Thursday, 31 March 2011

Review: Red Glove

Red Glove (Curse Workers book 2) by Holly Black
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing date: 5th April 2011

Description (from Goodreads):

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else. 

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does. 

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself? 

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose

My thoughts:

It took me an age to read White Cat, and when I eventually got round to it I absolutely loved it. So when I could get the sequel from S&S galleygrab I was thrilled! (cheers Simon&Schuster!!) The book starts with Cassel and his mum pulling cons in Atlantic City. It's obvious Cassel's not feeling too happy with his mum right now, and he's really not getting into the swing of things with her. Eventually he gets to go back to his posh school for senior year. In true Cassel style, the first thing he notices is that a ground floor room will make it easier for him to sneak out. I've never really been enamoured by the idea of a Male narrator, and it's put me off reading a lot of books I'd probably really enjoy. Despite that however, I LOVE Cassel. Not in the sexy way most people seem to, I just really like him as a narrator. I love his moral ambiguity, I find it really refreshing. I'm probably not supposed to say that.  A lot of reviewers have been saying they didn't like Lila and the first book, but I actually really did. She was turned into a cat for years, she's bound to come out a bit loopy. I think Holly Black handled her forced infatuation with Cassel really well, it wasn't at all undignified for either of them, yet you really grasped the scope of just how difficult the situation was, especially for Cassel. 

I did figure out a lot of the main plot; but I think Holly always adds extra, surprise twists which I find harder to figure out and they're the ones I really enjoy. I've not seen any review even hint at the twist with Daneca's character...does that mean everyone else had her all worked out (forgive the pun, I'm sorry) or that they didn't really think it was a big thing? Eitherway, that knocked me for six. Did not see that coming. And I loved the way it was delivered too.

I enjoyed watching Cassel come to terms with, and investigate his powers, and Holly showed his situation of being stuck between a rock and a hard place exceptionally well. I especially enjoyed the development in his character; the way he was trying to be more open with his friends-it was great to see that. 

I give this book 4.5/5 it's extremely enjoyable and overall, the Curseworkers series is, like Holly Black's other works, a refreshing and interesting take on YA fiction. 


  1. Great review! I also love moral ambiguity. I'm super excited to read Red Glove!

  2. Great review Cait! Our feelings on this book are very similar!
    Truly Bookish

  3. I can't wait to read this!!! I love Cassel!


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