Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)
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 now been cursed to love him. 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 solve the crime. But the mob is after him too—they know how valuable he could be. 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?
Mrs. Black does a great job of giving the reader what they want (or at least what I wanted) and that was more of Cassel and his good/evil struggles. I love this character! I love that he wants to be good, but could easily, and I mean easily, be a very bad person. When he realizes that Lila, the girl he loves, has transferred to his school, things get messy. **SPOILER** At the end of book one when Cassel finds out his mom put a love curse on Lila (so that she would love him) that is when I was yelling. Yeah. So, I was really hoping there would be more of Lila and Cassel in this book, and there is. However, Cassel knows that Lila's love for him isn't true and he fights with himself throughout the entire book to not take advantage of the situation. This made me love him even more. Add on top of that some crazy twists and extra excitement and this book is a definitely winner.
I now cannot wait until the 3rd book is released, and I probably will be just as impatient as I was waiting for the 2nd book. So, please hurry Holly, please! If you loved 'White Cat' this book will not disappoint you. And if you haven't read 'White Cat' yet, what are you waiting for! What a great series!
Holly Black has created a unique fantasy world without werewolves, vampires, or warlocks, a rarity these days. To my knowledge, Black is solely responsible for this notion of a society in which these Curse Workers live.
Curse workers have special powers in which they can inflict certain conditions by simply touching skin to skin with their victims. The vast majority of workers change others luck. For instance, if they wanted to get back a someone, a touch could cause them to fall and break their leg. Some workers have far more dangerous powers like erasing memories, causing instant death, and transforming people into other objects.
Our main character, Cassel, is a transformation worker. In the first book, WHITE CAT, Cassel's family forces him to turn his girlfriend, Lila Zacharov, daughter of a very powerful man, into a cat, thus the title WHITE CAT. They force him to make other influential people "disappear." The family will always erase his memories so he has no idea what he has done. In fact, through most of WHITE CAT, Cassel doesn't even believe he is a curse worker. He thinks that he did not inherit the special power.
To be honest, WHITE CAT was very difficult to enjoy for the first hundred pages. We thought Cassel had killed his girlfriend, and it seemed he had little remorse. He dated other girls only hoping he wouldn't do the same thing. He enjoyed conning people, lying to them. His family was notoriously crime-ridden. Fairly evil people. I found Cassell to be very unlikeable.
But as the story evolves, the reader understands that he was set him. Had it been another author I was not familiar with, I would have have given the book as long as I did. I probably would have abandoned it by page forty. I gave Holly Black longer than I usually do.
And I'm glad I did.
Parts of the Curse Worker's series reminds me of one of my favorite movies, THE GODFATHER. There are several families that have "the touch" and dabble in illegal activities like gambling. But unlike the GODFATHER series, many of the characters in RED GLOVE are not very likable. The GODFATHER families do many of the same things, but always in the back of my mind, it seemed they weren't totally comfortable with the situation. To Vito Corleone, the head of the family, his family is the most important thing to him, and he does his best to protect him. In RED GLOVE, Cassel's mother, who has done extensive jail time, routinely takes advantage of her son, and puts him in dangerous situations. Something I was never fully comfortable with. I felt most of Cassell's family was despicable.
By RED GLOVE, Lila has been transformed back into herself and has enrolled in Cassell's private school. Cassel does not want to date her, partly because of their history, partly because of how dangerous her family is. He is doing his best to put some distance between himself and the crime world.
To furthermore complicate things, the FEDS are on to Cassel and would like him to supply information about Lila's father.
In WHITE, Holly Black gives the reader a glimpse into the history of the curse workers. In RED GLOVE , she goes more into more about the present day curse worker's society by adding the stress of how the government feels about them. There are some that some them and wish for them to have equal rights. But others want them to have to register with the government so they can be monitored, reminding me a little of the early stages of Japanese internment in the U.S. and the treatment of AIDS patients in the early 80's.
I'm not sure Black totally writes with a true teenage boy's mind. There are a few things Holly has Cassel do that I don't think many teenage boys would. For instance, Cassel sees a picture of another guy and describes him as a "hot dude." Just a few minor things. Nothing huge. And most female readers might not even notice, but since I was once a teenage boy and reminder the nasty, self-conscious mind they process, I did notice.
All in all, this is an enjoyable read, and Holly Black should be commended for creating a totally unique world.
In the end, it turned out that Red Glove was a jillion times better than White Cat. I loved everything about it. Black’s prose was fluid and effective, her plot was gripping and fast-moving, Cassel was a great main character, and I was completely blown away by Red Glove’s cast of supporting characters. Just…perfect.
First things first: Cassel as a character. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. He’s smart, complicated, flawed, and above all, likable. And he’s not white (diversity!!!). This is male YA perspective done right, and Cassel is the reason I wish YA wasn’t so heavily female dominated.
And like I said, the supporting characters were really great, too. Sam, Cassel’s best friend and roommate, is awesome. He’s extremely loyal to Cassel, and while the two of them don’t get along, you always know Sam will be willing to help Cassel out with a con.
Holly Black handles the mob/conmen/crime plotline so well. The action in Red Glove was thrilling, and I was actually a bit disappointed when I realized I was on the last page. Red Glove’s storyline is complex and detailed, with several subplots and side-trails that only add to the central conflict.
Quite often lately, I’ve been experiencing this odd phenomenon where a sequel is better than then first book. It’s weird for me, but I’m not complaining. Red Glove was gritty, with a fantastic premise and awesome characters.
I definitely liked Red Glove better than Curse Workers, although there was more mystery in the first one I felt like there was more to this one.
I actually felt bad for Cassel, not only did someone he trusted take away some of his memories, invading his personal space, but Lila, the girl he loves was cursed to love Cassel. He knew he couldnt date her knowing that she only loves him because she was cursed to.
His family has been lying to him for years, his mom treats him like crap and his older brother just died. Now he has to figure out the mystery of who would want to kill him. The FBI has showed up at his school and they want his help. With the help of both his friends he tries to solve the murder mystery.
I thought Cassels friends were an important part in the story, I am happy that she incorporated the friends into the style like she did. They both played an important part helping solve the murder. Without the three of them working together it wouldnt have came together like it did.
I loved the originality of the Curse Workers trilogy, and I will finish the trilogy but I feel something lacking in the books. I have to be honest here and say that there a few authors that I just cant get into their writing style, and Holly black is one of those authors. I do wish I loved the books more, Im not bashing her but I do feel something missing and the stories dont capture my attention.
This book ends on a cliffhanger like any other trilogy does, so be sure to mark Black heart, the last book in the trilogy on your to-read pile. Black Heart comes out on April 5 2012