Red Glove (Curse Workers Series #2)

( 82 )


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...

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Red Glove (Curse Workers Series #2)

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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.

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  • The Curse Workers Series
    The Curse Workers Series  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this smart and well-executed sequel to White Cat, 17-year-old Cassel Sharpe is still getting used to the idea that he's a transformation worker, the rarest and most powerful type of curse worker, able to transmute people and objects into whatever he wishes. Growing up in a crime family, he's always been on the wrong side of the law, but now everyone wants a piece of Cassel, including a mob boss, who sees him as an untraceable hit man, and U.S. agents, who want him to replace his recently murdered brother as an informant. Also, Cassel's mother has put a love curse on Lila, the mob boss's daughter, and Cassel's plan to avoid her until it wears off ("Lila's desire for me is a perversion of love. A mockery") dissolves when Lila enrolls at his prep school. As Cassel's grandfather warns him, "Magic gives you a lot of choices.... Most of them are bad." Black again delivers complex characters and a nicely developed alternate universe where magic workers are social pariahs. This powerful, edgy dark fantasy won't disappoint Black's fans. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
* "Black again delivers complex characters and a nicely developed alternate universe where magic workers are social pariahs. This powerful, edgy dark fantasy won't disappoint Black's fans."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Dark, disturbing fare, crafted by a master; readers of the trilogy's first will be supremely satisfied."--Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will be happy to slip back into Black’s elaborate, fascinating world of workers, curses, and the seeming ease with which everyone has learned to live in a world where no one, not even family, can be truly trusted, and this sequel offers satisfying additional glimpses into this nearly familiar but ultimately shockingly different world."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The Curse Workers series continues to offer a sleek and stylish blend of urban fantasy and crime noir."--Booklist

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
The second book in the Curse Workers trilogy picks up with Cassel Sharpe returning to his prep school with a lot of baggage, mostly of the personal kind. Lila is back at school, too, and still cursed, if loving Cassel can be considered a curse. Cassel is conflicted about his awareness of his abilities as a transformation worker. His ambivalence only becomes more profound when his brother Phillip is found murdered. Two government agents come to school to talk to Cassel about the secret Phillip has been keeping from his family: that he had just agreed to work for the Feds. As Cassel works to figure out who killed Phillip—his mom?, his girlfriend?, a mobster?, his brother Barron?—he turns to his own cunning as well as the support of his prep school friends to solve the mystery. Black fans will love this second book in the series, especially for the way in which it continues Cassel and Lila's story and adds the additional tension of Cassel being courted by the two mob families as well as the Feds. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Cassel Sharpe spent his summer in Atlantic City with a string of blond girls, trying to forget Lila. After all, he turned her into a cat, and once she regained her human form, his mother cursed her to love him. Cassel knows he should avoid her. However, when he returns to school, he discovers that she has also enrolled in order to be near him. Soon, keeping his distance from Lila becomes the least of his worries; Cassel's older brother Philip is murdered, and the Feds want his help to solve the crime. Working with agents will put him in danger from two sources: If Lila's father, crime lord Zacharov, discovers that Cassel has turned informant, he will face the same fate as Philip. And if the Feds learn that Cassel is a transformation worker, they will find a reason to lock him up and throw away the key. In the midst of all the organized crime and romantic angst, Cassel also must navigate a high school where curse workers are regarded with suspicion and even hatred. While the mystery of who killed Philip isn't the most compelling part of the book, the drama caused by the relationships and the depiction of supernatural organized crime keep the plot moving along. All of the characters from White Cat (S & S, 2010) have matured, and their development is adequately depicted in this book. Part X-Men and part Sopranos, Red Glove will appeal to teens looking for a thrilling read.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442403390
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Series: Curse Workers Series, #2
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 240,359
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Holly Black
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. Visit her at
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 82 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Spectacular Sequel

    Sometimes sequels are even better than prequels. It does not happen often, but when it does, it is nothing short of spectacular. Luckily, Holly Black's Red Glove was one of those books. Spellbinding, unique, fast paced, Red Glove packs quite the punch to say the least.

