I am extremely conflicted about White Cat. On one hand, I’m in love with the uniqueness and set-up of the plot. On the other, this is a really upsetting book, and while I’d like to hope that the series has a good end (not necessarily happy, just good), I’m not sure I’m willing to make the emotional investment in reaching the good part. Right now this is a book where things go from bad to worse, which isn’t usually my type of thing.
Basically, White Cat is about how Cassel Sharpe learns his entire life is a lie. And that’s actually a good plot. But the thing is, usually there’s a sense of redemption at the end, a moment where the main character comes to terms with the lies they’ve been told and moves on. That doesn’t happy in White Cat, and the final scene left a bitter aftertaste.
Yet this book has several good qualities, and the biggest is Black’s setting/world-building. In White Cat, a group of magically gifted people, “curse workers” have been made illegal in the US, so now magic has become a sort of organized crime operation. In my opinion, that’s really awesome, and definitely unique.
Black’s prose in White Cat was good, but not anything special. I think it got the job done and accurately portrayed the male perspective, but it wasn’t the sort I tend to get excited about.
Verdict: I’m not going to discount this series. White Cat is undeniably a good book, though the story isn’t something I’m very fond of. Holly Black did a very nice job in writing this, and I’m mildly interested to see what happens next. I think, though, that I’ll have to wallow in comfort reads for a while before I tackle Curse Workers again.