Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Red Glove

Red Glove
Author: Holly Black
Published: April 5, 2011
325 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth — he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything — or anyone — into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue — crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too — they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone — least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

I couldn't resist falling into Cassel's world again just as soon as I left. With Red Glove on hand already, I dove in as soon as I put down White Cat, and boy was I not disappointed! I hardly ever like a male protagonist as much as I love Cassel. I find it hard to relate to them most of the time, but I found myself rooting for him every page and hoping everything would work out.

The story starts with a bang and there is no escaping it the rest of the way. When Cassel is recruited to find his brother's murderer, he can't help but suspect everyone he knows. When you live in a world full of criminal and mobs, it's hard to trust anyone. And the one person Cassel really wants to trust, his somewhat girlfriend Lila, has been worked over to love him and it's all he can do not to all into the trap. While he tries to let her feelings diminish on their own, he forces himself to try and solve the murder. The problem is, he's got too many suspects, him being one of them.

Cassel is a transformation worker, the most powerful worker out there, but he's only just discovered this and trying to keep it hidden because he knows what people will do to him if they find out. While struggling to keep his hands off Lila and stay one step ahead of those following him, Cassel finds out more and more secrets about his family and more reasons not to trust anyone. This is certainly not a romance story, but Cassel feels the same pain anyone would who's in love. In a world where love can be handed to you on a platter, Cassel must decide if he wants to take that chance or resist it. 

The film noir feel is still here and still strong. With every turn of the page, there's more to the mystery and there's no telling who is responsible for what. This series is such a nice change from everything else out there and the classic feel to it makes me think it will live on for quite awhile. Black has a way of digging us into a hole and making us love it down there. We know things probably won't end well for Cassel. We know his family is up to no good. We know what he's capable of but we love him all the same. There's no telling where the story will go from here, but I know it won't be pretty. But I can't wait.

“The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't blame people for preferring lies.” 

“The moment she was cursed, I lost her. Once it wears off- soon- she will be embarrassed to remember things that she said, things she did, things like this. No matter how solid she feels in my arms, she is made of smoke.” 

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