This is the first novel in The Curse Workers series by Holly Black.
Cassel is the youngest brother in a very well-known Curse Worker family. Unfortunately, Cassel doesn't have his own curse.
With just the touch of their hand/finger, any curse worker can make the person they touch do whatever their ability is: change their emotion, break bones, make them become lucky, etc.
The magic of the curse worker is illegal, making all curse workers turn to con artist events or go to the mob to work.
Cassel, as not having any powers, has still lead a life of a con artist. At his prep school he is a bookie, taking bets of silly random events that students want to bet against. Cassel can also con his way out of anything - he knows the tricks to lie very easily and to stay undetected when needed.
But when Cassel sleepwalks and is forced to leave the school until a doctor says his sleepwalking is under control, Cassel is forced home to live with his older brother, Phillip. Soon, his other brother Barron comes home but things seem very weird between the two of them.
Around the same time as his sleepwalking started, Cassel also had a dream about a white cat who needed his help with a curse. That didn't make any sense, though, since Cassel doesn't have curse worker magic.
When the cat comes to Cassel in real life, though, Cassel knows there is something going on - something bad. And there is also a very big secret that involves the white cat, his brothers, and an old friend named Lila.
Hopefully Cassel's con abilities will get him out of this problem.
I love Holly Black. I've read all of her books and have enjoyed them, and this book is no different.
I will admit, it did take me awhile to get into this story. I put it down a couple of times but I didn't give up because a lot of my friends really enjoyed it.
And in the end, I'm very glad that I kept with it! The world that Holly Black created is somewhat hard to grasp at first, but once everything clicks, the story goes really fast and the reader is racing through the ending along with Cassel.
I think this book could interested anyone - especially because it is a male narrator so it might draw attention to guy readers as well.
There is a lot going on in this novel but the main theme is magic and crime. The curse workers are forced into crime because they are not trusted by normal/non-curse workers and they need to make money to live.
Now that I've gotten a handle on the atmosphere and the "rules" of this book, I'm very excited to read the second book in this series!