Wednesday, 7 July 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: White Cat - Holly Black


Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker. Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic. But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrfying and that's the truth. The White Cat is a stunning novel of a world changed by magic. In this world only 1% of the population can work magic but they have the power of nightmares.


It’s been a while since I had the pleasure of a brand new Holly Black in my hands. So when this offering from Gollancz landed I really had to jump at the chance. That said, knowing how much pleasure I get from a Holly Black, I really wanted to make it last and so forced myself to read a few titles prior to starting this, almost using it as a reward for all the hard work.

With Holly, what you get is some cracking Urban Fantasy, and whilst she’s more well known for Spiderwick and her Fae titles, this first adult offering, is a book that will be enjoyed just as much by fans of her previous offerings (I’d say to allow this title as a bridging gap from about 12+) as well as the adult market to which this one is aimed.

Beautifully written with some interesting turns, her new world of exploration is definitely one that will endear her to a whole new set of readers with her spartanesque descriptiveness, her realistic dialogue (given the situation that the characters find themselves in) and her touch of whimsy. A great read and one that I’m pleased I eked out for my own pleasure.

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