Red Glove by Holly Black; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Red Glove

Author: Holly Black

Published: April 5th, 2011

Number of Pages: 336

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

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. [From Goodreads]

Quote:

I know how to be the witness to her grief. I don’t know how to be this kind of villain.

Review:

I love Cassel Sharpe. Let me get that off my chest right off the bat. He has one of the best voices of any male protagonist I’ve ever read about, and I could live in his head all day. That says a lot, considering the fact that his head is full of betrayal, conflict, confusion, heartbrokenness, regret, and worry.

He’s just that cool.

I love clever people, and Cassel is the most entertaining sort of clever. He’s conniving. He’s always got a secret agenda and is always trying to get the upper-hand. It’s so much fun to read from the perspective of someone so observant. Cassel sees things that the normal person doesn’t, and I feel like my senses are heightened when they’re, well, his senses.

Red Glove in no way disappointed me. It met all the high expectations built up by the first book. This second installment in the Curse Workers series is just as exciting, confusing, and intricate as the first. I don’t know how Holly Black does it, but she reveals and conceals just the right information to make me go crazy with anticipation.

Additionally, the book showcases the same characters I adored in the first one, while keeping Lila in the picture a lot more. Sam is just the sort of dorky friend you’d find in one of John Green’s books (have I ever mentioned he has a hearse that runs on vegetable oil?). I never know quite what to expect from Daneca, but she never fails to deliver surprises or keep Cassel’s actions in check. And then there’s Lila, who is just crazy. In a very fun and entertaining way.

Red Glove deals with the same conflict of interest between family members as the first. Clearly the Sharpes have issues with honesty and loyalty, despite how much they claim to value it. Cassel’s given three vastly different options as to whose side he’ll chose, and every single one betrays somebody he loves.

Cassel’s also stuck with the difficult job of coming to terms with the fact that 1) He’s a transformation worker and 2) He’s killed a bunch of people. Consequently, he’s afraid of the future and the past, which leaves him in a predicament. As a reader, you’re also left with the job of making a decision: Do you think he’s guilty and despicable or innocent? Or some combination of the two?

This book clearly juggles a lot of issues of conscience and ethics. Ironically, some of the people you immediately consider ethical make some crazy decisions and others you’d consider unethical and dishonest make good ones. It’s a circus.

Overall, I found Red Glove to be just as seductive, entertaining, and amusing as the first book in the series and continue to adore Cassel’s voice and personality. There’s so much to love in Red Glove, even though it, you know, revolves around criminal activity and mobsters.

2 Commentsto “Red Glove by Holly Black; Review”

  1. i like this series too! although i like cassel, he can be a bit too mysterious sometimes. i don't feel like i know him that well! still gonna read third book, definitely!

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