- Red Glove
- Holly Black
- Released April 5th 2011
- Book 2 of the Curse Workers
- 4 Stars
After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution, 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 that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends. But 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. (Goodreads modified)
White Cat actually surprised me with how well it was written and tbh, Red Glove does a pretty good job following up. I was preparing myself to be let down by the second book as I have been in the past so this was a pretty welcome surprise.
Red Glove picks up with Cassel getting back to school and trying to get his life back together. He says it himself that he had everything handed to him on a platter; a girl to love him and a family that actually stuck together; and proceeded to throw it all away and that is the real problem of this book. Cassel is used to being on the side, never being the best and I think that he really just doesn’t know what to do with all the success he found after the first book.
Take him and Lila. White Cat ends with this horrible cliff hanger where it’s revealed that his mother worked Lila into loving him and while it would be easy for him to just take the girl and get on with it, he has noble intentions and wants to make sure that her feelings for him are nothing but genuine. How he goes about doing this is one overarching problem through the book and it drives him nearly insane, especially because he seems to really care for Lila. Yes, this counts as relationship angst, a horrible thing for a second book to have, but it didn’t take front and center so props to Holly Black.
Red Glove is a murder mystery at heart but I didn’t feel like it was the most important thing. Rather, in trying to solve the case, Cassel get’s tangled up with his friends, his family, law enforcement, and the good ol’ crime lords. Honestly, his life sucks because he’s trying to keep his brother and mother out of trouble all the while protecting everyone around him. He’s also trying to uncover what he did while getting worked by Barron and things turn out to be way bleaker than he thought. Basically, he has way too much responsibilities piled on him for being a senior in high school.
I liked the subplot with Cassel’s mother as well as the increased development of the culture surrounding the magic workers. She is a prime example of the kind of worker that needs to be restrained – I mean she compulsively works rich men to get her way – but like any group (are workers a minority? It doesn’t seem so but that’s just b/c Cassel is surrounded by workers) it’s not right to categorize them all as criminals despite there not being much use for their abilities besides crime. I thought it was a nice way to discuss a topic that’s quite touchy in real life and their were some good arguments made in both sides.
Really, Red Glove was quite good mostly because it continues to surprise me with the directions that it takes, continuing in the vein of the last book. The ending is kind of just bleh, but I’m looking forward to see how this series will conclude.