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White Cat
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The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.

About the Author

Holly Black is the co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles. A New York Times No. 1 bestselling phenomenon, the series has been described as 'vintage Victorian fantasy' and has been made into a hugely sucessful film. The books have been translated into 32 languages. Holly Black lives with her husband in Massachusetts.

Reviews

Gr 9 Up-Cassel, 17, is an anomaly as the only untalented one in a family of curse workers. While his mother, grandfather, and brothers make their living by illegally performing death curses, manipulating memories, and casting emotion charms, Cassel relies on his quick wit and con-artist skills to convince his private-school classmates that he's normal, despite bouts of sleepwalking and patchy memories of standing over a murdered friend named Lila. Nightmares about a white cat that resembles Lila, his family's ties to organized crime, and evidence of a mysterious plot against him threaten to pull Cassel into the world he's fought hard to resist. Black has written a dark coming-of-age tale with a likable hero. Teens will empathize with Cassel's desire to fit in and his occasional clashes with his family while rooting for him to unravel the conspiracy. Though readers will enjoy the fast-paced plot, there are points, particularly in the last few chapters, where the action is confusing and clarity appears sacrificed for expediency. Some secondary characters, such as Cassel's grandfather and friend Sam, are three-dimensional, while others, including his brothers and Lila, are less well realized. Despite these minor flaws, White Cat will appeal to readers who grew up on Holly Black's "Spiderwick Chronicles" (S & S) and are ready for something edgier.-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

In this beautifully realized dark fantasy, which launches Black's Curse Workers series, Cassel Sharpe is a talented con artist who works as a bookie at his snooty prep school. But skilled as Cassel is, it's nothing compared to the rest of his family, who are curse workers, able to control people's memories, luck, or emotions with the touch of a finger (curse work is illegal, and all citizens wear gloves to safeguard against being taken advantage of). Three years ago Cassel murdered a friend, the daughter of a crime lord, and now, not by coincidence, he's having nightmares about a white cat ("It leaned over me, inhaling sharply, as if it was going to suck the breath from my lungs") and sleepwalking on the roof of his dormitory. Complex plots unfold around Cassel, and he eventually realizes that he can't even rely on his own memory. With prose that moves from stark simplicity to almost surreal intensity in a moment, Black (Ironside) has created a believable alternate America where mobsters are magicians and no one is entirely trustworthy. Ages 14-up. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

"Dangerously, darkly gorgeous fantasy." - Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series
* "Fans of the author will revel in the sophisticated and slightly-more-realistic-than-usual approach, . . . fascinating and carefully developed characters, and lush setting descriptions." - "BCCB", starred review
"A noir thriller." - "New York Times Book Review"

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