking about death workers and losing my memory of course…
This was the first book by Holly Black that I've read but it's certainly not going to be the last. I've already started on the sequel to this book - Red Glove. If anything the plot and world building made me ever the more eager to get on with the next one, just to get a bit more of the suspense and the awesome way Cassel can pretend to be someone he's not to cultivate a con. This book was exciting. I got nervous when Cassel and his friends tried to pull off something a little complicated. I worried that plans would fall through. I was surprised when Cassel showed a hint of genius when he suddenly announced he had a failsafe ready anyway. It made my heart race in the way only a good writer can - by immersing me in the story completely.
All in all I really enjoyed this one and fully recommend it to anybody who reads YA. And even those who don't!
My rating: 10/10
- White Cat
- Red Glove
- Black Heart