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.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781416963967
- ISBN-13: 978-1416963967
I really enjoyed the build up in this book, so many times a book will give away too much too soon, but not this one. The characters are well written and fleshed out, the dialogue flows well, but the best thing about this book is what you don't know. You don't know if you can trust Cassel's memories or anyone else's motives, except Sam. You don't know Cassel's family history or really what being a Worker means.
Things you need to know:
#1. Ether you're a worker or you're not. Workers are not all bad, luck workers are used at weddings and baptisms...but then you have memory, emotion and death workers.
#2. Workers all experience "blowback" from the work they do, i.e. for each person a death worker kills, some part of them dies, hopefully it's only fingers.
#3. Working someone is illegal and Cassel's mom is in jail for it, she's an emotion worker and cons rich men out of their money. This is one of the reasons most workers are part of the mob, they can't legally use their skills.
#4. Everyone wears gloves. Curse workers have to touch you with their bare hands, so everyone is always gloved.
#5. Cassel is the good guy, well as good as anyone who loves to con people.
The book wraps up everything pretty well, but there is still so much back story that the reader doesn't know yet, as this is a series that isn't too surprising. I can't wait to read the rest, as for those that have read the Mortal Instruments series by Holly's friend Cassandra Clare, Jace is mentioned in the second book in this series, Red Glove.
5 Moons: I absolutely loved it, and will be looking into everything this author writes.