The cons get twistier and the stakes get higher in this second book of The Curse Workers trilogy: “a sleek and stylish blend of urban fantasy and crime noir” (Booklist).
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.
After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution and finding out that Lila will never be his, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family tied to one of the big crime families, and a mother whose cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is also coming to terms with what it means to be a transformation worker and figuring out how to have friends.
But normal doesn’t last very long—soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past. A past he remembers only in scattered fragments and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive. Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.
About the Author
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 Tales series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Darkest Part of the Forest, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), and the Folk of the Air series. 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 BlackHolly.com.
Read an Excerpt
I DON’T KNOW WHETHER it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave. Her minnow silver dress swishes against the tops of her thighs like Christmas tinsel as she opens the hotel door.
I struggle to remember her name.
“So you’ll tell your father at the consulate about me?” Her lipstick is smeared across her cheek. I should tell her to fix it, but my self-loathing is so great that I hate her along with myself.
“Sure,” I say.
My father never worked at any consulate. He’s not paying girls a hundred grand a pop to go on a goodwill tour of Europe. I’m not a talent scout for America’s Next Top Model. My uncle doesn’t manage U2. I haven’t inherited a chain of hotels. There are no diamond mines on my family land in Tanzania. I have never been to Tanzania. These are just a few of the stories my mother has spent the summer spinning for a string of blond girls in the hope that they’ll make me forget Lila.
I look up at the ceiling. I keep on staring at it until I hear my mother start to move in the adjoining room.
Mom got out of jail a couple months back. After school let out she relocated us both to Atlantic City, where we’ve been grifting rooms and charging up whatever food and drink we want to them. If the staff gets too demanding about payment, we simply move down the strip. Being an emotion worker means that Mom never leaves a credit card at the desk.
As I think that, she opens the door between our rooms.
“Honey,” Mom says, as though it’s not at all weird to find me lying on the floor in my boxers. Her black hair is up in clips and wrapped in one of her silk scarves, the way she always wears it when she sleeps. She’s got on the hotel robe from the last hotel, tied tightly around her ample waist. “You ready for some breakfast?”
“Just coffee, I think. I’ll make it.” I push myself up and pad over to the complimentary pot. There’s a bag of grounds, sugar, and some powdered creamer sitting on a plastic tray.
“Cassel, how many times do I have to tell you that it isn’t safe to drink out of those things? Someone could have been brewing meth in it.” Mom frowns. She always worries about the weirdest things. Hotel coffeepots. Cell phones. Never normal stuff, like the police. “I’ll order us both up coffee from the kitchen.”
“They could be brewing meth there, too,” I say, but she ignores me.
She goes into her room and I can hear her make the call. Then she comes back to the doorway. “I ordered you some egg whites and toast. And juice. I know you said you weren’t hungry, but you need to keep your strength up for today. I found us a new mark.” Her smile is big enough that I almost want to smile along with her.
That’s my mom.
Believe it or not, there are magazines out there called, like, Millionaire Living or New Jersey Millionaires or whatever, that feature profiles of old guys in their homes, showing off their stuff. I have no idea who else buys them, but they’re perfect for my mother. I think she sees them as gold digger shopping catalogs.
That’s where she found Clyde Austin. He’s on the page after a feature with curse-worker-hating Governor Patton at his mansion, Drumthwacket. Despite a recent divorce, according to the article, Austin still manages to enjoy a lifestyle that includes a private plane, a heated infinity pool, and two borzois that travel with him everywhere. He has a home in Atlantic City, where he likes to go out to dinner at Morton’s and play a little blackjack when he can get away from the office. The picture of him shows a short, squat dude with hair plugs.
“Put on something dirty,” Mom says. She’s at her desk, altering a new pair of bright blue gloves. She’s seeding them with tiny holes at the fingertips: small enough to go unnoticed, big enough for her skin to touch the mark’s.
“Dirty?” I say from the couch I’m slumped on in her suite. I’m on my third cup of coffee, all three choked with cream. I ate the toast, too.
“Wrinkled. Something that makes you look homeless and desperate.” She begins to take down her curls, one by one. Soon she’ll start rubbing gunk into her skin and curling her eyelashes. It takes her hours to get ready.
“What’s the plan?” I ask.
“I posed as his secretary and pretended I forgot when his reservation was for,” Mom says. “At Morton’s. Wasn’t it great how the magazine comes right out and says where to find him? It absolutely worked. He’s going to eat there at eight o’clock tonight.”
“How long have you known that for?” I ask her.
“A couple days.” She shrugs, making a careful line of black above her eyes. There’s no telling how long she really knew. “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?” I ask.
“Over your head,” she says, turning in her chair and miming the gesture like I’m a moron. “If Clyde works out, I want him to be able to meet you as my son.”
“It sounds like you’ve really got some plan cooked up,” I say.
“Oh, come on,” she demands. “School starts in less than a week. Don’t you want to have a little fun?”
Several hours later Mom clops along the boardwalk behind me in platform heels. Her white dress blows in the late summer wind. The neckline is low enough that I’m worried her boobs are going to actually fall out if she moves too fast. I know it’s disturbing that I notice, but I’m not blind.
“You know what you’re supposed to do, right?” she says.
I wait for her to catch up. She has on gold lame gloves and is carrying a gold clutch purse. I guess she decided against the blue. Altogether it’s quite an outfit. “No, why don’t you tell me for the millionth time?”
I see the fury pass over her face like a storm. Her eyes go hard.
“I’ve got it, Mom,” I say in what I hope is a conciliatory way. “Go on ahead. We shouldn’t be talking.”
She totters off toward the restaurant, and I walk to the railing, looking at the sea. It’s the same view I had from Zacharov’s Atlantic City penthouse. I think of Lila with her back to me, staring out at black water.
I should have told her I loved her back then. Back when it would have meant something.
