Source: Purchased for Kindle.
Genre: YA urban fantasy.
Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.
But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen. (Goodreads)
I really, really enjoyed White Cat! I already included it in two lists this week (Top Ten Tuesday and Tough Travels) so I thought it would be cool to review it soon. I keep typing the title as Black Cat because of the author’s name – so confusing!
Cassel is the youngest kid in a family of really shady magic workers. His grandfather was an enforcer for the Zacharov crime family (they’re one of the big worker clans in the US), his father is dead, his mother is currently in jail for embezzling millionaires and his two elder brothers run in the same illegal circles. Cassel is the only non-worker in the family. This is enough to set him apart – but not enough to make him fit in at his school, where most of the kids have no magic.
We meet Cassel as he wakes up from sleepwalking on the roof of his dorm – an incident followed by his suspension from school, which means he has to return home for a while. He starts cleaning his abnormally dirty family home with his grandfather and adopts a white cat that looks somewhat familliar…
And that’s ALL I CAN SAY, people!
About the plot, anyway. I saw several reviews on Goodreads saying that people thought this story was predictable and that they called all the plot twists before they happened. Maybe I’m still slightly brain-dead or else I’m useless at predicting things (though I usually know “who did it” when I’m watching murder mysteries on TV! :D) but I was pretty shocked by some of the happenings! And I liked them a lot!
I think the magic system was pretty cool, too. There are seven (I think) types of workers – those who can influence death, emotion, luck, memory… some things that elude me… and there’s the rarest kind, the transformation workers. There’s also blowback, which is essentially the cost of magic (Cassel’s grandfather, for example, is a death worker and he’s lost several fingers as a result of killing people). I like it when magic has consequences for those who use it, it seems more fair.
Cassel Sharpe was a great character, he’s emotionally vulnerable and basically just wants someone to hug him and love him unconditionally, something that’s been missing from his life. I would cheerfully MURDER most of his family if I had a chance! Selfish asshats. His grandpa’s ok, though. Cassel is a great conman, he runs a betting ring at his school and he’s always looking for angles to take advantage of the situation – this is something he learned from his family and the only way he could cope with being the only non-magical member of the family.
All in all, White Cat was awesome. I wonder what will happen next, the ending was very interesting and had me shaking my head in disbelief. Ugh!
Have you read White Cat? How about the rest of the series?
Do you prefer your magic with a cost or do you like huge explosions and awesome skills with no consequences?
I’d love to hear from you! :)