📚 White Cat by Holly Black

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Curse Workers #1

Description⎮Reviewed Mar. 2017

Narrators: Jesse Eisenberg
Length: 6h 41m
Publisher: Listening Library⎮2010

4.75★ Audiobook I’ve had my eye on White Cat since discovering my love of Holly Black’s writing while listening to The Darkest Part of the Forest. I had my mind set on saving it for October, because it gave me strong Halloween vibes. But I’ve been going through a bit a listening slump recently and that means all hands [books] on deck. Desperate times and all that…

White Cat  did not disappoint! I can’t understand why I haven’t heard more about it in the book community. I realize that it was published seven years ago, so I may have missed the hype, but this kind of awesomeness should withstand the test of time.

I can’t express to you how elated I am to have discovered this series at the peak of my listening drought. Everything about White Cat  is just so on point. But what else would be expected from Holly Black? For starters, the blending of inspirations behind White Cat  is genius. Magical mobsters, need I say more? I love reading great family development and the Sharpe family gave off this Scoundrels vibe that I adored, especially Mama Sharpe.

There was also this infusion of a Russian mafia-esque crime ring that was fortified with a legislative backstory and political inner workings. Curse working is illegal in this world, giving rise to the criminal underbelly of society to which the main character’s family belongs. Black superbly developed the concept of curse working, complete with the various types and “blowbacks” each gives off.

White Cat  was both informative, as a debut installment, and enthralling, with great action. The world-building was phenomenal and I can only see it getting better from here. But the character development takes the cake. Cassel (the protagonist) is a self-proclaimed “big-mouth” and often gets in trouble for it with his older brothers. He was endearing and relatable. Even the side characters were distinctive and well-developed. They were flawed enough to make them realistic, even in a paranormally fictional setting.

My discovery of this series has solidified Holly Black’s standing as one of my newest favorite authors. I’m bumping the rest of her work up several notches in my TBR pile and I recommend that you do the same, beginning with White Cat. 

Narration review: Jesse Eisenberg’s narration has really surprised me. He has a very versatile voice, making him able to sound young enough to pass as a high schooler, but mature enough to lend credibility to the high stakes storyline. Speaking from listening experience, that is a really hard balance to strike. I get the feeling that Jesse could adapt his voice to fit multiple age ranges. Even though the character voices could have been a little more distinct, I still had no trouble distinguishing them from one another, probably because I was listening so intently. It’s just that kind of story. I 100% recommend listening to this series on audiobook. ♣︎

$ Available at Audiobooks.comAudible/Amazon, and The Book Depository (paperback)

Let me know what you think!