Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Red Glove

Red Glove (Curseworkers #2), by Holly Black. The GoodReads summary:
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 think it’s safe to say that most people who read this blog regularly know that I’m not usually into sequels or series. Even if I love the first book, I won’t always pick up the second. But I saw this one at the library and thought, What the hey--I might as well give it a shot since I liked the first book (White Cat) well enough. And you know what? I liked this book well enough, too.

I don’t know what sets this series apart for me, but always ends up hitting the spot for me. The whole mob/con men aspect is fascinating and gives the book a really awesome tone. The back of the book calls it a “noir thriller” and a “dark fantasy,” and I think those descriptions capture the book perfectly. And the magic aspect is deftly worked into the story and such a unique take on the supernatural. This is no fluffy fairy magic--this is serious magic with serious consequences.

I think the major thing that allows me to keep reading the series is that the romance isn’t at all a sure thing. This is no insta-love, and romance isn’t even the main point of the story. It takes a backseat to the mystery/mob storyline, and I appreciate that. I hate it when the romance is resolved by the end of the first book--it means there’ll be zero tension in the next books, and I can’t stand that. But by the end of this second book, I don’t even know if--let alone how--the romance will work out.

Overall, I think this was a great second book. A LOT of second books fall flat for me, but this one could hold its own against the first. And it was good enough that I’ll be picking up third book, Black Heart.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

1 comment:

  1. I've been feeling exactly the same way about second books in different series. Regardless of how much I liked the first book. I don't know if it's just because I've got so many books to read now or what. Red Glove sounds much better than White Cat. I read a bit of White Cat and then kinda gave up even though I did think it was interesting. I'm going to have to give it another try I think.


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