    It has been a while since White Cat left off, and Cassel is still dealing with the drama and mishaps that previously occurred. He is barley talking to his brothers- given the fact he can barely trust them-, and he is avoiding the girl of his dreams, thanks to the ridiculous curse of his mother's, among other things. However, everything changes when the feds contact him after his older brother's suspicious death. Learning things about the past as well as the current times, Cassel falls into yet another sketchy situation, leaving him torn between "good" and "bad." What side of the game will Cassel fall on? Will everything with Lila ever get better? Only time and more pages will tell in this action-packed sequel.

    In this addition, Cassel grew greatly as a character. He became someone I didn't just "like" but "love." For one, he is pretty kick-butt. He is cunning and manipulative at times, but he still is a huge sweetheart when it comes down to it. I especially loved seeing his relationship with Lila continue, as it caused lots of suspense and intrigue. Moreover, not only did the secondary characters in this also grew greatly, but they also played such a great role in the book as either the "bad" people or the "good" or even sometimes in between the two.

    I also adored the plot of this one! It was filled with so many heart-stopping moments that continuously had me on the edge of my seat, dying to know what would happen next. There were many twists and turns involving not only the curse workers but the characters and their relationships as well. I especially loved the ending, as it completely amazed me becasue I did not expect it one bit.

    Full of twists and turns, Red Glove is a book you simply cannot miss this spring season!

    Now if I could only get the third one ASAP.

    Grade: A-

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Great series overall

    These books dint draw me in and make me want to keep reading as much as some other books butnthey are still enticing and beautiful and i reccomend them

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013



    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    I love how Cassel simultaneously continues to better and screw o

    I love how Cassel simultaneously continues to better and screw over his life. The poor boy can't win.

    4.5 stars instead of 5 because of the verbose end. I feel like this book could have done better with that but got lazy. I still didn't see it coming, though. ¿*´¿¿*¿


    “Oh- and grab the plastic bag over by my suitcase."
    I slug down the last of the coffee and get up. The bag contains panty hose. I put them on her desk.
    "They're for you."
    "You want me to look homeless, desperate, but also kind of fabulous?”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Classic Black

    Great book! Holly Black lives up to expectations with this series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Super great!

    I loved this book an i couldnt stop reading it all the curse worker books are epic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    By frododoglover


    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Even better than White Cat! This novel has romance, a murder case to solve and some thrilling con games!

    RED GLOVE continues the story around Cassel and his con worker family with finesse and even more bottomless feelings.Where WHITE CAT helped us to establish ourselves to the strange-in a positive way- world of gloves and magic, RED GLOVE dives deeper into the bonds of family, foes and friends around Cassel Sharpe.

    Cassel is an outcast, talking about himself as dangerous while I love his torn character. He’s torn between lie and honesty, the criminal and the right thought, always circling around the same girl, Lila.
    Their relationship is complex, difficult because it is built up by many different layers of time and action. While we get, thanks to the first person narrator, an insight into Cassel’s thoughts and feelings we never know how Lila really feels. And it's especially that mysterious bond between the two I love.

    I wasn’t extremely interested in or fond of secondary characters like Cassel’s friends Sam and Daneca or his family members, probably because with Cassel we already got a protagonist that devours a lot of attention.

    You shouldn’t think of RED GLOVE as a bright and all easy read. It’s a book displaying a corrupt and criminal society with shady characters and events. I wouldn’t describe RED GLOVE as a dystopian novel, still I sometimes registered the same gloomy atmosphere that is characteristic for a good read about an imperfect world.

    Holly Black’s writing is not main-stream. Her speciality are short but concise sentences, her novel is made up of a wide vocabulary foundation and complex characters. Black is not just a con artist when it comes to playing with her characters, but with readers, too. I can’t believe it’s a years wait for BLACK HEART!


    I give it 4,5/5 stars.

    Once again a conjuring mix of a magical world made up of shady figures and stirring emotions, written by the gloved-cat-lady in a fantastic non-mainstream style!

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Black's world building in this series is phenomenonal.

    **Red Glove is the second book in Holly Black's Curse Worker Series. This review has spoilers for the plot of the first book White Cat. You have been warned.**

    Cassel Sharpe thought he knew all the angles. He thought he understood his family of criminals and curse workers even though he wasn't really a part of that world.

