White Cat (The Curse Workers)
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Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, all by the slightest touch of their hands. Since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider—the straight kid in a crooked family—as long as you ignore one small detail: He killed his best friend, Lila. Now he is sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He also notices that his brothers are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of one huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.
they have nothing to gain from me just doesn’t make sense. All friendships are negotiations of power. Like, okay, Philip has this best friend, Anton. Anton is Lila’s cousin; he came down to Carney with her in the summers. Anton and Philip spent three heat-soaked months drinking whatever liquor they could get out of the locals and working on their cars. Anton’s mother is Zacharov’s sister Eva, making him Zacharov’s closest living male relative. Anton made sure that Philip knew that if Philip
hand and tipping slightly toward his chest. On the television in front of him some fundie preacher is talking about workers coming forward and volunteering to get tested, so people can touch hands in friendship, ungloved. He says that all people are sinners and power is too tempting. Workers will give in eventually if they’re not kept in check. I’m not sure he’s wrong, except about all that hand touching with strangers, which sounds gross. I hear the clink of plates as Philip walks out of the
chandelier hung with a few huge blue crystals among the clear ones. It glitters, even in the dim light. “There will be a podium and loud, boring speeches.” I look around. “What is this?” “Fund-raiser for ‘Vote No on Proposition Two.’ Zacharov is hosting it.” Barron looks at me strangely. I wonder if I was supposed to know that. “And I’m going to just walk up to him?” I ask. “In front of everyone?” “Chill,” Philip says. “For the millionth time, we’ve got a plan. We’ve been waiting too long for
of laundry, her eyes slitted. “What are you doing here?” I whisper. My voice sounds like shards of glass are stuck in my throat. She stands up, stretching her paws to knead the sweater she was lying on. Her nails sink into the fabric like little needles. Then her back arches. “Did you see them bring me back here?” I croak. Her pink tongue swipes her nose. “Stop screwing with me,” I say. She hunkers down and then jumps onto the bed, startling me. I groan with fresh pain. “I know what you
relaxing my muscles. There’s a spider—one I missed—hunched in a corner of the ceiling, tending a knot of eggs. I shampoo my hair and watch the beads of water catch in her web. When I step out into the foggy bathroom, the door is open and Barron’s there to hand me a towel. He gives me a quick glance before I wrap it around me. I try to turn to one side, but I’m not fast enough. “What’s that on your leg?” I realize that naked means easy to check for amulets. “Hey,” I say, “there’s this thing