I did not read White Cat, the first in the series, and, although this novel stands pretty well on it's own, it would definitely be made better by reading the first book. There are many references to events that happened previously that aren't fully clear without the background of the first.
We meet Cassel Sharpe, a "worker", which seems to be a group of people who have special powers available to them with the touch of their hands, so everyone must wear gloves. A lot of workers run con games (including Cassel and his family, including his mother), others work for organized crime, and others try to stay under the radar to keep their ability from being known, as workers are generally regarded with fear and contempt.
Cassel goes to Wallington, a private high school. The girl that he loves, Lila Zacharov, the daughter of a crime boss, also goes to the same school (although there appears to have been a period of years where she was caged as a cat, but that was never fully explained in this book). Cassel's mother "worked" Lila to fall in love with Cassel, so now Cassel can't allow himself to have a relationship with her, because he thinks her feelings for him are a result of his mother's machinations.
Cassel is the rarest kind of worker, a transformation worker (he can change people to objects), and his talents have been abused by his family, and have also made Zacharov want him to join his crime family. The Feds are also after Cassel, although they aren't aware of his talents; they just want him to become an informant for them.
With murder, a thwarted love, suspicion, and a fight against mandatory testing to find out if someone is a worker, there is a lot going on in this novel, and it was an interesting read. I was, however, somewhat lost here and there with not having read the first book in the series, which takes points off for me. If you've read White Cat, however, you won't have those problems, and will probably really like this one.
QUOTE: There is technically nothing illegal about bare hands. Just like there is technically nothing illegal about a sharp kitchen knife. But when you wave one around, the police don't like it.
Book Rating: 3.5 out of 5 starsshow more
by Julie Smith