White Cat (The Curse Workers, Book 1) Review
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To most people, Cassel Sharpe is just a normal high school kid—but it’s his normalness that makes him such an oddity in his own family. Cassel is the only one in his family who isn’t a curse worker. Everyone else has the ability to control people—their emotions, their luck, their memories—with just a touch of their hand.

Since curse work has been outlawed, most workers have found their way into organized crime—including Cassel’s older brothers. But while Cassel’s brothers are extremely loyal to their boss, they’re keeping an important secret from him: their little brother killed his only daughter, Lila. Cassel’s memory of that day is fuzzy—and he still has no idea why he did it, since she was his best friend. But if Zacharov ever finds out, it’ll put Cassel’s whole family in danger.

Now, Cassel’s started having nightmares. After they almost get him killed, he’s suspended from his boarding school and forced to return home to his family. They seem to be keeping something from him—and Cassel intends to find out what it is.

Although White Cat is the first book in the Curse Workers series, it actually feels more like the second or third book in the series. It seems to open under the assumption that readers already know what’s going on—that they already know who Cassel is, that they understand this parallel universe that he lives in, that they know his family’s history. It’s a bit disorienting at first, as you try to catch up with the story—and you might feel as if you’ve been dropped down in the middle of something.

At the same time, though, it still takes a while for the story to build. After the book’s tense opening pages, Cassel spends quite a bit of time wandering around at school before slowly settling back into his bizarre family home. On one hand, the slow build allows you time to get caught up—to get to know the characters and their history a bit more—but, on the other hand, it also makes the story start to drag.

Then, just when you’ll start to wonder if anything of importance is going to happen—or if this book is designed merely to set the stage for the rest of the series—the pieces start coming together. Cassel makes some chilling discoveries—and he realizes that things aren’t as he always thought they were. Once he starts figuring out his family’s secrets, the pace picks up. Suddenly, the story goes from slow-but-intriguing to hold-your-breath-suspenseful—and those last few thrilling chapters make up for the story’s sluggish start.

So it may take a while to warm up, but White Cat eventually turns into a thrilling introduction to what promises to be a gripping young adult series. It’s a worthwhile pick for readers who’ve grown up with Harry Potter and are ready to move on to a chilling (and more grown-up) adventure.

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