Title: Red Glove (The Curse Workers Book 2)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: 16 June 2011
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. He can transform anything – or anyone – into something else.
That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became the white cat. Now she’s back, but she’s been cursed to love him. If Lila’s love is as false 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 find his brother’s killer. But the mob wants Cassel too – they know how valuable he could be to them. He will have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. Where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone – least of all, himself?
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Red Glove is the second book set in Holly Black’s fantastic The Curse Workers series. The story starts some time after the events of White Cat but before the start of the new school year.
There’s something about Cassel Sharpe that makes him both a really likeable character and narrator despite being a confessed con artist and liar. The narrative voice makes the book a really enjoyable read, as you find yourself rooting for the characters. To be honest, the concept of this series really does it for me as a reader. It allows there to be a noir element to the narrative, like those old cop books you’ve heard about but never read. For me this book is almost a flash forward of that idea with a little supernatural twist which makes it a compelling and interesting read.
The plot of Red Glove itself is interesting; a clever mix of who-done-it and romance. You never know quite who to trust, partly because Cassel doesn’t know who to trust. Which is as much a by-product of the world Black creates, as it is the character Cassel. It’s also an interesting look at humanity, when you think about it – if just by touching your bare skin with their bare hand someone could change your emotions/wipe your memory/kill you, would you trust anyone? Black really sets this concept up and the possible outcome brilliant in both Red Glove and its’ predecessor White Cat.
Yet for all the corruption, all the tension in the narrative I think the book shows what it can mean to be a good person. Cassel’s Grandad has a really interesting take on what it means to be a good person, towards the end of the book (I won’t spoil it by telling you). It’s a really interesting thought, and it sums up Cassel rather brilliantly.
This book was a joy to read, and I’m looking forward to reading The Curse Workers Book 3 when it comes out.