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1. White Cat (2010)

1. White Cat (2010)

The Curse Workers series by Holly Black.

NEXT Release: White Cat #1, paperback re-release — September 29, 2015.

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Brief Series Description or Overview Edit

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 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 out-con the conmen. ~ Goodreads | White Cat

Lead's Species Edit

  • non-magic curse worker family

Primary Supe Edit

  • Curse workers

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

Books in Series Edit

Curse Workers series:

  1. White Cat (2010)
  2. Red Glove (2011)
  3. Black Heart (2012)

Other Series by Author onsite Edit

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

New Jersey

Places:

  • Wallingford: The boarding school Cassel attends

Princeton New York Atlantic City

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Curse workers, witches, faeries, magic users, 

Glossary: Edit

  • (Curse) Worker: A person with the ability to effect others' luck, life, memory, etc. with just the touch of a hand. Contact must be between bare skin, which is why the citizens within these stories wear gloves everywhere. Anyone who can do curse work. There are seven types:
    • luck, dreams, physical, emotion, memory, death, and transformation
  • a mark: The target of a con, the person you are trying to scam.
  • HBG: abbreviation of Hyperbathygammic (or Heebeegeebies), the long medical term for worker, to save space.
  • Blowback: Side effect of curse working. Different types of working results in different reactions, all negative.

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • HEX: advocacy group that wants to make working legal again—so laws against more serious works can be better enforced.
  • Licensed Minority Division: A federal agency that recruits workers

World Edit

Protagonist Edit

Cassel Sharpe: Born to a family full of Curse Workers, Cassel doesn't fit in. He has no powers, but a dark secret, a murder in his past, the details of which are fuzzy. Things are about to get flipped when he starts dreaming about a white cat.

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Cassel Sharpe has no powers Born to a family full of Curse Workers
Lila Zacharov best friend Cassel killed her when he was fourteen. She was his best friend and he loved her. Cassel's brothers found him standing over her body with blood on his hands.
Anton Zacharov Lila's cousin and Philip's best friend. He is in line to be the Zacharov heir.
Barron Sharpe memory worker Cassel's brother; used to date Lila; works with Anton;
Sam Yu science geek Cassel's roommate at boarding school. He takes over Cassel's "bookkeeping" for twenty-five percent when he has to leave school. He is a horror film enthusiast and hard-core science geek.
Philip Sharpe Cassel's brother Hasn't looked Cassel in the eyes since the night with Lila. He's married to Maura and is Anton's right hand man.
Maura Sharpe Hears music Philip's wife. Hears music when there is none.
Daneca Wasserman Cassel's classmate her family are the co-founders of HEX, an advocacy group that wants to make working legal again.
Grandad death worker Enrolled Cassel into Wallingford; parts of his fingers have shriveled away as blowback from the murders he committed. He lives in Carney where retired workers live.
Mr. Valerio Hall master at Walligford
Audrey Cassel's ex-girlfriend;
Mrs. Wasserman Co-founder of HEX Daneca's mother; as a worker activist she has been on TV and has openly admitted to be a worker herself.
Dr. Churchill sleep specialist
Dean Wharton Dean of the school
Rahul Pathak soccer player Junior-year
Ms. Noyes Teacher at Wallingford
Shandra Sharpe emotion work In jail, convicted due to her crooked emotion work. She's big on family, always pushing the Sharpe brothers to protect each other, even if it takes a bit of "work" on her part.

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Author Edit

Holly Black

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit

Artist: Michael Frost — source: ISFdb: Cover: White Cat

Other Contributors:Edit

  • Audio Book Narrator: — Source:

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Orion Publishing Group
  1. White Cat: Hardcover, 310 pages, Pub: May 4th 2010 by (first published January 1st 2010)—ISBN 1416963960 — (editions)
  2. Red Glove: Hardcover, 325 pages, Pub: April 5th 2011—ISBN 144240339X — (editions)
  3. Black Heart: Hardcover, 296 pages, Pub: April 3rd 2012—ISBN 1442403462 —(editions)

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—White Cat (2010): 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 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 out-con the conmen. ~ Goodreads | White Cat

BOOK TWO—Red Glove (2011): The cons get craftier and the stakes rise ever higher in the riveting sequel to White Cat. After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends. Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive…. ~ Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2) by Holly Black

BOOK THREE—Black Heart (2012): In a world where Magic is illegal. Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked? For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it. The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him? Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all. ~ Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3) by Holly Black

First Sentences Edit

  1. White Cat (2010) — I wake up barefoot, standling on cold slate tiles.
  2. Red Glove (2011) — I don't know whether it's day or night when the girl gets up to leave.
  3. Black Heart (2012) — My brother Barron sits next to me, sucking the last dregs of milk tea slush noisily through a wide yellow straw.

Quotes Edit

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

  1. White Cat (2010) — Nebula (Finalist, 2010: Andre Norton Award); BFYA 2011 list (2011); Andre Norton Award Nominee for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (2010)
  2. Red Glove (2011) — Cybils Award Nominee for Fantasy & Science Fiction (Young Adult) (2011)
  3. Black Heart (2012) — Nebula (Finalist, 2012: Andre Norton Award), Andre Norton Award Nominee (2012)

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

External References Edit

Books:

World, Characters, etc:

Reviews:

Interviews, Guest Posts, Author Commentary:

Artist:

Author:

Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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