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 mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, 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.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts 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, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
My Thoughts: The first and most important question I have to ask about this book is: Why did it take me so long to read this??? WHY? I adore Holly Black's writing. We have a long, tumultuous relationship going back several series. Sure, she might not know about our clandestine meetings in the dark, but they happened. THEY HAPPENED! So why did I wait to dive into this fantabulous world? Why did I let this book sit on my bookshelf in lonely, unread agony for so long? These questions, they burn!
Needless to say, I am ridiculously, stupidly, deeply in love with this book. It's dark and twisted and heartbreaking. There's betrayal and hatred and murder and mayhem. And then there's Cassel. He's caught in the middle of something huge and he can no longer trust either his memories or those around him. What Cassel has been forced to do was especially wrenching because he has no say in it. He's been twisted around and manipulated for so long that his slow uncovering of the truth is hard and painful to read.
But, man, does it make a good story.
Fabulous characters, a world that's as captivating as it is scary and more twists than you can shake a stick at. Seriously, what more can you want?
More books by Holly Black