Saturday, January 5, 2013
Book Review: Red Glove by Holly Black
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Why I read it/how I found it: Sequel to White Cat
**Spoilers for White Cat below**
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.
I love the magic of this world, how the touch of a hand can produce magic. I love placing it in an urban setting and watching how to incorporate the mobs.
What I found to be a great strength of Red Glove was the hard choices Cassel had to make. He has to face the knowledge of his power and how everyone wants to use him, which made for great conflict. Making the right choice wasn't easy, especially when those offering the right choice were corrupt as well. It refused to be straight-forward.
This was plotted so well, I didn't see the outcome until it was playing out in front of me. The mystery is great.
My one gripe would be that it started a little slow for me, as at the beginning Cassel's simply finishing up his summer vacation of conning and there isn't much that's important to the plot at this point. But page 50 it goes and I devoured it.
Other information: This is the second in a trilogy. Holly Black's website is here.