Random House is offering White Cat for Free as an audio book this month, so even though I've already read it, I downloaded it anyway. I remember liking it, but not loving it. My memory must be off because this is book is smart and dark and complicated with lots of action and mystery--exactly the combination I like (and that Holly Black always serves up).
Cassel Sharpe lives in a world where the major crime families are organized around their outlawed magical abilities. Cassel is a non-worker (someone who can't work a curse or magic) growing up in a world full of criminals and knows how to work a con. Even though he can't remember killing Lilah--the daughter of a major crime boss and the girl Cassel loved--he remembers standing over her dead body and those memories still haunt him two years later. But his memories aren't all adding up and the appearance of a white cat coupled with strange dreams lead Cassel on an investigation that will shatter everything he believes is true about his life and his world.
The world-building in this book is phenomenal. Black not only has a solid magical premise, but she has built a world with a deep and rich history. The characters are dark and complex. They have histories and trust issues. The extent to which Cassel's family uses and betrays him, breaks my heart. But he still loves them. Even a second time through, I enjoyed every plot twist and every competing character need.
EDIT: I thought I had mentioned this in my first review, but I never actually posted my first review of this book. Sooo... something I'd like to add is that even though this book is dark, it is still an emblem for hope. Cassel knows he's a terrible person, but he still lives his life in the hopes of being good. He is betrayed in mind-blowing ways and he still forgives. He is a light in a dark world and I love his story.
Jesse Eisenberg narrates and he does a wonderful job. Sometimes, like Jim Dale with Harry Potter, the narrator gets it right and that's all there is to it. This is one of those times.
I've had Red Glove on my TRB pile for a while now, but obviously I've picked that up and should have a review soon. Black Heart will be the final installment, but I don't see it available for pre-order yet.