fantasy

White Cat by Holly Black

This is an interesting book, the first in a series of three called The Curse Workers but the only published yet.  Magic has been outlawed since 1929 and the people who are able to perform it are divided into various kinds, along with this there is a sort of mafia with five important families all wanting to be on top of the heap.  There are several different kinds of Curse Workers who have powers such as the power to induce or remove memories, to manipulate emotions, to transform things into animate and inanimate objects.  Everyone has to wear gloves because the slightest touch can kill you if you touch the wrong curse worker.  It is all very complex.

Cassel is the main character, the only member of his family with no special skills, he is at boarding school, running a very successful betting scam amongst the well to do teenagers.  We meet him in the middle of the night when he wakes up on the roof of his dorm having had a dream about a white cat, he finds not only the cat looking at him but also all the other residents of his school.  He gets excluded by the Principal and so begins a huge adventure involving lots of violence, underhanded dealing, a little bit of romance and a great big mystery.

Cassel has to deal with his dastardly brothers who he figures out are up to large amounts of no good, and who are getting him involved in a major way and he needs to sort out the mystery of the girl he killed, and cope with his Mother being sent to jail, his Grandfather being sacked by the mafia and his brothers wife behaving in a most odd manner, oh and there is more.  Confused?  I was a bit.  There is a lot going on, and yes I know you are being set up for a trilogy but I occasionally got a bit lost.

It is really good, but with the complex story line you kind of have to put your brain on hold and just keep reading to deal with all the information,  you will get there in the end and I was pretty caught up in the story by the time the book was nearly done.  I really engaged with the characters in the end and I look forward to the next one.  I think it is going to be a ‘hot right now’ book.  Holly Black is the author of the Spiderwick Chronicles which I really liked a few years ago and she is a pretty good author, teenagers will love this book.  Book Trailer here

The Hugo Awards Ceremony Opening Ceremony Film

I found this via The Alien Onion blog, it is funny, features cake and is the in house blog of Allen and Unwin publishers in Australia.  I enjoy it a lot.   Anyhoo the name Garth Nix leapt out at me and as a fan I decided to follow along to this website right here which is marvellously interesting and is the source of a whole heap of Science Fiction/Fantasy new reading for me.  The video on here features the crem de la creme of science fiction and fantasy artists, writers, cartoonists etc etc for the year and from this video alone I added a mountain of titles to my wishlist of reading.

If you want to read the transcript of the Garth Nix talk from the awards it is here.

As the Hugo Award site says of the video:

“As shown at the beginning of the 2010 Hugo Awards ceremony, hosted as part of Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia. All the individuals and works nominated for awards are represented, as well as other notable contributions, news stories and landmark scientific events from 2009 – the year covered by the 2010 awards.”

Turn up the sound and set the video rolling.