Waiting is the hardest thing about any con job. The moments slip by and your hands start to sweat, anticipating what’s coming. Your mind wanders. You’re all keyed up from adrenaline, but there’s nothing to do.
Distraction leads to disaster. Mom’s rule.
I turn back toward the restaurant and slip my gloved hand into my pocket, touching the wadded-up piece of panty hose. I hacked off the foot with a room service knife.
I keep focused, eyeing the crowd, watching my mother vamp up her incredibly slow stroll. We could be here awhile. And, honestly, this plan might not even work. That’s another thing about cons; you have to go after a bunch of marks before you find the perfect one. The one you can really take for all he’s worth.
We wait for twenty minutes, almost a block apart from each other. Mom has done all the innocent things someone does on a nighttime stroll: smoked a cigarette, checked her lipstick, made fake calls on the cell phone she borrowed from me. I, on the other hand, have taken to begging for change. I’ve made about $3.50 and am about to land another quarter when Clyde Austin lurches out of Morton’s.
Mom starts to move.
I jump up and take off toward her, yanking the panty hose down over my face. That slows me down some, because there is no way in hell these things are sheer. I can barely see.
People start yelling. Yeah, because a guy with hose over his head is never the good guy. He is, in fact, the stereotype—maybe even the archetype—of a bad guy.
I keep running, flying past my mother and yanking the gold clutch out of her hand.
She adds her screams to the chorus.
“Thief!” my mother screams. “Help! Heeeeelp!”
Now, this is the tricky part. I have to keep running, but I have to run just slowly enough that a drunk and out-of-shape guy with a couple of martinis rolling around in his belly actually thinks he can catch me.
“Please—someone!” Mom shrieks. “He has all my money!”
It’s really hard not to laugh.
I practically run into Clyde, making sure he’s got a shot at me. But I’ve got to give it to Mom. She’s right when she says that guys want to be knights in shining armor. He grabs for my arm.
I let myself fall.
It’s a bad one. Maybe it’s the panty hose over my face, or maybe I’m just off balance, but I go down hard on the asphalt, scraping one hand so roughly, I can feel my glove shred. I’m pretty sure I scrape my knees, too, but all they feel is numb.
I drop the purse.
Clyde clocks me in the back of the head before I can push myself to my feet. It hurts. She better appreciate this. Then I’m up and running. Full out. Pulling that crap off my face and hurling myself through the night as fast as I can.
Leaving Clyde Austin to be a hero, bringing a damsel in distress her golden clutch purse.
Leaving him to notice how charming she is when her eyes well up with gratitude.
Leaving him to check out her rack.
* * *
Mom is exultant. She breaks out the bottle of Prosecco from the minibar while I pour frothing hydrogen peroxide over my hand. It stings like crazy.
“He wants to meet for drinks tomorrow night. I told him it was the least I could do to take him out. He said that, after what I’d been through, he was going to pay, and that was that. Now, doesn’t that sound promising?”
“Sure,” I tell her.
“He’s going to pick me up here. At six. Do you think I should be ready when he gets here or do you think I should invite him in for a drink while I do a few last little things? Maybe be in my robe?”
I make a face. “I don’t know.”
“Stop thinking of it that way. This is a job. We need someone to provide for us. Pay for your fancy school—and Barron’s loans. Especially now that Philip can’t be sure how long he’s going to stay employed.” She cuts me a dark look, like I somehow forgot that I’m the one that got him in trouble with the boss of a crime family. Like I am going to start caring. They’ve done much worse to me.
“So long as you don’t work Clyde,” I say quietly. “You don’t need to. You’re plenty charming on your own.”
She laughs and pours her Prosecco into a water glass. It fizzes like the peroxide. “Like mother, like son. We’re both charming when we want something. Right, Cassel?”
“So I want you to stay out of jail,” I say. “So what? Is that supposed to be a secret?”
The doorbell of her room buzzes. “What did you order?” I ask her, and head over to open it.
Mom makes a sound of alarm, but she’s too late.
Clyde Austin is standing in the hallway, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s swinging from one hand. “Oh,” he says, embarrassed. “I must have the wrong room. I thought—”
Then he gets a good look at me—at the blood on my jeans, the scrape on my bare hand. And he sees my mother sitting on the bed. And he knows. His face goes ugly.
“You set me up,” he says. “You and her.” The way he says “her” tells me everything he’s thinking about us.
I start to explain, when he swings the bottle at my head. I see it moving, but I am too clumsy, too slow. It makes a hollow, horrible thunk against my temple.
I hit the carpet, dizzy. Dull pain makes me nauseous. That’s what I get for underestimating the guy. I roll onto my back just in time to see him over me, raising the Jack Daniel’s to strike again.
With a shriek Mom rakes her nails against his neck.
He whirls around, wild, swinging. His elbow connects. She flies back against the desk. Her magnifying mirror cracks against the wall, the shards falling like glittering confetti.
I reach up my bare hand. I could stop him with a single touch.
I could change him into a cockroach.
I could transform him into a puddle of grease.
I really want to.
Clyde has gone still, though, looking around like he suddenly doesn’t know where he is. “Shandra?” he says gently, reaching for my mother. “I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?”
“That’s okay,” Mom says in a soothing voice, getting up slowly. She winces. There’s blood on her lip. “You just came by to bring me a little liquor, didn’t you? And you saw my son. Maybe you mistook him for someone else.”
“I guess,” he says. “We got along so well that I figured why wait until tomorrow night? And then . . . He does look like the mugger, you have to admit.”
Mom’s an emotion worker. She can’t change his memories; my brother Barron could do that, but he’s not here. What Mom can do with a single bare-handed touch is make Clyde Austin like her so much that he’s willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. About anything. Everything. Even this.
A wave of dizziness overwhelms me.
“That’s true, baby,” she says. “He does look a little like the mugger. It was an honest mistake. I’m just going to walk you to the door now.” Her fingers go to his neck, which should make anybody flinch—bare fingers, no glove—but it doesn’t bother him at all. He lets himself be steered.
