White Cat : Curse Workers

  • by Holly Black
  • Narrated by Jesse Eisenberg
  • Series: Curse Workers
  • 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they'e all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Spellbinding narration of an intriguing story

This an intriguing story about magic, workers, family, the con, hiding who you are, school, friendship, loyalty, crime and growing up. It's a young adult/adult story, which is both a compelling crime story, and sometime mystery, and a compelling fantasy set in an alternative contemporary USA. The main difference is magic - in the form of cursework - exists, and was banned at the same time as alcohol; only the alcohol ban has been lifted, but that on magic hasn't, so curseworkers work for the mob. People are born with working abilities or they are not. Every working has an effect on the person being worked, and the worker.

The story opens in a dramatic way, with the protagonist up on his dorm roof with no idea how he got there, or how to get down. The school calls the fire brigade, who get him down, and the head suspends Cassel on medical leave until he can assure the school lawyers he won't sleepwalk again like this. Cassel is collected by his brother Philip, and first stays with him, then his grandfather. His family is acting strangely - more so than usual, or at least more than can usually be attributed to the behaviour of the workers in the family to the one non-worker in it. Cassel's main interest is getting back into school, but in the process he investigates his family and the mysteries that surround him. There are plenty of twists, turns and surprises.

The narrator is Jesse Eisenberger, who does a spellbinding, convincing and compelling job of bringing this book, its characters and world to life. I've started to read a print copy of this novel, and it's quite a different experience. The audio version is excellent, and the opening and closing music is just right to transport this listener in and out of this book's world, and not at all jarring. It strikes the right mystery, magic and noir notes. All in all, this book is well worth a listen.
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- Hope

Good start, once you understand what's going on...

This is a rather intriguing book, which does take a little getting used to. I did feel as if the world-building could have been a little better, and certain better explained, but after a while it does all seem natural, and I found myself pulled into the story.

In this fantasy world, some people are 'workers', which means they can affect people simply by touching them. It's not clear who is and who isn't, and therefore gloves are mandatory wear for everyone.

Cassel is the only one in his family who doesn't have this ability, but he has learnt how to con people if needed. He also attends a normal school, where he tries to act 'normal', not letting anyone know about his family, or his ability to con.

The story developed well from here, and I was pulled in enough by the end to buy the 2nd book :)
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- Michelle Moore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-05-2010
  • Publisher: Listening Library