Friday, June 8, 2012

Red Glove by Holly Black


Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon and Schuster)
Pages: 325Series or Stand Alone: Book Two in Holly Black’s AMAZING Curseworkers trilogy
Summary: 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.

I continue my reread of the Curseworkers series in preparation for reading Black Heart. I also continue to gush about how much I adore these books in an embarrassing fashion. Just kidding, you have to have book shame in order to be embarrassed about something like that. I support these books 100% and will continue shouting it from the rooftops in a shameless fashion.
Life just isn’t going Cassel Sharpe’s way. You think it would--he finally found out that he’s an incredibly transformation powerful worker, one of the rarest worker types that exists. Lila, the girl he previously thought dead, is very much alive and completely in love with him. Only the reason for Lila’s feelings is the magical touch Cassel’s mother gave her making her hopelessly devoted to him--and making it so Cassel now has to stay away from her. When Cassel finds out that his oldest brother Phillip has been murdered, he knows he has to find the killer. Problem is, both the Feds and various crime families want to recruit him for his extraordinary abilities. Cassel has to try to work outside of both in order to find out the truth--before more people are hurt in the process.
They just. Keep. Getting. BETTER. This was another re-read for me, but it was like I was reading the book for the first time. If I thought I really needed to know what happened at the end of White Cat, it was nothing compared to needing to know the answers to the questions in Red Glove. Who is Phillip’s killer? What does Cassel choose, helping the Feds or joining the Zacharovs in a life of crime (this time one he actually chose?)? All right, I knew the answer to these questions, but I raced through it to figure out how Cassel managed to get there.
While I’m here, bonus points for a murder mystery! Holly Black did the whole mystery thing right when Cassel tried to figure out his missing memories and what happened to Lila in the first book, but took it to a new level when Cassel had to figure out who killed his mob worker brother. SO GREAT!
Obviously, the characters are still amazing. I adore Cassel, who is still discovering pieces of missing memories (for instance, where his least favorite chair came from...) and dealing with staying away from Lila when all she wants to do is be near him for all the wrong reasons. Their relationship is painful and amazing. Lila is a strong female character despite being cursed into devotion to Cassel. I was happy to see more of Sam and Daneca, especially since more backstory and depth was given to Daneca.
Red Glove is the perfect continuation of the Curseworkers series by Holly Black. This is one series that I was happy knowing it was going to be a trilogy--one or two books with Cassel, Lila, and their companions is certainly not enough. I’m going to doubt that three will be enough for me, but I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion to Cassel’s story.

Rating: 5 - shelf of favorites

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