Sunday, July 18, 2010

Holly Black Double Header

I've been following Holly Black (@hollyblack) on Twitter for a while, but hadn't actually read any of her books! I figured this should be remedied sooner rather than later.

"When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes and then stolen his memories, he figures out a way to turn their evil machinations against them."  - Copyright Summary

White Cat was a great read.  I was surprised by the turn of events all the way to the end.  The magic system created for this world is unique, particularly in the toll it takes on those able to use it, called curse workers. .  Using magic causes a "blowback" to the caster so that using magic to kill someone means something of the caster dies as well.   I loved how Black weaved different explanations for historical or political events: presidential assassinations, mob machinations, and legislation.  The wrap-up at the end of the novel was so bittersweet, it was almost heartbreaking.  I had one question that wasn't answered to my satisfaction, but I expect that it will turn out to be an unexpected twist sometime later in the series.

"Sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by fairies since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny." - Copyright Summary

In Tithe, Black weaves a faerie world into modern New Jersey. It focused a lot on the evil side of faerie tales, feeding off tales of stealing human babies and causing deaths in the name of avoiding boredom. This is another faerie world full of very angsty teens and very slow faerie politics.  I didn't get into this one as much as I was expecting to.   I didn't particularly care for any of the characters and got annoyed by all the teen emotions flying around.  For me, there was a deus ex machina moment at the end when the two faerie courts meet and Kaye figures it out all the sudden.  I would probably only recommend this to anyone who is a hardcore Wicked Lovely fan since it has a very similar feel.

I am definitely going to pick up another Curse Workers book if Black comes up with a sequel, but probably won't touch the two follow-up faerie books.  I do highly recommend following Black on Twitter though!


Amanda said...

I haven't read White Cat but I didn't like Tithe at all, for many of the same reasons that you mentioned. I read Wicked Lovely a few months later and enjoyed it FAR more.

Ann said...

Totally agree with you about WL being better. White Cat was completely different and really well done. The ending is very similar to Hunger Games, where it really just pulls at your heart. It's still YA so probably not your thing.

Amanda said...

I love YA! YA makes up almost 50% of my reads each year. But there isn't a good likelihood I'd like White Cat because I've been told it's all drug-riddled and stuff. Plus I'm just not a big fan of paranormal/fantasy usually.