Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on May 4th 2010
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: a Giveaway
Also by this author: Red Glove
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.
Cassel was born into a family of curse workers; however, he’s the outsider of the family… the one born without magic. Not to say he’s perfect…he’s become quite the con man at school and plus he did kill his best friend Lila and has lived with the guilt for the past 3 years. While at school he begins having dreams where he’s visited by a white cat that obviously wants to tell him something but Cassel isn’t paying that much attention… I mean it is just a dream, right? And there’s something stirring within his own family but he’s kept out of it because he isn’t one of them. Everyone’s keeping him in the dark and as he realizes they’ve been lying to him, he starts determining what exactly they’ve been keeping from him.
I found this whole aspect to be quite sad, yet a vital part of explaining why Cassel is who he is. His mother is in prison for ‘working’ a man into giving her thousands of dollars. His brother Phillip pretty much works for the mob because he has the power to break bones and hurt people simply with the touch of his finger. His brother Barron is the one he’s most close with but throughout the novel they grow distant. Cassel is literally the outsider in the family and is left out from all conversations regarding curse work because he’s technically not one of them.
This is one brilliantly original novel and I loved it! I read this quickly and loved every minute of it. The characters were great, I loved the overall sense of humor, and the overall story is just completely unique that I couldn’t help but fall in head first. Cassel was my favorite character. I loved his sense of humor, I loved how he handled his own business, I loved how he wasn’t your typical whiny teenage boy, but I also loved that he came across as completely unpretentious. Quite rare, I’ve found, in YA novels that the characters in the end feel as if they were real people (regardless of all the magic involved.)
Well I’m starting Red Glove right away if that’s any indication. 🙂