White Cat (2010) 4 Stars Red Glove (2011) 3.7 Stars Black Heart (2012) 4 Stars
Cassel Sharpe lives in a world where people are either powerful workers, or are powerless, living regular lives. Workers have a variety of different abilities (luck workers, memory workers, emotion workers, dream workers, death workers, physical workers etc.) Their power comes with a cost (memory workers lose their own memories, while death workers lose a piece of themselves to flesh rot). Castle has an unsavoury family background, and he’s known to participate in his fair share of cons. He doesn’t really fit in at home with his two powerful worker brothers (one is a Memory worker, while the other is a luck worker) nor does he fit in at school amidst a group of rich kids. He trusts few people. He begins to have strange dreams of a cat, and people around him are losing their memories. He begins to wonder what happened to his childhood sweetheart Lila, and his quest for answers leads him into far more than he bargained for.
So I’ve seen these books around, but never really decided to pick them up until, funnily enough, Rainbow Rowel tweeted about how much she loved them. Not only that, but that she had audio booked them with Jesse Eisenberg as the reader. She wasn’t wrong about their awesomeness, or his. He fully engaged me into the story, I couldn’t stop listening until I completed the whole series in what now feels like one big long book.
Over the course of the three books, it really digs deep into the different aspects of this world that Holly Black has created. You learn quite a bit about the triangles pulling Cassel in different directions. It is littered with excellent tension, great conflict, and really teases you to continue reading.
Recommendation: There isn’t much here that is not appropriate for younger readers, but the plots get quite complicated and I wouldn’t recommend the book for anyone under 12. The series is definitely a win and worth audiobooking. I will definitely be reading more from Holly Black.