“I’m really sorry for what happened,” he says. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“I understand,” Mom tells him. “And I forgive you, but I don’t think that we can see each other tomorrow night. You get that, right?”
Shame heats his face. “Of course.”
My vision blurs. She says something else soothing, but not to me.
* * *
We check out in the morning. Sunlight makes my brain feel like it’s throbbing inside my skull. Sweat slicks my skin—the kind of unnatural sweat that comes along with injury. Each movement makes me as dizzy as riding a thousand roller coasters all at once. While we wait for the valet to get my car, I fumble through my backpack for sunglasses and try to avoid looking at the dark bruise on Mom’s shoulder.
She’s been totally silent since she told me we were leaving—all through packing and even the ride down in the elevator. I can tell she’s seething.
I feel too sick to know what to do about it.
Finally my ancient and rusted Benz drives up to the front of the hotel. Mom hands something to the driver and gets the keys while I slide in on the other side. The seat is hot on the backs of my legs, even through jeans.
“How could you answer the door like that?” she shouts as soon as we pull away from the curb. “Not looking through the peephole. Not calling out to ask who was there?”
I flinch at her voice.
“Are you stupid, Cassel? Didn’t I teach you better than that?”
She’s right. It was thoughtless. Stupid. Private school has made me careless. It’s exactly the kind of dumb mistake that separates a decent con man from an amateur. Plus the blowback from the emotion work makes her unstable. Not that she isn’t normally pretty unstable. But working magnifies it. So does anger. There’s nothing for me to do but ride it out.
I was used to her being like this when I was a kid. But she’s been in jail long enough for me to forget how bad she can get.
“Are you stupid?” she screeches. “Answer me!”
“Stop,” I say, and lean my head against the window, shutting my eyes. “Please stop. I’m sorry, okay?”
“No,” she says, her voice vicious and certain. “No one’s that pathetic. You did it on purpose! You wanted to ruin things for me.”
“Oh, come on,” I say. “I wasn’t thinking. I said I was sorry. Look, I’m the one with the goose egg to show for it. So we have to leave Atlantic City? We’d have to leave in a week anyway when I went back to school.”
“You did this to me because of Lila.” Her gaze is on the road, but her eyes glitter with fury. “Because you’re still angry.”
Lila. My best friend, who I thought I killed.
“I’m not talking about her,” I snap. “Not with you.”
I think about Lila’s wide, expressive mouth turning up at the corners. I think about her spread out on my bed, reaching for me.
With one touch of her hand, Mom made Lila love me. And made sure I could never, ever have her.
“Hit a nerve?” Mom says, gleefully cruel. “It’s amazing you actually thought you were good enough for Zacharov’s daughter.”
“Shut up,” I say.
“She was using you, you stupid little moron. When everything was said and done, she wouldn’t have given you the time of day, Cassel. You would have been a reminder of Barron and misery and nothing more.”
“I don’t care,” I say. My hands are shaking. “It would still have been better than—” Better than having to avoid her until the curse fades. Better than the way she’ll look at me once it does.
Lila’s desire for me is a perversion of love. A mockery.
And I almost didn’t care, I wanted her so much.
“I did you a favor,” my mother says. “You should be grateful. You should be thanking me. I got you Lila on a silver platter—something you could have never in your life had otherwise.”
I laugh abruptly. “I should be thanking you? How about you hold your breath until I do?”
“Don’t talk that way to me,” Mom roars, and slaps me, hard.
Hard enough that my battered head hits the window. I see stars. Little explosions of light behind the dark glasses. Behind my eyelids.
“Pull over,” I say. Nausea overwhelms me.
“I’m sorry,” she says, her voice seesawing back to sweet. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Are you okay?”
The world is starting to tilt. “You have to pull over.”
“Maybe right now you’d rather walk than deal with me, but if you’re really hurt, then you better—”
“Pull over!” I shout, and something about the urgency of my tone finally convinces her. She steers the car abruptly onto the shoulder of the road and brakes hard. I stumble out while we’re still moving.
Just in time to heave my guts up in the grass.
I really hope no one at Wallingford wants me to write an essay on how I spent my summer vacation.
Reading Group Guide
A Reading Group Guide to
White Cat and Red Glove of The Curse Workers Series
by Holly Black
About White Cat
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change a person’s emotions, memories, or luck with the slightest touch of the hand. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists, but not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider—the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail—he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago. Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He’s noticed other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel must outcon the conmen.
The starting point for White Cat was the fairy tale of that name, written by Madame d’Aulnoy. Ask readers to read the fairy tale and then see what they can find in it that relates to what happens with Cassel and Lila. Or ask them to read the fairy tale and analyze what it says about love and trust.
Discussion Questions for White Cat
Why doesn’t Cassel want to call for help?
What does Cassel see in his dream about the white cat?
Cassel says, “They’re wondering if I’ve been worked. Cursed. It’s not that big a secret that my grandfather was a death worker for the Zacharov family.” What does this reveal about Cassel and his family?
Who does Cassel say he murdered?
Why does Cassel spend most of his time at school “faking and lying”?
What kind of bookie operation does Cassel run at Wallingford?
Why can’t Cassel tell Sam that he needs the money he makes?
What did Cassel’s mother teach him about the basics of the con and curse work?
Cassel says, “For me the curse is a crutch, but the con is everything.” How is that different from how his mother thinks of the curse and con?
What is the difference Cassel says is between him and his mother?
What are two reasons Cassel says kids come to Wallingford? Why did Barron want Cassel to go there? What does Cassel think of Wallingford?
What is HEX, and what is Daneca Wasserman’s connection to it? Why does Daneca want Cassel to meet her mother?
What is the meaning of HBG?
How would you describe Cassel's relationships with his brothers, Barron and Philip?
Why will Cassel always be an outsider in his family?
What does Audrey suggest could have been the cause of Cassel’s sleepwalking?
