White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel is from a family of Curse Workers -- people with supernatural abilities to influence others with a touch of their hands. Some can change others' emotions, luck, and dreams -- others can modify memories or even kill.
se of their dangerous abilities, Curse Workers are feared and considered outlaws. Thing is, though, Cassel is the only one in his family who isn't a Curse Worker. He's always felt like an outsider and been torn between trying to lead a somewhat "normal" life and wanting to be like the rest of his family. He's also haunted by a horrifying event in his life -- the fact that he killed his best friend, Lila, but doesn't understand why and cannot remember the details of the event.
When Cassel has a disturbing dream about a white cat and wa
kes up sleepwalking, a chain of events follow which cause Cassel to question whether or not Lila is really dead and search for the truth about what really happened that day.
It's difficult to find any paranormal teen fiction that isn't about stunning vampires fighting over werewolf boyfriends or zombies competing for popularity at the local high school these days -- all plots that are too close to chicklit for my taste -- and probably plots that wouldn't interest most teen guys.
I did find this story pretty intriguing though. The plot moves quite well, and certainly has a darker, more serious mood, without the superficial high school drama or brand name dropping you sometimes find in other YA novels. The idea of Curse Workers kind of reminds me of the mafia and mobsters of the early 1900s, and the book has some good action and seedy characters.

The problem is though, that the covers published in the US (especially the second and third books with p
hotos of a female looking vacantly into space), might put off some guy readers.

I'm not sure if the cov
ers published in the UK are that much bit better --the dripping red glove is kind of cool but the White Cat cover looks a bit drab.

I've only
read the first in the Curse Workers series and reviews of the second and third books makes me fear that the story might morph into more of a romance... which would be a shame as this series really does have a good premise.
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  1. Steven said...:

    These covers are awful. The British ones are much better. They actually remind me of Tom Holt covers, and are far far more appealing. They should never put photographs of people on books.

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