My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This exciting new instalment to the Curse Worker series by Holly Black has even more intrigue, deception, excitement and plot twists than the first and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. The characters are very likeable and you quickly become eager to follow their stories. This series is certainly becoming a fast favourite of mine.
This though the Goodreads blurp is such an adequate description that nothing more needs to be said, so here goes: 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.
WHAT I LIKED
I love the interesting twist on magic incorporated into this series. The idea of the curse workers and their mobster world is so unique and fresh, in a Soprano's meets the Sorcerer's Apprentice kind of way. Holly Black explores the mobster scene so accurately and dispassionately that it almost seems normal and acceptable, but still darkly compelling and interesting. For a moment I thought that might be the way to go… Hehe! Cassel is such great protagonist. Although he seems to be on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and uncertainties, he always has a plan at the back of his mind, which he executes perfectly. Although he is obviously so involved in the criminal underworld and commits several illegal acts, he always seems to have the best interest of those around him at heart. The love story between Cassel and Lila is still tortured and doomed, although not in the Twilight / Halo love triangle kind of way for which I was eternally grateful. It is realistic that love does not come easily and at first sight always, and that it has its own trials and trivialities and Holly Black portrayed this without making it contrived. I can go on and on about what I liked with this book, but you really should read it yourself to find why I loved it so much. It is a fun and easy read without being fluffy and juvenile.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I can't for the life of me think about anything that I did not enjoy about Red Glove. I am writing this review at least 15 days after reading the book, so I might have glossed over some peeves that I had whilst reading, but for the moment, there are none that I can think of. If you had any qualms with this book however, please share them with me. I like to consider all view points.
SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
A very resounding two thumbs up! The story is thoroughly enjoyable and entertains whilst endearing you to (some) of the characters. I, for one, cannot wait to read more about the Curse Worker world and how Cassel adjusts to his new position on the opposite side of where the Curse Workers traditionally find themselves. This should be really interesting!
The next book in the series, Black Heart, seems to be due for release only in April 2012… sigh! I hope to share the cover with all of you soon!