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’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, 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.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts 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, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
- Jesse Eisenberg is a fantastic narrator, but I couldn’t help but be constantly reminded of The Social Network and Mark Zuckerberg. I think Eisenberg has such a memorable voice that it’s hard to disconnect him from his role as Zuckerberg.
- I loved the main character, Cassel Sharp. Cassel has so many flaws that make him so easy to like. He’s had such a rough childhood. He always ostracizes himself and has set up so many defense mechanisms to protect himself. I love his sarcastic humor, and I love that I get to read from his perspective!
- The world-building is fantastic. I’ve never read anything like the world of curse workers before.
Final Verdict: I enjoyed this audiobook immensely and I will definitely continue reading the series. As much as I would love to continue on audio, my library does not have it available for the Mac. I’ll have to pick up a physical copy.
About the Author
Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and the forthcoming Black Heart). She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.
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