Sunday, July 03, 2011

Review: Red Glove

Book: Red Glove
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 325
Source: KPL
Stars: 4/5
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.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

The first book in this series was an enjoyable and fast-paced mystery. But most of the secrets were exposed by the end of White Cat so I was wondering what kind of turn Red Glove would bring. Turns out, the second installment has as much mystery as the first!

I like that Cassel is a such a real character! He's obviously not perfect, but at least he has the decency to admit it. There are times when I think he's a complete genius, always staying a step ahead of his world as well as the readers, and other times when I want to smack him over the head and demand, "What are you doing?"

But he's no longer out of the loop in this book instead, he's the rarest type of curse worker there is: a transformation worker, who can, at will, turn any object (including humans) into anything. Somehow that makes him a less reluctant character. I might actually say I'm beginning to like him.

Overall, Red Glove is an excellent installment to a beautifully crafted series home to one of my favourite worlds of all time. The idea of curse workers being equivalent to con artists, that everyone is required to wear gloves at all times, and that there's a blowback to every single use of magic is just so intriguing!   

BUY or BORROW?: Fans of Holly Black will definitely want Red Glove on your bookshelf! :)


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