What happens in the second dream Cassel has about the white cat?
What makes Cassel think of Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Tell-Tale Heart"?
What is ironic about Cassel’s nightmares about Lila?
When did Cassel realize he had a talent for crime?
What is an onomasticon? Why is Cassel concerned for the book about it that’s in the library?
Do you agree with Cassel when he says, “All friendships are negotiations of power"? What do you think he means?
What do you think about what Cassel has to say about the unreliability of memory?
When are the only times that Cassel says “he felt safe”?
What does Cassel discover on Barron’s laptop?
What does Cassel realize about Lila?
What are the four different kinds of memory curse?
What about the white cat’s eyes reminds Cassel of Lila?
What does Cassel mean when he says, “That’s something worth making me forget”?
Where does the term “worker” come from? Why is curse work legal in Australia?
What kind of worker does Cassel realize he is? How does he feel about it?
Why do Anton, Barron, and Philip want Cassel to turn Zacharov’s heart to stone?
What happens when Cassel touches the gun?
Why doesn’t Lila want anyone to know about her return? Why doesn’t she want her father to know what happened to her?
What was Barron’s excuse for wanting to get rid of Lila?
How did Cassel’s brothers use him to get rid of people?
Why is Barron envious of Cassel?
What does Cassel know about the Resurrection Diamond?
Post Reading Activities
In her acknowledgements, Holly Black cites Simon Lovell’s How to Cheat at Everything as a book she researched to write this story. Have readers visit Lovell’s website www.simonlovell.com/. There are links to interviews and clips of television appearances in which Lovell discusses his life as a con man.
Ask readers to use print and electronic resources to research dream symbolism and to see if they can locate any mention of the significance of white cats in dreams. When they have completed their research, have readers share their findings.
About Red Glove
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. The trouble is that Lila’s now been cursed to love him. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, he can't believe anything she says or does. When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help solve the crime. But the mob is after him too, knowing how valuable he could be. 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?
Ask readers to work in pairs and use print and electronic resources to research a famous con man or woman. One book readers may find helpful is Chris Barton’s Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities (Dial, 2011). Ask readers to create and stage a hypothetical con themselves based on their findings.
Discussion Questions for Red Glove
What stories has Cassel’s mother been telling the girls who she hopes will make him forget Lila?
What makes Cassel realize his mother is right about guys wanting to be “knights in shining armor”?
Why does Cassel say that Lila’s feelings for him are a “perversion of love”?
What does Cassel think is hard about being a con artist?
What does it mean that Cassel tested positive as “hyperbathygammic”?
How is Philip killed?
What do Agents Hurt and Jones want from Cassel?
How does Cassel react to the revelation that Philip was an informant?
What do the agents say was Philip’s motive for informing? What is Cassel’s theory for why Philip turned informant? Which do you think is most plausible?
Why did Philip blame Cassel for making Maura leave town?
What does Agent Hurt say about the last person known to enter Philip’s apartment?
What does Zacharov say to make Cassel hate him more than ever?
Why does Zacharov invite Cassel to work for him?
Why does Cassel’s grandfather blame himself for Philip’s death?
What about the circumstances of Janssen’s death disturbs Cassel?
What is it like for Cassel to see people pulling off and discarding their gloves?
Why was Cassel afraid of Philip when he was alive?
What makes Cassel so certain that Lila did not kill Philip?
What does Cassel realize when he’s confronted with the reality that Lila will someday lead the Zacharov family?
What does Cassel find in his mother’s coat?
Why can’t Cassel allow himself to believe that Lila is not giving him any dreams?
What does Cassel experience as a cat?
What does Cassel want Daneca to do for him?
What does Cassel mean when he says Daneca was “trying to save me from myself”?
What does Cassel see when he removes Lila’s scarf? What is Cassel’s reaction to what he sees?
Lila’s last words to Cassel are “If you don't stay away from me, I'll make you sorry you were ever born.” Do you think Cassel will be able to stay away from Lila?
What do you think will happen in the next installment of The Curse Workers?
Post Reading Activity
Ask readers to locate at least three professional reviews of Red Glove and incorporate quotations, summarize, and paraphrase from them in their own critical assessment of the novel. Professional reviews are often posted on www.amazon.com. The school librarian should also be able to provide readers with professional reviews.
This guide was written by Edward T. Sullivan, a librarian and writer.
This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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-
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.I could write on and on about this book, but I don't want to give too much away. Instead, I will just say that Red Glove is as wonderful and filled with internal conflict as White Cat. Another 5 stars for Holly Black.
A good sequel to White Cat. It's a different sort of YA and I really like it. It's sort of like X-Men, in that there are some people who have special abilities and using those abilities is illegal.But it's focussed on crime families. And one son of criminals who's a con artist himself. And he goes to a boarding school, but he doesn't seem to spend much time there in this book!The really cool bit is that everyone has to wear gloves, since a bare hand can be a dangerous weapon. Hence the title of this book.But... Holly Black doesn't seem to have fully considered the implications of everyone wearing gloves most of the time. Dusting for fingerprints is suddenly far less useful (though still of some use in some circumstances). And she doesn't address the issue of wearing gloves while using a touchpad or a touchscreen. Though no touchpads or touchscreens are explicitly mentioned, laptops and smartphones are. I just would've liked to have seen it addressed.I'm ready to read the next book.
This book did not disappoint. Everything I loved about White Cat made it's appearance in the sequel. All the complex characters, his crime family, more con artist stuff, etc. I do eat that stuff up about marks and cons.I love that Cassel isn't black or white. His struggles with himself felt very real without taking a step back or just repeating what he went through in White Cat. He made very genuine movements in his friendships with Sam and Daneca. I love his grandfather. Anyone with less than perfect family members know it's still possible to crave a relationship with them even if it can't happen [his brothers]. Black got those dynamics right.Plus all the wonderful social activism. Daneca is a girl I could've been best buds with in highschool and have avoided just like Cassel did his first two years in school. She's a lot like Hermione. Cassel would be Harry and Sam would be the Ron of the group. I'm not sure if I'm shipping him with Lila though. She makes him work too hard for it. I don't trust her at all. I get that's what he liked about her but my personal preference is to dislike bullies. I'm not sure if she was even worked by his mother for that long or if she was messing with him to get off on him suffering.