    That was before Cassel found out he was a Transformation Worker. That was before he betrayed his brothers before they could do the same to him. That was before the girl he thought he killed came back. It was long before she was cursed to love him.

    Now the mob wants Cassel on their side and the feds are asking him inconvenient questions about a red-gloved murderer. Cassel is being pushed down a path he doesn't want to follow--one he might have to walk alone. But what if he doesn't have any other options?

    The only thing Cassel really knows is that the future is going to be here soon than he thinks in Red Glove (2011) by Holly Black.

    Red Glove is the second book in Black's Curse Worker's trilogy. (It's preceded by White Cat and will be followed by Black Heart.)

    Black's world building in this series is phenomenonal. Red Glove expands on details and presents new aspects of Cassel's world including politics and cops--something every good noir story needs. Possibly because the groundwork was already laid, this book feels less graphic and gory than White Cat.*

    As the second book in a trilogy, Red Glove does its job perfectly by both expanding on the events in the first book and building up to (what will probably be) a sensational conclusion in book three. The story here once again delivers a satisfying blend of fantasy, noir, and good old fashioned suspense. Cassel remains a delightful narrator even when he is unethical and dangerous; his moral struggles and frank assessment of his own character are part of what makes this series great. Even better this book confirmed that maybe, just maybe, Cassel might be okay at the end of everything. Or not. If nothing else, he might finally know what kind of man he really is.

    *Or maybe it was just me. I was amazed at how much less devastating the reality of curse worker blowback felt in this book. And I was thrilled at how much more I enjoyed this book compared to the first. Yay.

    Possible Pairings: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Heist Society by Ally Carter, Leverage (television series), White Collar (television series)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012


    Best book I've ever read!

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A really dark, addictive read!

    Cassel and company are back once again in Red Glove, the much awaited sequel to White Cat. I have to say I enjoyed this just as much, if not more, than White Cat! This was a really dark, addictive read! Once I started reading, I definitely couldn¿t put it down. I absolutely can¿t get enough of this world that Holly Black has created. I have to say, Cassel is still a really interesting main character to me. Still flawed, but is coming to terms with who he is and what he can do. I liked that he wanted to make things right, even though the things he had done, (without his knowledge), were pretty horrible. He¿s still a bad boy, being the school bookie and sneaking out of his school. He¿s a really smart guy, and makes a perfect conman. Lila is in the book again, and I have to say I liked her a little more this time. I still really enjoyed reading about Sam and Daneca as well. The mom and the brother still bother me, I just can¿t like them! The storyline and descriptions were well written, as were all the characters. There were a lot of surprises that I didn¿t see coming. Some parts really kept me on the edge of my seat. This series is really so different than any other book I¿ve read, and I really, really enjoyed reading it! Happy Reading!

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A con unlike any other.

    The fast paced con world, unlike any other, that Holly Black has created will definitely keep you on your toes. The stakes are higher, the love is more strangled, and you will be guessing until the very end.

    Red Glove picks up where White Cat left off. Cassel is trying to spend time with his recently-jailed released mother, cope with the fact that the girl he loves has been worked to love him, and come to terms with knowing he's a tranformation worker. Returning to school and his old ways seems easy enough until someone close to him is murdered. Cassel will do whatever must to figure out what happened and People start to come at him from every angle, including the feds and Zacharov himself. Cassel must start to trust people as he tries to solve a murder and pull off a whole new con.

    Red Glove was a fantastic book. But I have to say, unfortunately, Red Glove didn't impress me as much as White Cat did. Don't get me wrong, I loved so many aspects of this book and I still really, super enjoy this series! I really loved watching the emotional roller coaster that Cassel goes through with Lila in this installment. At the end of this book, with their situation, I was just like WHAT?! Other than that, I really adore this world that Holly Black so cleverly created. It's so unique, awesome, and dark.

    There are definitely some twists in this book I did not see coming, and I was pleasantly surprised. The reason Red Glove fell short for me is because I just felt like the action was rising and rising and I thought there was going to be some huge twist, but there wasn't. Does that mean the book was bad? Heck no! The book was still a fantastic read!! Does it mean everyone will feel the same way as me? No, of course not. Maybe I set my expectations too high; I don't know.

