White Cat is set in an alternative reality, where magicians, or 'workers' as they are known in this instance, are common place and known to the public. The lead character, Cassel, is the only non worker in his somewhat dysfunctional family but he has a secret: he killed his best friend when he was 14.
I had high hopes for Holly Black's White Cat. Unfortunately these hopes faded away within a chapter and there are a few contributing factors for my utter dislike of this book.
Firstly, before reaching White Cat, I had read three amazingly crafted stories back to back, and I suppose my luck had to run out at some point.
Secondly, I think the text itself has been categorized wrongly. I don't believe this to be an adult novel. I know Young Adult and Children's books can be read by adults; but you'll find that the author either has a style that can transcend those classifications or has a great story to tell. Black may have added a few adult themes to her story but the writing style itself is what I would identify as a core problem. Childlike with plenty of needless repetition, whole paragraphs that had appeared only a page before, seemed to be there to tot up the word count.
Another fatal flaw was the story. It was so transparent I had figured out the entire plot within fifty pages, I kept waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under my feet but it never came. There was never any urgency and I never felt anything for the characters. Mostly I felt I wasted my time, and a slot on my 3-for-2, but was very glad I didn't buy the sequel.