Fun, exciting and charming! Cassel grew up in a cruse-worker family, meaning all his family is able to cast spells - memory, emotional, luck - on others via skin-to-skin contact. This also means that curse-working is illegal, and as his family embraces their skills, they are criminals, and his brothers work for a prominent crime family.Having grown up thinking he had no curse-working ability, Cassel is now adjusting to the knowledge that not only is he a rare and extremely powerful (and sought-after) transformation worker, but his brothers used him for years to kill people for their crime family. His guilt over those unremembered deaths plagues him, even more once he learns of his older brother's death, which leads to an investigation in a series of disappearances that Cassel begins to think he may have had a 'hand' in...Black's world-building is fantastic! She effortlessly tells the reader so much about Cassel's world: a world where everyone wears gloves to reassure everyone that they're safe from the 'terrible' curse-workers. Where Cassel easily cons others, as he was raised to (his mother's been jailed for her extensive con work), yet as he's a much better person than his family, he feels really guilty about it.He's a great character - smart, tough, funny, flawed and worried - yet Black surrounds him with almost equally appealing supporting characters. Sam, Cassel's roommate and non-curse-worker best friend is fun and interesting, as are Cassel's family. His mother, at least, is one of those rascally bad guys you can't help but like a bit.As with White Cat, Black twists the plot around and back, and the resolution is surprising and believable. I cannot wait to read more about Cassel and his world!!Highly Recommended.
Loved it! It was even better than the first! You know it's good when the sequel out wits its predecessor! Cassel is back with more trouble nipping at his heels. Now that he knows what he's capable of, he has a whole new set of issues to face. Like, who killed his brother or the other men missing from the mom? Let's not forget that the love of his life has been cursed to love him back by his mom. AWKWARD! And then there's the small issue of the mob and the Feds fighting over him. Yeah, senior year is going to be a crazy one.
I am happy to say I think I just found a new series that I would like to follow. I am perfectly aware that this is a young adult book, but boy did I enjoy it. Unlike the first book, White Cat, a lot of things happened in this book that left me honestly surprised, thing I did not see coming until the very end. Why I think I like the most of this series so fa, is that the story carries itself alone, even if you take the ¿magic¿ part out of the equation. Casel is back to school, and who but Lila is in there too. Unfortunately, the curse she is under has not fade away and this drives Casel to be unsure about whatever she says or does. In another turn of events, Philip is dead, but no one knows who did it. Everyone approaches Casel with an offer, from Zacharov to the Feds, and I will not say what he decides, but I was so not expecting his final decision. We learn about new workers, and some things explained past behaviors. I was a bit sad at the way it ended, but I understand it leaves a lot of possibilities for the next book.
Summary: The king of cons is back, and things are just as crazy in Cassel Sharpe¿s life as they were in White Cat. This time around, Cassel must figure out who murdered his brother Philip (something he doesn¿t feel too terribly sad about) and deal with his feelings for Lila, the beautiful girl his mother worked to love him. My Review: Red Glove was every bit as good as White Cat.. I¿ll first profess my love for the character that is Cassel. Holly Black did a magnificent job of further developing Cassel¿s dark side in this sequel. There were many introspective pauses as he considered his guilt, or lack of guilt, which really made me think about criminals and what it really means to be one. I loved the fact that Cassel was an atypical brooding character; he had his reasons for being sullen, and his dry humor made me smirk all through the novel. Red Glove¿s story had many different levels¿Cassel¿s inner turmoil, the who-killed-Philip story, and a sort-of romance with Lila. Each of these levels was fully developed and exciting; there was never a dull moment in the entire book. The implementation of the Feds was genius; I loved that Cassel had to choose between the mobsters (wrong) and the government (right), and that his rock-and-a-hard-place situation made it almost impossible to choose¿leading to the ultimate con. I have no negative things to say about Red Glove. It was an amazing follow-up to White Cat, and left me desperately wanting the third book in the series. Fans of mystery and suspense will definitely enjoy Red Glove, and so will people interested in reading from the perspective of a bad guy. If you haven¿t read White Cat, which was one of my favorite books of 2010, do that before Red Glove comes out! It¿s a sequel you won¿t want to miss.
I could not wait to read Red Glove after being blown away by the ending of WHITE CAT - and let me say that Holly Black does not disappoint! She delivers a high-stakes sequel that will have readers gripping each page with anticipation as the roller-coaster suspense continues to climb uphill.Cassel lives a glass-half-full life - his brothers have betrayed him, his mother totally ruined the love of his life, and he can no longer hide under the cloak of normalcy because he happens to be a mob boss's dream-come-true (or should I say, curse-come-true?).So how does Cassel cope with all these unwanted - not to mention, quite unpleasant - changes in his life? How does he keep a respectful distance from Lila whom he would give anything to kiss, but whose true feelings have been replaced by false affections? How does he deal with his brothers - one who hates Cassel for ruining his plans of taking over the mob family, the other who dotes on Cassel simply because that is what his memory journals tell him is true? How does he handle his mother who means well, but simply cannot pass up a good con that involves a rich wallet?Like its predecessor, Red Glove is one cool character that doesn't break a sweat. Holly Black sets up the stage with great meticulous care and manipulates readers right where she wants us to be - so wrapped up in the con of the story that we don't see the ending until we are there. And let me say that this also ends with heartache that makes me want to reach out and hug Cassel until the world turns around.I'd like to say that fans of Veronica Mars or Heist Society may delight in The Curse Workers series. Although the series may be more dark than quippy or bubbly, I think it is a perfect read if you like con games and main characters who will give their enemies a run for their money!
