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'e all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.
©2010 Holly Black (P)2010 Random House
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
With White Cat, Holly Black's created a world where magic (or "working") was outlawed during prohibition. So, naturally today - business is booming for the mafia and their curse workers. Cassel's a teenage kid who doesn't fit in at the rich preppy boarding school he's been forced to attend, and he doesn't quite fit in with his family of con artists - most of who work for the mob. He doesn't have the working talents his brothers do, but he knows cons. When he finds himself about to take a walk off a rooftop in his sleep, he starts to think someone's playing him.
Black's YA books have a dark, gritty feel to them, and this one's no different. But at the same time, it's incredible fun listening as her story's long cons play out and are eventually revealed.
Jesse Eisenberg does a great job reading this - his performance is practiced nonchalance and low-key, so much so that you can't help wondering if he's just playing the odds and misdirecting your attention, making the magic feel all the more real and surprising.
Highly recommended if you like magic, gangsters, and con-artists.
This book held my attention for its outstanding narration, light and interesting character and fun plot. I am more of a light book fan as I often multi-task while listening and this book was perfect for me.
The reader was outstanding, I enjoyed listening to Jesse Eisenberg read this to me.
The story itself was fun to listen to, it had some elements to figure out, an interesting plot and fun characters. But it was a slightly strange mix of a young character in a fun light story that turns into a killer in a somewhat mobbish violent story. Regardless, I enjoyed it and will get the next book.
A simple girl that likes fantasy, mystery, and horror. She loves Doctor Who and The Southern Vampire series. A very open minded individual who can step past the boundaries of her favorites into new, unfamiliar waters. Also, she's willing to give any well-written book a chance. :)
I read this book and adored everything about it. The world, it's settings, it's characters, and it's mystery. I had been very pleased to see it on Audible after reading it. I had been further enthused when I saw Jesse Eisenberg would read it, even though he was an unexpected reader. He's an actor and I felt like he would definitely narrate very well.
I bought it and I could barely get through it. I admit, that sometimes some things are better read than said. This is one of those instances. Eisenberg's voice is not the kind you would expect to narrate, which is why I was so surprised. But I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt.
Jesse doesn't have a good range of voices or inflection. Everything is spoken clearly, but nearly emotion-less. The males characters are somewhat indistinguishable from each other. The females aren't squeaky and Jesse handles them ok, but the lack of depth of his voice makes everything run together. It becomes boring. Very boring.
The moments where gets it right are few and far in between. I think the very end of the book is when I actually feel anything concerning the characters. Hopefully, if he reads the next installment, he gets better.
You should definitely read this book instead of listening and if you're curious, preview it before buying.
EOD wife and loving mother!!!
I enjoyed the performance, but not the book. It just wasn't my style, I guess.
I tried reading this book when I got it from the library but I just put it down and did not pick it up again until it was time to return it.
However, I needed to read it for a challenge on Goodreads so I got the audible version to listen to during my commute.
Not that this was a bad story by any means but for me, the narrator seriously made all the difference in the world. Our main character, and his family, were severely flawed but the portrayal in the audio version made him likeable and human. It made me root for (and feel for) him. So much so, that at one point I really wanted to beat up a fictional character on his behalf.
Yes, I enjoyed the story and the characters enough to have fun listening to it again. I will probably listen to it again (as well as the second book) right before the third book is released to not get lost in the story.
Predictably, the main character Cassel. I found him to be the most relatable and amusing character, the other main ones I didn't seem to be able to connect with so much until the second book in the series. Cassel is smart, funny and charming but still obviously flawed and somewhat tortured and mysterious so he makes for a realistic and interesting read.
I'm very familiar with his work acting in movies but I had never heard his performance reading and audiobook before this one. I think he did a very good job.
In some parts of the book (particularly the ending) yes, I wanted to read the whole thing in one sitting, but in others the pace slows down and I was perfectly capable to put it down and read some more latter.
I'm looking forward to the sequels.
No I haven't but I look forward to them.
If you going to pretent your a worker your going to pretent your the most powerful etc. I don't remember it word for word.
This is great I've been looking for my next series and this is it. Hit the spot. It's quick but addicting.
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