October 14, 2013
Red Glove by Holly Black
by Holly Black
Margaret K. McElderry
As a child, Cassel dreamed of being a worker like everyone else in his family. His mother works emotions. His brother Baron works memories. His oldest brother Phillip is a physical worker, able to inflict damage and pain, but that’s nothing compared to Grandfather. He is a death worker, able to kill with the touch of an ungloved hand.
As luck would have it, Cassel is a worker but he is the rarest worker of all. A Transformation Worker, he can change anything or anyone into something else. Eventually he learns that he can even change himself in order to make a hasty escape.
Now that Cassel knows he is a worker, he finds himself hip deep in one con after another. His mother wants him to help her find a new mark to finance her lifestyle and his education, and the richer the better. His brother, now on the outs with the Zacharov crime family because of Cassel, want him to join another family, but still in the role of assassin. Lila Zacharaov has been worked to believe that she loves him and wants to pose as his fake girlfriend. Even the feds are involved, wanting him to find the killer behind a series of disappearances as well as his brother’s murder.
Surprisingly, Cassel always thought of school as a place full of phonies but he finds himself making at least a few friends who know who he is and don’t try to use him.
This is the second book in the Curse Workers series. While I think you could follow this book without reading Book #1 (The White Cat) first, there are subtleties and reasons behind various events that you would miss. Read The White Cat first.
This is an easy book to like because, messed up as Cassel is, he is incredibly likable, more-so than many of the other characters.
But this is also a very hard book to describe because it deals with some complex moral issues. What does it mean to be a good person? Can you be a good person if you do bad things but for someone’s own good? How much should you risk to protect a family member who has forced you to murder and then erased your memories? Does the end result purify the motive behind it?
This is an urban fantasy. The characters walk in our world if we lived in a world in which magic is possible but feared and despised. You will adore some of the characters as much as you dislike others but they will all make you think.