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White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) Hardcover – May 4 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (May 4 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416963960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416963967
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #305,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darlene TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2013
Format: Audio CD
This book has won a number of literary awards, including:
Kirkus Reviews Best Books List for Teens (2010), ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2011 List, ALA Amazing Audiobooks List, and Andre Norton 2010 Award Nominee for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Black has created an alternate reality where people called "curse workers" exist. A curse worker is someone who has the ability to make things happen by touch with a bare hand. Some workers can manipulate emotions, while others can transfigure objects and even cause death. A worker will experience something called "blowback" after using their skills, which is a reaction that affects the worker. For example, a memory worker's own memories might become compromised. Curse work has been banned, and everyone wears gloves. Some people are not even aware that they have the ability to do curse work. Because of the nature of their abilities, curse workers are often employed by the mob.

At the beginning of the book, we are introduced to a 17 year-old boy named Cassel Sharpe. He attends Wallingford Preparatory School in New Jersey. He has had a dream of a white cat and awakens to discover that he is on the roof of the school. Students and teachers assume that he is contemplating suicide, and he tries to explain that he must have been sleepwalking. The headmaster bans him from the dormitory and, to protect the school from a liability, insists that Cassel provide a clean bill of health from a doctor before he is permitted to return to the dorms. Cassel has to return to his childhood home, which has been vacant a long time since his mother is in prison. His grandfather stays there with them.

Cassel is the only member of the family who is not a curse worker, so he feels a bit like the odd man out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cozy Evenings with a Book TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 7 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've read the Tithe trilogy and that was interesting. Actually, after i finished reading each of the Tithe books, i was blown away. But this book was okay. It wasn't that of an original concept - of course it was a new idea but i thought the concepts weren't explored enough, there wasn't enough background, enough history. I always enjoy when an author goes deep into the new idea - where it came from and all that. But here, information was given once in a while and when i was done reading, i was relieved i finished and could move on. I felt sorry for the main character, not going to say why since this will spoil it for you. I'm not sure i will read the next one, if one is to come out.

I think after the Tithe trilogy i was expecting something similar - something very original but i didnt find it here.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Cover:
I liked the old cover, but I do like this one better. It's really neat how the whole illustration is drawn from a bunch of circles. I like how this one had the female lead, the second one has the main character, and the last one has both of them.

Writing:
(3/5) The book is really easy and smooth to read through, which is probably why I read it so easily and in one sitting. The only thing I didn't like was that the author would sometimes add a reference to something gross or random swearing to make the book, I don't know, more "gritty". It was plain pointless and could have been done without.

Setting:
(4.5/5) The book is set in alternate world where there are people called Curse Workers. About 0.001% of people are Curse Workers. By touching people they can take or give luck, memories, emotions, etc. Everyone in this world wears gloves as a precaution to that. There's a lot of hate towards Curse Workers for what they can do.

With the Curse Workers and the Mafia, the book had this really dark and sombre feel, but it was very light which I really liked.

The only problem was that I felt an alternate world where there are Curse Workers and everybody wears gloves was slightly, lame? Funny? Basically, the setting was really fun and I liked the tone, but I don't think much thought was really put into it.

Plot:
(4/5) I read the whole book in one sitting. It was easily one the funnest books I've read. It was light and a really fun read and very easy to get through. The only problem was that I basically guessed all the plot points very early on. Despite knowing most, if not all the plot points, the book was still surprisingly very enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
Curse workers -- they can change luck, emotions, dreams and even more just by touching your skin. And since curse work is illegal, they work as con artists or part of mob families.

Having sparked off the teen-girl-encounters-faerie-world craze, Holly Black easily slips into a very different kind of urban fantasy in "White Cat," the first book in the Curse Workers series. The idea is a pretty simple one, but Black twists and knots it into an elaborate, many-shaded fantasy story, with plenty of blood, mystery and magic.

Years ago, Cassel Sharpe killed his best friend Lila -- he doesn't know why or what happened, but he knows he did. And after Cassel sleepwalks onto a roof (and into Youtube fame), he ends up suspended from his school and back in the junk-filled family mansion. As he waits to get back in, he encounters a white stray cat hanging around the barn -- the same cat that has been in his dreams recently.

Other strange clues begin to crop up: a memory charm, strange behavior from his sister-in-law, and the gaps in his own memory. Little by little, Cassel begins to realize that the cat is Lila -- someone with the rarest kind of power has transformed her into a cat, and to change her back he'll have to find out who it is. But as he tries to figure out who transformed Lila and why, he discovers the secrets that have been painstakingly removed from his own head -- and the elaborate, deadly scheme that he's being forced into.

It's pretty obvious from the beginning of "White Cat" that there is more going on than meets the eye, and Holly Black spends most of the book delicately unwinding the various tangled schemes and secrets.
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