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!
The Good Stuff * Love the cover (the one for White Cat was awesome too!) * Wonderful dry humour * Intriguing storyline, fascinating world the author has created * Cassel is such a wonderful rich character and he is even more well developed in this installment of the series. Very conflicted and tortured yet still somewhat hopeful and decent * nice commentary on prejudices and persecution of those that are different. Sort of reminds me of the X-Men series and the persecution of the mutants (yes I am a nerd thank you very much) * Love Cassel's grandfather and I think Black needs to write more scenes with him * The character of Zacharov has been fleshed out and made more interesting * Hell of a cliffhanger -- guessing there is going to be another book in the series * Story will appeal to both males and females * Lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing * Got a kick out of the sly mention of the character from her writing pal Cassie Clare's seriesThe Not so Good Stuff * Cassel's family is pretty much incredibly awful and I find it hard that Cassel can find redeeming qualities in them - with the exception of his grandfather * Things jumped around a lot and I got lost a couple of times -- but this is just me and I am a Mom who doesn't get a lot of sleep * Honestly I was a little frustrated at times with the story, but can't put my finger or explain what bothered me - there was just something missingFavorite Quotes/Passages"I just told him that Sam and I had a project to do together and that the common room was too noisy. He said as long as we kept the door open and actually studied, he didn't mind.""Nerds get away with everything," Sam says.""I like that Sam doesn't lied to his girlfriend. I like that they are in love. I even like the way that Daneca gets on my case.""That stoner dude, Jace, says he hooked up with someone over the summer," Kevin whispers. "But I hear all the pictures he's showing around are really pictures of his half sister. Fifty bucks says there's no girlfriend."What I Learned * My family -- not so bad compared to the Sharpe'sWho should/shouldn't read * This is one that will definitely appeal to the YA crowd. * Obviously those who enjoyed White Cat, will also enjoy this4 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review
I have really loved Black's previous book but to be honest I wasn't a huge fan of White Cat. Still, since I have loved everything she has done previously I decided that I should give the second book in this series a try. It was better than the first but I still had some problems with it.Cassel's mom is out of jail and he is going back to school. When he arrives at school he finds that Lila is there too; this complicates things since Cassel has loved her forever but she has been cursed to love him so he doesn't want to take advantage of her. Then the Feds contact Cassel to let him know his brother's been killed and they want Cassel to help find who did it; the only clue they have is a lady with a red glove was seen exiting the scene of the crime. Cassel is being pulled in a number of directions: the Feds want his help, the crime boss his brothers are involved with wants him to join, one of his brothers wants him to join another crime organization, he is trying to protect his mother, trying to avoid Lila, and trying to get his school work done. Will he be able to solve the mystery of his brother's murder? What will he decide to do with his life in the end?Black has created a very creative world. I love the idea of curse workers and the blow-back they suffer when they use a curse. It is interesting to tie all of this into the mob. Black's writing style is very readable. I also enjoyed that this book spent some time talking about how the presence of curse workers affects society as a whole; there is a lot of time spent on discussing curse worker rights, etc.That being said I was still not crazy about this book. Cassel is an intriguing character, but not a likable one. He is still making a lot of bad decisions and bumbling through situations. I enjoyed his friends more (mainly Sam and Sam's girlfriend). Lila is a confusing character for me; we never really get to understand her or learn much about her. Cassel spends the majority of the book trying to avoid her and she was a cat for most of White Cat so that's probably why the reader doesn't know her well. I have trouble finding Lila interesting or even seeing what Cassel sees in her. I was hoping this book would give more insight into her personality, but by the end of the book she was still pretty undefined for me.The plot is twisty turny and definitely has some surprises in store for the reader. Most of this is still a lot of Cassel dealing with the mob. As I mentioned in my review of White Cat, I am not a fan of plots that revolve around a mob mentality; I just don't enjoy reading about it. This book was no exception. Cassel hates his family but continually makes poor decisions that keep him deeply entangled with the mob. As the book went on that improved, but I still didn't really enjoy the story or plot all that much. The book ended well and should have to readers looking forward to the next book Black Heart.This is definitely more of a mystery/thriller than an urban fantasy. You do have the curse working, but that's the only really fantastical element. I honestly prefer more magic and other twists in my stories; the lack of fantastical elements makes this story a bit drab at times.Overall this book was an easy read and somewhat engaging. I am still having trouble enjoying any of the characters and, the mob-based plot isn't my favorite. Cassel is an interesting but hard to like character for me and Lila still seems a bit vague as a character. If you really liked White Cat, I think you will like this book. If you were on the fence about White Cat, this book is similar. Will I read Black Heart? I don't know. I honestly prefer Black's Spiderwick Chronicles and Modern Faerie Tales series over this series; but I am such a huge fan of her previous books that despite my feelings on this series I might go ahead and read Black Heart just to see if I start to enjoy it more.
Amazing sequel. Holly Black is brilliant, as usual. Recommended to everyone ( seriously, everyone should read at least one book by Holly Black)
My Summary: It's been months since Cassel discovered the truth about himself and foiled his brother's plan to overthrow the biggest crime-boss in the city; it's also been months since his mother worked Lila, the girl Cassel loves, into loving him, forever destroying any chance he had with her.Now Cassel is living with his mother, moving from hotel room to hotel room and doing his best to forget about Lila. He thinks he'll be home-free once he goes back to school, but once he arrives, his worst nightmare comes true: Lila followed him, enrolling in the same school - ensuring Cassel wouldn't be able to escape the guilt of what his mother did.And to top it all off, Cassel is picked up by the Feds, who try to recruit him to help find a killer that leaves behind no bodies ... a killer that Cassel's brother was supposed to lead them to before he was killed.My Thoughts: Another awesome read from Holly Black! I gotta say, I loved being back in Cassel's world - there's something about the mobster/worker thing that fascinates me. And of course, Holly's writing is always amazing, making this a novel you could breeze through with no problem. I, for one, read it all in one sitting (2am - 5am... I know, I have a problem), needing to find out who the killer was before I could put the book down. I really liked the way Holly showed Cassel's struggle to stay away from Lila - it made him seem more human and relatable. And I seriously laughed out loud when I read the mention of Jace (from The Mortal Instruments series, which you should definitely check out as well!).Final Thoughts: I recommend this series to anyone who loves paranormal YA but is a little sick of the usual vampire/werewolf/faerie stuff (or fairy, or faery, or fayrie or however else you wish to spell it, because I have no idea which is correct). There are a few scenes that probably aren't appropriate for anyone under 16 (some cases of drinking, plus some more mature topics), but they're not too bad - if you're a parent are are worried about this stuff, I recommend reading it before giving it to your child. Check it out! It really is a great series.
