Tuesday, 16 August 2011

GoodRead - White Cat (Unabridged Audiobook)

I've been meaning to read White Cat for AGES! I have a US copy long before I knew if it was coming to the UK (the joys of online shopping!) and I actually started reading it. I got up to about chapter 10, before I stopped. At the time, I found myself in a real reading-rut. I couldn't seem to read anything that I could stick to. I started reading this, Clockwork Angel, Infinite Days and others. All started, none finished (something I will have to change sooner or later!)

So, when Holly Black's US publishers were giving away the audiobook version of White Cat for free, I downloaded it and slapped it onto my iPod. I wasn't sure if it was available to UK listeners but it was allowed. So... yeah!

White Cat is the first book in the Curse Workers series where we meet Cassel Sharpe, a young man bought up in a family of con artists. You can say he's one too. He is not, however, a Curse Worker unlike his family. He's not a Death Worker like his grandfather, a Emotion Worker like his mother (who is in jail due to using her skills to get money out of a rich old geezer), or a Luck Worker or a Pain Worker like his brothers, Barron and Philip. He's not a magic worker, and no one is going to let him forget it. So when he sleepwalks onto the roof of his school dorm, Cassel has no idea of the events that will unfold before him. And soon, he begins to wonder if his own family have been conning him. If so, how can he outcon conmen?

Now, before you go feeling all sorry for Cassel, don't. He killed a girl when he was fourteen. A girl that he was suppose to be in love with...

Now, a while ago, I said that with an audiobook that there are several types of reader. The first is someone who is passionate about the story and, because of that, the listener clicks with it (aka David Tennant and My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece). The second is a reader that you don't like at the start but you warm to them as the story takes its toll (Eliza Dushku and Prophecy of the Sisters). The last two can be muddled -up so be on your guard - The third is that the reader is just reading the audiobook because of the money and the listener knows it, while the fourth type is that the listener just can't connect to the reader and, because of that, can't connect with the story.

I suffered from the fourth type. I'm sorry, reader of White Cat - Jesse Eisenberg - but I just couldn't warm to you. I think it's because I read the first few chapters so I had a vague idea of what Cassel sounded like. But even if I hadn't, I couldn't warm to you. You didn't sound right in my head.

This book is very much a starter book. Yes, it is the first book in a series so there are going to be some level of world-building and lying down the ground-work. And while there is a plot to this, which introduced you to the different type of magic each worker can do, it was very much showing you this dark world where you are basically on the wrong side of the law. The best way I have heard someone describle this book is "It's like the Sopranos. But with magic. And gloves." and that's probably the best way to describe it. You are on the edges of criminal underworld so you see hints of it, but I sense that in the next book in the series, Red Glove, we're going to get deeper into the dark world of cons, the underworld and curses.

But there were times I was thinking "Really?". So, this book does have good and bad points, but I am wondering If I have these good and bad points due to the audiobook reader...

I will be intrigued to see what happens next to Cassel with Red Glove, espically after how it was ended with Cassel and his mother (oops! SPOILER!) as that was a relationship I will be interested in reading. I just might not listen to the audiobook version, however, if Jesse Eisenberg is the reader...


  1. I quite liked the audio book, but I'd read the book first and loved the story so I think that helped. I've just finished Red Glove which I also really enjoyed - it's a little shorter but does go further into everything... worth a look!

  2. I was wondering about Red Glove. If I can, I will check it out!