Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Red Glove by Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: April 5th, 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. 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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Don't you love it when the second book in a series is better than the first?  I do.  I always find it frustrating when I have high expectations for a 2nd book, and they aren't met.  In this book, Holly Black not only met, but exceeded my expectations!  If you've read my review of White Cat (you can do that HERE if you haven't), you'll know that I love this series.  Holly Black went outside of her normal realm (ahem- pun totally intended- get it? realm? as in faery realm? ha, ha.) with it, and did a great job!  As I mentioned in that review, I listened to the audio of this one and, let me tell you, Jesse Eisenberg nails it.  He IS Cassel Sharpe to me now.  At first, I was like, "Seriously? Facebook movie dude? No way is that going to work!".  Well, (I hope my husband reads this as evidence) I. Was. Wrong.  He totally pulled it off!  He nailed it, and if they don't get him for book #3, I will be devastated!  Now that I've gushed about the audio version, let's get down to the book review...

As I mentioned, Red Glove was even better than White Cat.  Most of the cliffhanger-ending questions I had were answered, and I am no longer mad at Holly Black for the ending.  Where White Cat was quite plot driven, Red Glove was more character driven, and it was done so well.  I thought I had a decent grasp on who is good and who is bad, but I'm not so sure anymore.  While many of the lingering questions from White Cat were answered, Red Glove served up plenty of new ones.  The biggest of which is, "Who is Cassel Sharpe?"... I am so eager to know what path he is going to take, and Holly Black has done such at great job writing his character, that I don't even have a solid opinion on which one I WANT him to take.  As for the other characters, I think it's quite clear what direction Lila is going with family obligations and all (also there is the cover and title of Black Heart, if you have any doubts), but what about Sam, Daneca?  And let's not forget Cassel's Mommy Dearest and her little side show?  There were some major twists in this book that open up some serious questions about certain characters and I for one, cannot wait to find out the answers...

As for the story itself, I thought it was a bit predictable at first, but I was dead wrong.  Everything I thought I knew was thrown out the window.  There are twists involving every single major character in this book, and not only that, we learn things about certain characters from White Cat whose stories we thought had already been told.  There was so much action!  It was a good thing I was listening to this; if I had been reading it, my house would have ended up looking like a bomb hit it - at least I could listen and clean at the same time.  So many doors were opened to pave the way for a very exciting final installment of this fabulous series.  I cannot wait until April 3rd when Black Heart is released.  Hopefully Jesse Eisenberg will continue to be the audio narrator, because he breathes such life into Cassel.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Grade Level Recommendation:  This one is a little more sexy than White Cat, so I have to go to a recommendation of grades 8 and up (ages 13+).  


  1. Definitely moving this one up the list -- your review got me so excited to read it. Thanks!

  2. I love this review. And I totally agree with just about everything you said in it. Now you have me all amped up for April.

  3. Oh really!? Better than book 1? Awesome! I read White Cat in Sept and I really enjoyed it. I planned to pick this up soon and was hoping it wasn't a mediocre "middle book".

    Xpresso Reads


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