Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Red Glove by Holly Black
April 5, 2011; Margaret K. McElderry
-Copy received free for fair review courtesy of S&S Galley Grab
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)
*This review contains spoilers for White Cat.
If you loved White Cat, you will love Red Glove just as much, if not more. Cassel's adventures continue and his choices become harder and have more consequences.
The plot of Red Glove revolves around two big questions: What kind of person is Cassel? What kind of person should he become? Through all the plot twists and turns, Cassel's decisions rest upon these questions.
Cassel is more likeable in Red Glove. He came across as arrogant and stand-offish for much of White Cat. The reasons were understandable, of course. He thought he had killed his best friend, and he felt inferior being the only non-Worker in his powerful family. Now Cassel knows that he is an incredibly powerful Worker, has done terrible things, and has been betrayed by his family. You'd think this would make him harder to like and relate to, but the opposite is true. He doesn't need to compensate for his feelings of inferiority anymore. While he can't trust his family, he has a group of friends he can trust.
Cassel is going through the same journey of self-discovery as all teenagers, but the stakes are much higher for him. He needs to decide now whether he will join the Zacharov mob, whether he will help or hurt his family, or whether he will help the government. Each of his choices will have consequences good and bad.
I love how Cassel slowly transforms into someone who needs nobody to someone who relies upon his friends Sam and Daneca. Both are great characters - resourceful, dependable, and passionate about their own interests. Daneca especially surprised me.
Lila is an important character. Cassel's mother made Lila fall in love with him at the end of White Cat and now she won't leave him alone. As much as Cassel is in love with her, he tries as hard as he can to resist. He just can't bring himself to use a girl who only loves him on false pretenses (or does she?). His refusal to use Lila is an indication of Cassel's innate goodness and something that further separates him from his mother and brothers, who would stop at nothing to get what they want.
While my review of Red Glove is more of a character study of Cassel, the book really is plot heavy. Cassel goes from one dangerous situation to another. I loved seeing how he used his charm, sarcasm, resourcefulness, and cunning to get out of each one. The book ends at a great point. It resolves the story, but still leaves you wanting more.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Posted by Alison Can Read at 7:34 AM