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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Friday, April 8, 2011

Review: Red Glove

Red Glove (ARC) by Holly Black Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pub. Date: April 5th, 2011
Pages: 320
Series: Curse Workers, #2
Age Level: 14/15+
Source: For review from publisher.

Synopsis via 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.

Deliciously dark and compelling, Holly Black continues her compelling Curse Workers series with Red Glove, a sequel that I strongly felt succeeded in being even more enticing than its predecessor.

What is it about Cassel Sharpe? He's bad, that's for sure, but he is not that rebellious, brooding school boy kind of bad, the kind of bad where the attraction is more easily explained. No, Cassel is, more or less, a criminal who has done some truly heinous things. Oh, but how I love him. Getting to be inside his head and see his thought process behind his actions is unlike anything I've ever experienced through another character. There are times when I know I shouldn't like him but Black expertly layers him in such a way that I find myself siding with the things he does, even when I know they're wrong. His motives, emotions, and personality are so real that it's almost like I could reach out and touch or feel them. His sense of humor only makes it harder for me to view him as a 'bad guy' because, let's face it, he's definitely nobody's hero. I think it is safe to say that White Cat made me like him while Red Glove made me love him. The same is true for some of the supporting characters as well. I got to learn that Daneca isn't quite as perfect as she'd have us believe and I also was able to see some more of her and Sam's personality shine through. I think the only character I was slightly disappointed with was Lila. I enjoyed her snarky personality in White Cat way more than watered down version I got in this one. Though I have to say, her change in demeanor is more than justified, you know, considering.

The whole concept and idea behind the Curse Workers world is so original and refreshing. I really love how Black takes something as real and powerful as mob families and then adds the paranormal element of the workers, a dangerous and exciting combination. Red Glove places equal emphasis on relationships involving family, friends, and romance, which is something I strongly admire. Not just that, but they are all so thoroughly and expertly crafted with their own, individual complexities. The story itself was consistently bewitching as well as less predictable than White Cat, containing even more unexpected twists and suspense. However, I think some of the twists could have gone in another direction that would have made them even more...well...sick and twisted. This is one area where I thought White Cat may have actually been better, considering all the things that happened between Cassel, his brothers, and Lila.

I wasn't the hugest fan of Black's writing when I read White Cat. But I don't know, for some reason things were different with Red Glove. I thought her writing flowed more smoothly and evenly than before. It was also witty and vivid, pulling me deep into this intriguing world that she'd created and into the lives of the people in it. To me, Black has a very honest writing style in that she doesn't try to make things seem better than they are or try to pretty up the dirty details.

The ending had a couple of surprises for me and they've got me anxiously awaiting the next book. I've got to say, I was so sure that it was a certain person that killed Philip and after realizing I was wrong, I was shocked, not to find out who it was, but that I hadn't thought to suspect this person in the first place. Thankfully, while the end left me wanting more, it wasn't a major cliffhanger.

Looking back at my review of White Cat, I wonder if I was a little harsh or if maybe time has just worn away my original feelings from when I read it, probably the latter. However, while I think I'll enjoy White Cat even more when I read it again, there is no denying that Red Glove just worked so much better for me overall. Now, more than ever, I know this is a series that I'm beginning to fall in love with. If you're looking for a series that's a bit darker, as well as humorous with a unique paranormal spin, then the Curse Workers series is definitely for you and I highly suggest getting it. I know I can't wait to be able to read the next book.

Characters: A-
Writing: B+
Plot: B+
Ending: B
2nd in Series: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B+

Cover: B

Buy White Cat: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository
Buy Red Glove: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository


Unknown said...

I think I liked White Cat more than Red Glove, but you're right, there were a LOT more twists in the second book. My review is wayyy shorter than yours - great job!

Candace said...

I am SO in love in Cassel and it feels so WRONG! Holly Black has created such a crazy world with characters that you shouldn't love, or even like, but you can't help it! I loved both books but I think I might have liked Red Glove a little better. I'm not sure though. I just know I loved it!

Jessi E. said...

I only kind of skimmed this because I didn't want too many spoilers... But I am so glad that you liked it. It's on my TBR list, and I always love great boys. I liked White Cat but wasn't *in love*, so your review definitely has me looking forward to seeing how I feel about Red Glove.

Naj said...

Another series I haven't read yet. Thanks for the review. :D

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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