White Cat (Curse Workers #1) – Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) – Holly BlackTitle: White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
Publishing Info: May 4, 2010 by Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 17, 2014
Related Posts: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Red Glove (Curse Workers #2), Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)

    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.


Abilities. Cons. Male POV. Cats. Okay, well one cat. This book immediately had me hooked. WHITE CAT was my kind of book. I actually didn’t start it until I was looking for a new audiobook and saw that Jesse Eisenberg was the narrator — I just love him so I was really excited to find an audiobook that he narrated, and one that I really wanted to read, no less!

This book just worked for me on all levels. I loved the characters, I loved the feel, I loved the plot, I loved the twists. I really enjoyed the urban-fantasy feel, which isn’t always a genre that works for me. I loved how it was the world as we knew it, except with the large factor of Curse Workers — people with specific powers who can perform specific abilities — and they’re everywhere. Not every family has a Curse Worker, but they’re commonplace enough that the general population wears gloves at all times to prevent unwanted curses since the strongest curse can be performed with a simple touch. It just so happens that Cassel comes from a whole family of Curse Workers and somehow he’s the only one who doesn’t have any powers… Although he does have the memory of murdering his best friend Lila three years ago… So there’s that.

I just clicked with Cassel’s character. He’s not quite a loner but he doesn’t really do so well with friends. His mom was a Curse Worker (emotions) and a con artist so Cassel happened to take after his mom with his ability to con since he had no supernatural abilities to fall back on — and you know I love a good con artist. I like that Cassel really kept to himself but he did still have his roommate who he considered kind of a friend and over the course of the book, he begins to open up to others just a little bit more. He’s always there for his family — even when he doesn’t want to be — and he’s got a great sharp tongue that always kept the dialogue light and fun.

The book also had some great twists. Some were mildly predictable. Others not so much. No matter where the plot was going, it was always moving and I was always interested. I was fascinated by the family dynamic and how that dynamic really revolved around the family members’ abilities and the way that they used them. All of the characters were just really great and I felt like I really got to know the family.


I read this book on audio specifically because I found out Jesse Eisenberg narrated and I just love him. He did a really great job with the narration, but sometimes I just have small issues (with any narrator really) when I think that that’s not how the character would really say something — but I can’t complain, really, when I give up the narrating to someone else! His voice and performance is exactly what you’d expect from Jesse and he was a great person to narrate Cassel’s POV because I can totally see them as the same personality — wickedly smart, sly, and not always fond of others. He wasn’t always the most dynamic voice to listen to but I enjoyed it all the same!


“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Cassel // Character Obsessions: Cons, odds, Lila, dreams. 
I loved Cassel. I’m always a sucker for a good male POV and Cassel was the perfect character for me to connect with. He was smart, clever, and well-spoken. He didn’t always have a lot of friends but the ones he did make, he found out that he was strangely loyal to them. Probably because his family was always very loyal to each other and yet there was still a volatile family dynamic as well. Very excellent.


Kept Me Hooked On: Urban fantasy. If you just said “urban fantasy” and pointed a book at me, chances are I’d turn you down… But WHITE CAT wasn’t the stereotypical urban fantasy like I picture it. It was really just a world almost identical to our own except for these powers that just exist and are commonplace. It was very cool and I loved that it just fit so well, without question.
Left Me Wanting More: Secondary character development. I totally connected with Cassel but I would have liked to know a bit more about his family and his friends. We do get some development from the secondary characters but I think I just wanted to inhale the story and really feel like I was a part of it. I just wanted to know them a bit more, but it really was fantastic.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I really, really enjoyed WHITE CAT. I honestly can’t wait to keep reading this series. It feels like just the series I would enjoy and I hope the rest of it goes well too!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE WHITE CAT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

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Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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9 thoughts on “White Cat (Curse Workers #1) – Holly Black

  1. Kritika

    I listened to the audio of this as well, and I really enjoyed the story. It was so unique and fast-paced, and I really liked how much it focused on Cassel’s complicated family.
    sidenote: I like how you included the old cover instead of the redesigns – the old ones capture the mood of the story so well!

  2. Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Brittany! I was also a huge fan, and I loved Cassel and the whole concept of Curse Workers and the gloves and all of it! I just have the last one to read still, and I don’t know what’s keeping me, but I loved Red Glove and I hope you do too! Great review! 😀

  3. Stormy

    Okay, your review makes me more excited for the book! I have a personalized & signed copy of this one & got to meet Holly Black(which was great!), but I didn’t actually *know* that much about the book, so it hasn’t been calling to me. I think part of it is the urban fantasy designation too–I mean I LOVE a good fantasy but there’s something about the genre of urban fantasy that general makes me think it’s not for me–but perhaps I haven’t given it a good chance. I know Holly Black is really well-liked and now that I think I actually understand what this book is about, I am so looking forward to reading it!

  4. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I really liked the audiobook of White Cat, too. I do think Jesse Eisenberg made the whole experience even more enjoyable. I definitely need to listen to the other two in the series, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Didn’t Cassel’s brothers piss you off so much!?

  5. Vyki @ On The Shelf

    I also really enjoyed this whole series! White Cat is also a book I normally wouldn’t have gone for, but I decided to give it a try anyway and I also read it on audio. I really liked the performance of the audio from Jesse Eisenberg and I agree that his and Cassel’s personalities are very alike. I hope you like the rest of the books in this series as well.

  6. Amanda @ Book Badger

    Yay! I read this whole series in around 3 weeks and loved all three of the books. I have to say, for me, the first half seemed a little dry when I read it, but that could just be me, probably is! I’m really really happy you enjoyed this, ironic timing, as my Red Glove review is up today, what are the chances?! Wonderful review hunny, get into the rest of the series pronto!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Haha, how perfect!! I’m excited to read more of this series! I think I’ll use my Audible credit for Red Glove! 🙂

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