Narrator: Jesse Eisenberg
Series: Curse Workers,
Also in this series: Red Glove, Black Heart
Published by Listening Library on 11 May 2010
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 6 hours 41 minutes
Also by this author: Red Glove, Black Heart
Place(s): Traveled To: Princeton, New Jersey // Trenton, New Jersey // Atlantic City, New Jersey // Carney, New Jersey
First Line(s): I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles. Looking dizzily down. I suck in a breath of icy air.
White Cat by Holly Black is a book that two of my friends had been bullying me to read. These were the same friends who bullied me to read Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon series (which is super fabulous and you should read it if you haven’t.) As time can be short I downloaded the audio and I have to say that I fell in love with Jesse Eisenberg’s narration. He is the perfect voice for Cassel Sharpe and with bringing the prose of Black’s words to life. Black has a real gift with language and telling a story and when you read the written word sometimes that beauty can be lost. But when you listen to a story you are forced to slow down and pay attention and White Cat is worth taking that time on.
With the first novel in a series, especially an urban fantasy, there is a lot of world building and background to be given out. Black does a good job in weaving in the history of the world and with the magic of being a curse worker without bogging down the story. Much of White Cat is in dealing with a basic mystery, just what did Cassel do three years prior and why are his nightmares so different than his waking memories. As Cassel investigates, using the various skills he’s learned growing up from his con artist family he uncovers a nest of secrets and lies and what he uncovers isn’t what he expects.
White Cat starts off a little slow but by the end of the story you are on the end of your seat. Cassel’s struggles with his desire to be normal when his family is anything but will resonate with many readers as we all struggle with something. The magic of this world, the curses that some people are affected with are fascinating. As is the stigma that goes along with them. Its a world that the reader can clearly see existing and its easy to see how it came about. How those with curses are almost shunned and so they have little choice but to work for mob families.
Cassel’s narration of the story is filled with much wit and sarcasm but its also filled with intelligence. Cassel is a force to be reckoned with especially as he’s often underestimated by those around him as he’s the only one in a family of curse workers without a curse of his own. Its fun to watch as Cassel manipulates those around him into doing what he wants. Although he does have a bad habit of not knowing when not to lie and manipulate. Cassel with lie to anyone and its hard for him to trust people, even those that he calls a friend. He’s grown up in a family of liars so it can be hard for him to know the boundaries so White Cat is not just a mystery its also Cassel’s personal journey of learning to trust people are him.
White Cat was a fabulous read and I when I finished it I immediately downloaded the audios for Red Glove and Black Heart. The Curse Workers series is one of intrigue and was a fascinating audio to listen to. I love this world and all of its characters all of who are flawed in one way or another. I enjoyed Black’s story and writing and this is a book that I know I’ll be recommending to others. I’m glad that I was bullied into reading it. So if you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?