Red Glove by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST BOOK. OTHERWISE, YOU'RE GOOD, OTHER MYSTERIOUS READERS WHO IS LITERALLY READING THIS TEXT. 8D.
In the second instalment of Holly Black's Curse Workers series, Red Glove comes back with our protagonist Cassel Sharpe, with a whole new batch of problems. Not only is Lila, the girl he has a crush on, madly in love with him—blame his emotion worker mother—a family member has been murdered, with the only clue being a woman in red gloves entering the apartment. Federal agents are trying to make Cassel solve the murder case, but Zacharov, head of one of the mobs, is also attempting to recruit the transformation worker for his abilities. Unfortunately, if he sides with the Feds, he'll lose all respect with the other mobs, and he can't join the mob because the government has some leverage over him. With that and other minor subplots, you could say that Cassel has a lot on his hand.
I actually finished White Cat around year ago, and I don't know why I bought Red Glove just last week. It was a pretty solid read compared to the earlier one, with the almost the same amount of suspense and fluidity. I felt that the first book was slightly better, but then again, books in the middle of the series are pretty hard to pull off. The author manages to do a spectacular job with it though, which I admired. Somewhere a quarter into the book, I had to put it down to do something else. What happened next? I just kept murmuring to myself, "One more chapter," over and over again . . . until I ended up finishing the book. xD So if you loved White Cat then could turn into another favorite on your shelf.
The characters are back, with the same amount of epicness. Lila's actions during the end of the book are believable, and I was actually surprised hearing Daneca's secret--although admittedly, I kind of figured it out once the heavy hints were dropped. Cassel's character continues to amaze me, as he manages to be a realistic male voice and a character I was rooting for in the story. These days, sometimes, I feel either too neutral or feel too annoyed at the character that when they're in a bad situation, the GIFs bellow express my opinion clearly.
Thankfully, Ms. Black pulls Cassel off quite successfully. He makes mistakes sometimes, and sometimes he pulls things off. Although I'm not one of those screaming fangirls in a boy-band concert, I do like him a lot.
Anyway. Back to the story. The book also manages to keep the mystery of one of the major plotlines, his brother's murder, actually a mystery. Haven't we all read that book where you could instantly who did it once he or she's name was mentioned? Nothing like that here, and I usually guess things correctly. The twists and turns that were delivered were presented well, and kept me hooked.
"So, Max, if you loved it so much, then why not the full five stars?" one may ask. Well, I do have to admit that however engaging the threads to the tapestry are, all of them demanded to be given equal attention despite being a bit unnecessary to the plot. There were times that I felt like skipping ahead, as I felt bored with the scene. I just wished more attention had been given to the main storyline, as it was way more interesting than the other details Holly Black had in mind.
Overall, it was a pretty good book. The rest was a smooth ride, and I felt like there was enough information presented to satisfy the reader, but not too much that it makes you want to read the next book. Well, it worked on my anyway. :D
In A Nutshell
Missing the case of the dreaded Middle-Book Syndrome, Holly Black crafts her alternate world almost perfectly, despite the major flaw. Indeed, Red Glove leaves you curious enough to pick up the sequel Black Heart. Four stars.
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