    Overall Red Glove was a good read and I am defintely looking forward to the conclusion in BLACK HEART.

    PS. There's a JACE reference. Loved it :)

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  • Posted August 20, 2011


    I really liked White Cat, although it was hard to get into at first due to the fact that much of Cassel's world isn't explained up front (which is why I think these books aren't as well known as they should be). However, Red Glove was even better than its predecessor. The plot was much more fast-paced and intriguing, and the mystery kept me guessing even more, with multiple shocking twists. This series somehow combines teenage drama, fantasy, and mystery for a fantastic read! Definitely not to be missed!

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Cassel now knows the truth about his abilities and is trying to decide if resisting a life as a Worker is worth it, or if he should just give in and join one of the crime families. His brother has been killed and the Feds want his help solving the crime. To complicate matters, the girl he loves has been worked by his own mother and he can't trust Lila's feelings for him because of it. Cassel has to decide between the normal life his heart yearns for and a life in the mob. Can he figure out a way to play both sides and get everything he wants?

    Red Glove was just as strong as White Cat. Cassel's life becomes even more complicated and he is still trying desperately to preserve the small bits or normalcy he was able to carve out at boarding school. His two worlds start to blend dangerously as Lila enrolls at his school and he has to stay away from her until the curse wears off. He is forced to hear the girl he loves finally say 'I love you' knowing that the emotions aren't real. The stress, the longing and the confusion of his life weigh heavily on his mind.

    I was once again blown away by the world that Holly Black created. I loved the social and political conflicts between workers and non-workers and the prejudice that would certainly arise in an environment of fear. It makes Cassel's existence in two worlds seem that much more complicated and painful. In Cassel's life, curses leave no one untouched, even the girl he loves.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely enjoyed this one

    **possible spoilers**

    Holly Black's writing still continues to keep readers entertained with her sequel to White Cat. There's still twists and turns to go through, and Cassel is such a great anti hero there's nothing to not like about him. The reader can't help but feel for Cassel, he's gone through so much! and he's goes through a lot more in Red Glove.

    The plot is just as good as it was with White Cat. Lots of guessing, plenty of revelations, and the cliffhanger ending made the book such a great read (although now I have to wait for a while for the third installment of this series). Cassel not only develops as a character, but his relationships with his other friends and Lila develop with him. Although Lila was 'worked' on, I couldn't help but love how her and Cassel felt right for each other. Their chemistry was just right without being overdone and cheesy but you still had that nagging truth in the back of your head; Lila has been worked on, so this love can't be real. But then you ask yourself, but the love sure feels real. I love this kind of writing! the author just initiates these doubts and thoughts to the reader which makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

    As mentioned before, the twists and turns are just as good as the first book, and the new things Cassel has to deal with add more to the story. You'd have to feel sorry for the guy, it's as if he's meant to deal with a lot of crap day after day, and his family doesn't really help with that fact either (except for his Grandpa, which remains one of my quiet favorite characters in the novel). I loved how the revelations (both big and small) are revealed in this book, perhaps it was the way the author revealed them, or maybe because I was so engrossed in the book but each one was shocking as the previous one.

    With the ending the way it was for this one, it's going to be hard to wait for the last book! Holly Black's writing just keeps getting better and better with each book she writes.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Read it now!

    4 1/2 stars! Cassel is stuck once again--pushing away the love of his life because she has been cursed by Cassel's mother to love Cassel. He knows that love is not real but can't help the feelings he has for Lila. The FBI try to recruit him to find his brother's killer and his discovery of the red gloves makes him realize the killer could be someone very close to him. This creative plot has plenty of twists. The guilt-ridden protagonist leaves us wanting him to make the right choice but in his right versus wrong world, that choice is never clear. Great book for teens and adults; how will I manage the wait until Black Heart comes out next year? Some references to sex which may make it inappropriate for some younger teens.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Even Better Than the First

    First off, let me say I didn't love White Cat. I liked White Cat but did not really love it. I actually haven't read it since it was released and I was only gonna check out the sequel because it was a sequel if I had time. However, thanks to some persuading by Jen, I decided to give Red Glove a go instead of putting it off and I am really glad I did.

