Sunday, July 7, 2013

Red Glove | by: Holly Black

Red Glove is the second installment in Holly Black's Curse Workers trilogy, which began with White Cat. I was very surprised with and impressed by White Cat when I read it three years ago, and it's really about time I got to this sequel.

This book takes place a few months after White Cat finished off with its unexpected twist, and though it may initially seem like Cassel won't have as many problems as he did before, White Cat only set him up for more trouble, and in more ways that one might anticipate. Not only does he have some serious issues regarding Lila (who appears to be so close when she's actually so out-of-reach) and his con-loving mother, but a big surprise is coming his way: The Feds. Despite crime families want Cassel to assassinate for them by using his unique curse working ability, the Feds need his help identifying a killer in red gloves. And he'll make some startling discoveries in the process, for Holly Black has crafted another mystery with answers that are shielded 'till the very end.

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? It is. While Red Glove doesn't offer the most explosive of climaxes, it's definitely a relief to find out who the killer is at the end. Even when Cassel figures it out, Holly Black leaves us wondering for a while because she's excellent and knows how to keep us flipping through pages. Needless to say, Red Glove is a fantastic sequel.

Oftentimes it seems that the second book in a trilogy can typically be more of an important filler before reaching the epic climax and not really worth much on its own. Does Red Glove fall into this category? Not exactly, because Red Glove is not uneventful or unimportant. I just feel like everything Cassel has considered throughout this book concerning whether he's destined to be a good guy or a bad guy is really going to help set everything up for Black Heart, the final installment in the trilogy, especially since nothing too eventful occurred concerning the specific matter despite how often it's questioned. Even though there was nothing boring in Red Glove, I just feel like a lot of these details are going to really fuel the next one than it was in this novel, especially the conversations Cassel had with Zacharov, the mob boss.

I must say, I can't imagine anyone liking White Cat and then disliking Red Glove since my two favorite things about White Cat (that I kept guessing incorrectly as the plot twisted and turned, and Cassel, our main character and narrator) didn't let up in this book. Cassel still had an incredibly unique voice as he pulled me through the story with sarcasm and humor. He's just so cool! It's impossible not to like him! I also developed immense respect for Sam and Daneca; they're quite likeable as well. Really, all the characters are well-crafted; I can't think of a single dull person in this book. And of course, the plot they contributed to was quite fun to read about. I remember being more shocked by the outcomes of White Cat, but still, Red Glove was a fabulous mystery nonetheless.

Also like White Cat, Red Glove has a good ending. It isn't a suspenseful cliff-hanger that made me want to scream, but there's something there to let you know that Cassel's story certainly isn't over. Frankly, I'm happy, because I don't want it to be over. Mixing the mob with paranormal elements turned out to be a fabulous story idea, but I don't think anyone else could pull it off like Holly Black has.

So, The Curse Workers trilogy is two for two so far, and I definitely expect Black Heart to be just as awesome. More people need to get into this trilogy! It's so great!

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