Monday, September 13, 2010

WHITE CAT: THE CURSE WORKERS Book One by Holly Black

WHITE CAT is one of those books that I had heard so many good things about from so many authors that I like, that I was expecting to really like it, but it wasn't quite what I expected.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it, I was left feeling a little confused by it in the end. Ultimately, I would probably read the next one in the series because I started to care about the main characters and I'm curious what will happen to them next. 


I think there are a few reasons for my confusion in the beginning.
     First, I'm not sure if I really liked the flow of the writing - there is quite a bit of jumping back and forth and skipping to the next scene that is done with just a break in the text, which was throwing me off a little bit as I read and would have to look back and see where I was at in the story. 
     Second, I felt kind of lost for most of the first half of the book. I couldn't quite get a handle on this world of the curse workers and what it really was or how it really worked. I guess I felt like I really needed a more explicit or longer explanation of what was going on earlier in the book.  
     Third, I sort of liked Cassel, the main character, but I'm not sure if I felt the urgency to find out what was going to happen in the story.  I liked that he was a male main character who was intelligent and had a wry sense of humor, but I wasn't totally engaged with wanting to know what was going to happen to him in the beginning.
     Fourth, honestly, it was a little slow for me. It took until at least 100 pages in until I felt like something was happening that I understood and then another 40 pages before I figured out the real conflict, then 40 pages later it really started to get interesting.


So, that's how I felt for the first half of the book. Then I started to get more into the story as Cassel figured out more of what was going on, found out what he'd done in the past, figured out what the big con was, and then worked his own counter-con. Now this was what I was looking for in this book and the kind of book I like. The secondary characters started to get more interesting as they got tangled up in Cassel's big con, which made me want to read more also. 


The thing is, it's not a bad book by any means, it just took awhile for me to get into it.  However, since Cassel himself is in the dark for most of the book and confused about what's going on, it is very possible I was supposed to feel a little foggy about what was happening to make me feel like I was in his shoes. If you like realistic-fantasy books, this is a good one and I really liked that it had a male main character who was likeable and interesting. I'd probably read the next one in the series just to see what comes next for these characters because by the end of the book, once I figured out what was going on, I really liked them. 


3 1/2 STARS for WHITE CAT: The Curse Workers Book One

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