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I Belong

Review: Red Glove by Holly Black

Title: Red Glove

Author: Holly Black

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Series: Curse Workers (Book 2)

Publication Date: April 5, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 325 Pages

ISBN-10: 144240339X (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1442403390 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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.

Quick & Dirty:
Black does not disappoint in this much awaited sequel. As the story unfolds, we learn that there is more to the truth than meets the eye. And in some cases, the truth isn’t always a good thing.

Opening Sentence: I don’t know whether it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Holly Black does wonders in Red Glove, the much anticipated sequel to White Cat. Where White Cat was the story to introduce me to the world and characters, Red Glove is the development of details and story. I felt that Black ripped off the band-aid and exposed the reality and ugly truth for her characters in the Curse Workers series. There are so many elements within Red Glove that had me on the edge of my seat. One of my favorite elements was that Red Glove was a great sequel to White Cat. It enhanced the series, adding and complimenting to the original story line while adding something completely unique and different, all on its own.

In Red Glove, Cassel faces the consequences of his actions. His already flawed life just gained a few more distractions, and I sympathize for him every step of the way. Even with the recent death of his brother, Cassel not only discovered his powers, but he also has to deal with the truths of his past. There are many facets to Cassel as a character. No longer an ordinary man, he has much to deal with.

Aside from Cassel, we find out a little more about Lila, Cassel’s mother and brother, as well as many other characters. Lila is the character that intrigues me the most. It feels like she can’t catch a break, no matter what. To love someone else, to then be hurt, and then to love and be hurt all over again. In White Cat, she was this amazing girl who had a hidden bad girl streak, but in Red Glove we see another side of her.

Black’s world building skills are amazing. The details, the integral part it plays to the characters, as well as the story itself. It was seamless, fitting into the background like a curse worker’s talent, blending in without any distractions. The culture of the curse workers mixed in with present day society is still one of my favorites. It doesn’t matter that Red Glove was deemed a paranormal book, to me, it was normal and real.

Black’s writing is magical. My favorite part about her writing is that I can read her words and have my own reality stand still so that I can fully absorb and immerse myself into hers. Everything she wrote was mesmerizing. I’ve never read anything else like it, and that’s something spectacular in itself. Black develops her characters to be more than just supporting characters, and she develops her world to be more than just a backdrop. Everything was great.

There are so many surprises in Red Glove. From twists and turns, to shocks and gasp-worthy scenes, you will know how awesome Black’s writing is. I did have a few concerns, though. I felt that while a majority of the character development was for the best, there were a few things that I didn’t agree with. But, it’s all preference and etc. I didn’t agree with certain curses, or spells, and how they came about (discovered) throughout the story. I felt like sometimes they were forced onto the pages. But then again, it’s all my tastes and etc. I still love the story, and highly urge everyone to read it.

Notable Scene:

Then he falls, his skin turning ashen. I remember how we tried to fake Zacharov’s death. Seeing Janssen fall, I realize how wrong we had it. You can see the moment it happens, like a light burning out in a lamp.

“No,” I yell, crawling over to him.

And the blowback hits me. My body cramps all over, limbs elongating like a spider, reaching toward the ceiling. Then it’s like I’m made of glass and each twist of my body creates cracks that turn to fissures until I am lying in pieces. I try to scream, but my mouth has turned to crumbling earth. My body is turning itself inside out. As agony grips me, I turn my head and stare into the glassy eyes of a dead man.

The Curse Workers Trilogy:

1. White Cat

2. Red Glove

3. Black Heart

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry provided me with a copy of Red Glove.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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