    Red Glove was a great sequel. Personally, I really enjoyed Red Glove about ten times more than White Cat. I really felt the now that Cassel's world was already developed, Holly Black was able to do more with the actual plot and characters.

    After the ending of White Cat, I was interested to see what was going to happen with Cassel and Lila's relationship. I really loved the dynamics of their relationship. Cassel cares a lot for her, but wants their relationship to be genuine, not the work of some curse, and it was heart-wrenching to see how hard he was trying to make the relationship not work because it was not real.

    I really loved the mystery element of this book. The whole murder plot was interwoven seamlessly with the Feds. You could feel Cassel's confusion at what to do, should he stay loyal to his family or help the government find his brother's murderer. When the murderer was revealed, I was shocked. It definitely was not who I expected. And the big con in this book was brilliant. Cassel is a genius and a great con artist even if he does not want to be.

    The ending made me frustrated at some of the characters, but frustrated in a good way. I was really saddened that I was at the end of the book, I wanted it to keep going! I literally flew through reading this book I was so engrossed. Holly Black has created an intriguing, unique world filled with some very great characters, characters who you learn a lot more about in this sequel. Now if only Black Heart were out now.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I really like this series. The characters are multi-dimensional and complex and some of them I downright loathe. Cassel is a great good-bad guy, or bad-good guy... I'm never quite sure, which I love in and of itself. I liked Lila a lot more in this book, although she was under a curse so that's not saying much. It's not that I wouldn't prefer her being herself and being tough and a wee bit evil. But I just had a hard time liking her in 'White Cat' because of how she treated Cassel. It was more like he was her puppy than a real friend. But I'm glad she, as well as Sam and Danika, played a bigger role in this one.

    The story was interesting in this one, and frustrating all the same to see Cassel pulled in so many different directions from either people he loved or people in power. I really wasn't sure how he was going to get himself out of it and keep everyone happy (or at least keep everyone, or someone, from trying to kill him... but I suppose that's still up for grabs). With respect to the murder, I did have a good idea as to who the killer was, but it wasn't as obvious as the stuff in the first book.

    There were a few twists I didn't see coming. Like how Cassel worked everything out and some reveals with minor characters. The one thing I wasn't a fan of was the ending. It was to be expected, but it just felt like too much of a flash-back to the first book. Maybe if there was some other wrap up after it I wouldn't have been so frustrated. But that being said, I'm immediately putting the release date for the next one into my calender!

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    Seriously, Ms. Black I love your writing! Red Glove is a great sequel I really enjoyed. I found myself at the edge of my seat bouncing with joy as I read this book. So many betrayals, secrets, murders that has left me with practically no finger nails!

    So this book picked right where it has left off with Cassel trying to fix things from the first book. Now I won't tell what it is, in case you have not read it, but he deals with a lot. Cassel's character has grown up from the first book. Where as he was ignorant, now he knows better and is smarter. Cassel has now become the guy you don't want to mess with. This time Cassel thinks about everything not because he wants to but he has to. He is put into a very hard place and needs to find a way out.

    The plot twists were amazing! As I was reading this book, I kept wondering how Ms. Black would pull it off for Cassel. When I finally got to the end and saw how it fit together, genius. That's all I thought. The plot came off beautifully.

    I like how well Ms. Black leaves her endings. There not cliff hangers, but not finished as well. They leave you with just enough to know that there is more. The ending definitely left an open door to know that there is going to be much more!

    Red Glove is a fantastic sequel that I could not get enough of. Written beautifully, Red Glove takes you on a ride that you won't forget!

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Not as good as expected

    The first book to this series was one of my favories! However, this second book wasn't very fun to read. It didn't introduce anything new and I felt like I didn't care what happened to the characters. Basically, Cassel's perspective through the book was to detach himself from everyone. This carried over to the reader and made it seem like I didn't want anything to do with all the people he was involved with. His roommate was the only one that Cassel and therefore the reader felt interested in knowing about. I actually skipped over some parts and I've never done that with a book before. I'll still read the next book because the first one was so enjoyable but Red Glove was boring for me.

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