Cassel Sharpe is back in school, but his situation is no better: Lila, the girl he loves who was cursed to love him back enrolls to be near him; he just spent the summer running cons with his mother; and then family tragedy strikes, bringing with it new threats to his own health, both from the crime families and the Feds. Cassel is a good teen hero, trying hard to do the right thing while still wanting the rest of the world to leave him alone¿not least the politics that threaten the freedom and perhaps the survival of curse workers as a whole.
A continuation of Holly Black's Curse Workers series, Red Glove follows Cassel Sharp and his friends and family through another year of high school. The story is once again interesting, focusing on what Cassel does in the midst of a tangle of crime, politics, law enforcement, other teenagers, and school, but just as much on how to trust when all your life you've been lied to and put in situations where the smartest thing to do is to never, ever trust anyone. Black does a great job of telling this story and making it meaningful, and showing us more and more about Cassel's world through his clever eyes. An enjoyable read.
You will not believe how happy I was to get my hands on this ebook thanks to my gooreads friend Suzy :) for sending it to me. I really appreciate it! Even though this book wasn't as stunningly amazing as the first book, I still loved it. Holly Black is just one of those writers who writes her stories, characters, and plot almost effortlessly. She could be writing about dirt and I would still be crazy about it. Thats how much I love her.Cassel is so wonderful. I absolutely love him. There's just something so raw about him throughout this story that keeps me interested through and through and of course I love his curse. If I could choose, I would want the transformation curse, even if it means my body goes haywire. We also got to learn so much more about the curse, like what he could specifically transform and how the backlash would hurt him.And Sam! Oh my gosh, what a great friend. Seriously, he's funny, he's adorable and he's always got Cassel's back which I love. Those two make a crazy pair. I also like Daneca a lot more in this book, and her love hate relationship with Cassel. It was kind of obvious that she was a curse worker, although I would have thought she was a luck worker not an emotion worker.Lila is back...she's a little better in this book but I'm still not crazy about her. Seeing her through Cassel's eyes affects my overall opinion of her but who knows, maybe I'll love her by the third book. Most likely not because Cassel deserves so much better than her, especially with how she treats him. I mean, yes he did transform her into a cat but he did everything he could to save her.Overall, I loved this book! The plot was exciting, a little predictable but with a perfect Holly Black twist that I just love! I am DYING to get my hands on Black Heart because I know its going to be an amazing finale to this series! :DRating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Cassel Sharpe recently discovered that he is a rare type of curse worker that has the power of transformation. Of course, he needs to keep this from other people because he would be a powerful asset to however can get control of him. After his brother is murdered by a woman only identifying by her red gloves, the Feds come after him demanding information. The two opposing factions Mob are also after him for his power. Whichever side controls him will destroy the other. On top of all this, Lila, the girl Cassel loves, is turned back into a human from being a cat. His mother thought it was a nice present to make her feel like she loved him, so he is resolved to stay away from her until the magic wears off. Can Cassel avoid being owned by the Feds and the Mob and still be with the girl he loves without the enchantment?The first Curse Workers novel is the best urban fantasy I have ever read. The gritty reality of the underground crime world and the fantastical curse worker magic together make a wonderful and unexpected novel. This one is steeped in the same world, but focuses on slightly different aspects. The Mob is still a central part, but the law is a new focus. The Feds are shown to be almost as corrupt and horrible as organized crime. Cassel is more bullied, coerced, and threatened by law enforcers than by the Mob. Even though they want to solve crimes and put deserving people behind bars, harassing and intimidating a teenage boy is a horrible way to accomplish the task. There is also a scene where Cassel and Lila are involved in a protest where everyone takes off their gloves. This is forbidden because touching is they way the curse workers influence people with their magic. It was a beautiful, shocking moment that took a lot of trust. Then the moment was interrupted by police violence and brutality. These scenes provided a larger view of the world that revealed the corruption that is rampant not only in the Mob, but also the police force.The other amazing thing about this novel is the characters. Cassel is a boy raised in a crime family that struggles to be a good person. He is incredibly clever and solves his problems in the most unexpected ways. I sympathize with Cassel and fiercely want things to turn out well for him. Black writes clearly and convincingly in his voice. Lila is another character that is intriguing, but she's very mysterious. She was raised by the head of a faction of the Mob and spent many years as a cat. She is fiery and unpredictable with a mysterious past. To get a better view of her personality, I would recommend reading Lila Zacharov in 13 Pieces, which is a series of vignettes taking place at different times in Lila's life presented in a random order. I really like this experimental series of short stories and would love to read a book narrated by Lila.Red Glove's only shortcoming is being not as good as White Cat by a very small margin. I think it's the symptom of being the second book in a series. I still highly recommend this crime adventure and mystery. I can't wait for the next book and I really hope the series extends past a trilogy.
