Summary: If Cassel Sharpe's habit of sleepwalking on rooftops doesn't kill him, his secret might. He comes from a powerful family of illegal "workers," people born with the ability to cast certain curses on others. Cassel himself has no powers, but his involvement in his best friend Lila's murder is just as illegal...if only he could remember what really happened! When Cassel gets kicked out of school for a sleepwalk that looked too much like a suicide attempt, he finds a white cat who may hold the answers to his questions. Before long, he's caught up in a plot to assassinate a worker crime lord, is keeping too many secrets to count, and knows his life is on the line...but who exactly wants him dead, and why? Is he sleepwalking, or is he cursed? And did he really kill Lila, or is something even more sinister going on?
Verdict: Very different from Black's usual, but suspenseful and fun.
Yay!: Hey guys, a whole new paranormal world with no vampires, werewolves, fairies, or whatnots! Holly Black delivers an original and seamy magical mobster world, some nice mystery work, and an "everything that could go wrong, does" climax. The ending is pretty sly, too.
Nay!: Don't go into this expecting any nice guys. Cassel's a good narrator, but he isn't necessarily a likable hero. His concern over Lila's death is more rooted in what kind of person he is and whether he's been cursed than the fact that, well, he murdered his best friend! Parts of the plot will be apparent to the reader long before Cassel figures it out.
Cover art: Do guys in leather jackets holding fluffy cats make people want to read books? I don't know. I picked this up because I'm a fan of Holly Black. If I'd never heard of her, I probably wouldn't have picked it up out of love for the Guy With Cat motif.