Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Red Glove by Holly Black

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. cont'd

Last year, when the first book in the Curse Workers series was released (White Cat), it was my first exposure to Holly Black's writing. Since then, I have become a huge fan of her work (though I still have to get her older books and read Ms. Black's entire library...it's on the to do list!) What I like is that she is dark, slightly twisted, and a very good story teller.

But enough pandering about the author; let's talk about the book. Red Glove continues as Cassel is fresh from the fallout of White Cat. As soon as I started reading, I was reminded of how much I like this character. He is a bundle of contradicting elements: a boy from a crime-infused family with a conscience. It's the self doubt and the self deprecating humour Cassel emits, that maintain my interest in reading this series...mostly.

There's also something about this alternate world; the potential for complete mayhem if the gloved "workers" were ever just let loose, that's such a strong draw for me.

This is definitely not to say that any of the other characters are without interest. I absolutely love Cassel's mom; she embodies the word "opportunist" whole-heartedly. That Cassel has any ability to think rationally is truly astounding. The others involved, his friends, his brother, and Lila all add layers to the story. Oh, I really want to hate Lila, and then I don't...then I do again!

For the mystery part of the story, the answer seemed simple...and appropriate. Really, though, it was all of the elements together, and the entertaining ride to finding out who the murderer was that made this book entirely enjoyable.

I would recommend reading White Cat first, just to get an all round feel for Cassel's life, but do it quickly (if you haven't already) and read Red Glove ASAP!


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

You are really making this hard on me! lol. I'm having such a dozey trying to keep up with all the review books at the moment and I keep BUYING more! Oh, I have to get to Clare's two books I have. And all these amazing other books, like today! lol. Thanks for the review as I definitely need to read this series. I have the first book on my shelf, but can't seem to get there from here. Thanks!

Jackie said...

Melissa - I'm so sorry for the torture! If it makes you feel any better, I just added another 5 books to my own collection today. But I really love this series; it's very different in storyline and perspective from anything else I've read.(Did that make it worse? lol)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Well, yea. Now I'm going to add it to the WANT list! lol. Thanks! It really does sound like a great read.

And after reading the notes on Cassandra Clare's blog about the characters from Blacks books I made sure the other series first book is on my want list, which it already was. :)

Jackie said...

Yeah, I have to get the Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside books next :-)

F.a.Ellis said...


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