I think I¿ve mentioned how much I loved White Cat at least a million times by now. It was my favorite read of 2010, and I have recommended it to everyone who has asked me what they should read. So when I opened my email a few weeks ago and saw that Red Glove was on Galley Grab, I freaked out and downloaded it right away. It wasn¿t pretty. B and I were in the library waiting for M to get out of class, and there was much squealing and hand-flapping as I waited for the little download bar to fill up. B looked fairly confused at this display, as it was very similar to my ¿this wasabi is way too hot, but there¿s nothing I can do because I shoved that entire piece of sushi in my mouth like an idiot, so now I suppose I¿ll choke or die of some spice-related death¿ reaction, to which he had recently been exposed. That is the level of awesome we are talking about, people: loud and squeaky displays usually reserved for near-death dining incidents, all right in the middle of the law library.I thought the plot of this book was slightly more straight-forward that White Cat, but I suppose that¿s not really saying much. The ending seemed less unexpected to me, but I was still amazed at how Cassel deals with what seems like an impossible choice between two undesirable futures. Really, in my opinion this book was more about character development. Don¿t get me wrong¿ there¿s still LOTS of plot, but we also get to see defining moments from Cassel¿s friends Daneca and Sam, we see how Barron and Cassel¿s relationship is evolving since the events of White Cat, and we get to see Cassel¿s mother in all of her sociopathic glory. I didn¿t not think there was enough Lila, though there is definitely more of her than in the first book. She has the potential of being an amazing and in-depth character (just see the ¿Other Tangential Thoughts¿ section), but we don¿t get to see all of her depth in this book¿ well, because there¿s only so much room. Lila¿s not *super* integral to the plot, so she kind of takes a side-seat. But the end of Red Glove, while thankfully not a cliff-hanger in my mind, sets up Black Heart to be epically Lila-and-Cassel-centric.I was not expecting my review to be this short, but that is largely because I don¿t want to give *anything* away. The character development revelations and the plot are pretty tightly interwoven, and frankly it was just plain exciting to find out the characters¿ secrets on my own. I would hate to rob you of that opportunity.So in short! This is an excellent second book to the series, and it delivers the same action-packed adventure as the first book while also allowing us to understand and love all of the characters a little better.
Cassel Sharpe can't help it that his mind is full of schemes. He can't help it that his life is full of them either. When his brother, Phillip, gets murdered, he finds himself on the other side of the law. The right side... almost. Once again, Holly Black writes a blood-pounding thriller, with an incredible, swoon-worthy main character. You have to love Cassel, no matter how many crimes he may have committed. You have to love a criminal who wishes he didn't have to be a criminal. And his almost best friends too - Sam and Daneca, who has a secret she's been hiding from Sam and Cassel. And Cassel thought he was the one hiding things. Like White Cat, I wasn't sure what was going on until the end, and even then, I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong - by a long-shot. I found myself deeply engrossed in Holly Black's latest release. The characters, the settings, the plot, everything was incredible and hooked my interest from the very first few pages. More than anything, I loved Cassel's voice - always edgy and totally unique. Red Glove is irresistable. From the blood-red leather glove on the front to the talk of mobs, crime families, and cons in the back, the second book in Holly Black's Curse Workers series is dangerously good.
I was so excited when I got Red Glove from GalleyGrab that I did a little dance with my hands in front of my computer. I loved White Cat so much and I heard that Red Glove was even better! This book totally exceeded my expectations! Holly Black is a fantastic writer and she has created a world full of suspense, excitement, and originality!The story picked up a few months after the events of White Cat. Cassel has found out he is a transformation worker, and is trying to figure out how to use this new found ¿gift¿ and come to terms with the things he did, even if he doesn¿t remember what those things are. He¿s also figuring out how to deal with Lila, the girl he has been in love with forever, who now loves him back thanks to his mother, an emotion worker, working Lila into loving him. Not only that, but Cassel soon finds out that the FBI wants him to work for them on one side of the law, while mob boss, Zacharov, also wants Cassel under his payroll. I love Cassel. Love, love, love him! His one-liners completely crack me up. Cassel was born into a crime family, forced to work cons (and had his memories erased by his lovely brothers after doing so), and wants nothing more than to just be a normal boy with normal teenage problems. Cassel is in such a bad predicament and I felt for him through the entire story. I had no idea where Black was going to take him, but I loved where he ended up! I really felt that we learned a lot more about who Cassel is, maybe that is because Cassel is also learning who he is. He¿s trying to be a better person and protect his family, but everyone is making this so hard for him. I really am surprised Cassel was able to stay calm and rational through the whole thing. I think I was freaking out more then he was! Out of the other characters, we see a lot more of Lila, Sam, and Daneca, with each one bringing more to the story!There were so many different plot twists that whenever I thought I finally figured something out, it ended up going in a completely different direction! I loved that! My only issue with Red Glove was that it ended, which kept me wanting so much more!I just want to share my favorite quote from the entire book. It¿s from Chapter 1, so it isn¿t spoiling anything. Cassel to his mom: ¿You want me to look homeless, desperate, but also kind of fabulous?¿
I have been thinking about my rating of this book and going back and forth between 3 and 4 stars. I really liked the first one, White Cat, but Red Glove falls a little short for me. The plot was slower and the characters seemed to loose a little bit of their charm and appeal. However, I must say that I am happy to read a YA novel that does not really drive into the fact that there may be a romance...maybe it's because it is from a males POV but still, refreshing.Cassel Sharpe is the main character here and he still isn't your average teenage boy, not only is he not obsessed with sex and the opposite sex but he is coming to terms with being a curseworker and trying to figure out his place in his family, school, and life overall.Interesting story line in this 2nd book, Cassel's brother is murdered and the Feds want Cassel's help solving it...only problem is that White Cat was such a stronger plot with more mystery and appeal.Character wise...I think Cassel needs to suck it up and find a place for himself rather than follow his deranged family...
**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.
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¿
Unfortunately, did not like this one as much as I did the first. The plot seemed to simultaneously drag more and be less inspiring. Still will read the last book in the series, but now I'm worried that the incredibleness of the first book was just an anomaly...