Saturday, June 04, 2011

Book 5: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Another totally awesome book! Or perhaps, just because I don't read YA that often anymore, everything seems fresh and wonderful to me? And everyone else is going, oh not that same old tired story again.

Not that it's completely original. The plot is reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones: an alternate universe very much like ours except for the existance of magic (feared and known as curse work,) with a protagnoist who's the one person in his family who isn't a curse "worker." In this world, laws against workers create organized crime, with curses as a metaphor for drugs, prostitution and so on. (Runaway workers kicked out by their families are preyed on the underworld; liberals are fighting against laws forcing people to take a test to reveal whether they're workers.)

I thought the world building was delightfully clever, with so many aspects of society and history shaped by curse work. Australia, for example, has no laws against curse working "because it was founded by curse workers [...] who'd been sent to a penal colony."

The narrator is seventeen-year-old Cassel, the non-worker from a family of workers, criminals and grifters. Cassel has conned his way into a prep school, where he desperately tries to pass for normal. (Not so desperately that he doesn't make book for all the other students, however.) But the painful secrets of his past and his family are about to catch up with him, in a big way.

Lies, betrayal, and a narrator constantly fighting his own nature make for a gut-wrenching read. I can't wait for the sequel. * (14 & up)

310 pages

Reading: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Blogging: 2 minutes
Networking: 12 minutes

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Anonymous Beth bligged...

I thought the sequel was out? Or just in ARCs? I really want to read this one.

6/04/2011 5:18 PM  
Blogger web bligged...

It is, I meant for to get it from the library.

6/04/2011 6:31 PM  
Blogger Lady S. bligged...

Both of the people I know who've read this and a lot of YA really liked it a lot, so I don't think it's just that you're not reading YA now! I nearly bailed on my last Challenge book and substituted this, which I've been meaning to read for ages. I'm glad I didn't, but will read this and the sequel very soon now.

6/05/2011 11:10 AM  

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