Red Glove by Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: April 5th, 2011
Series: Curse Workers #2
Reviewed by: Tynga
Book Source: ARC from S&S Canada
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.
Cassel Sharpe really learnt the hard way the full extend of the maxim “Careful what you wish for”. He used to think he was a normal kid in a family of workers, would’ve done anything to be an insider but what he didn’t know would eventually catch up to him. His brothers have been using his talents for years and wiping his memory afterwards. He uncovered the whole scheme but more people are now lining up to use him as well. And no simple dude next door. The mob and the Feds are both trying to control him. Which one will succeed?
After everything that’s happened in White Cat, Cassel’s life was already pretty lame but everything goes from bad to worst when the Feds drag him from his fancy school to an interrogation room. His brother made a deal with them to mouth off everything – the murders, Cassel’s secret, their mom’s past times – but he was killed before he got the chance to reveal anything. Now the Feds are clear, Cassel will help them uncover the truth – including his brother’s murderer – or else….
I LOVE the Curse Workers series! Holly Black did a fantastic job when she created this unique world, and once again, she delivered! Cassel is a downright awesome character. His personality is colorful from the outside, but he’s so troubled on the inside. How to react when you discover your whole life is a lie? The whole time he is debating moral issues vs consequences and his path is outstanding. I’m in love with the guy! And the kid is so brilliant to. Always finding a way to get what he wants, finding the truth behind the lies and building lies of his own. All the while trying to protect his friends and messed-up family.
Holly did an amazing job of keeping us in the dark the whole time. You see Cassel do this or that, notice one thing over another, but you never know where it’s gonna lead. I’m also a big fan of her writing. This isn’t something I usually notice while reading, but she’s got a very unique tempo and I really like it. Here’s two spoilers free examples:
“What are you doing here?” I ask, turning her roughly toward me, which is maybe not an okay way to behave, but I’m too astonished to think straight.
She looks like I slapped her.
Good job, me. I’m a real charmer.
"Yes," she says sweetly. "I hope you'll think about coming on Sunday. How about I give you the address and you can think about it?"
I pretend to copy down the location of Patton’s stupid brunch. Really I’m just pouring myself a cup of coffee.
The intrigue is simply perfect. And the con Cassel worked at the end? I tip my metaphorical hat to Holly. None of the puzzle pieces fit together until she lays it all out for you and walks you through it. I have to admit I had my doubts about who the killer really was but it was just a guess, because Holly doesn’t let us in onto Cassel’s reflections all the time. Which makes the whole plot that much more intriguing.
Our boy is also surrounded by a great bunch of friends and I really came to appreciate them. Especially his nerdy friend Sam. There’s also a very funky love interest that leaves you no choice but to pray for a good outcome.
Red Glove will grab you by the throat and drag you in a world where everything is a con, everything is a lie and if you hope to survive, you better learn how to figure out the truth. Fast. Filled with action, suspense and treason, the second installment will leave you breathless. Thankfully, Holly treaded a fantastic hero who will make the tension bearable and even force a smile upon your face every now and then.
In conclusion. BUY. THIS. BOOK. You can thank me later =)
One of my favorite excerpt:
A discussion between Cassel and a Fed
“You got that information for me yet?” His breath smells like sour coffee and cigarettes.
“Not quite yet,” I say.
“Have a good march?” he asks. “Get lots of exercise running from the law? Growing boy has got to get his exercise.”
“Ha, ha,” I say.
He grins like we really did just share a joke.
Please note, quotations are from the Advance Reader Copy and may differ from the final edition.