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First things first Let s get the Jace from Mortal Instruments cameo in this book out of the way Here it isThat stoner dude, Jace, says he hooked up with someone over the summer, Kevin whispers But I hear all the pictures he s showing around are really pictures of his half sister Fifty bucks says there s no girlfriend Why am I always recommending the lesser known series Why is it that some of the crappiest books become the most popular How is this changed The only way I know of to fix this is to get on my little soapbox and preach out to the masses on the street a.k.a Goodreads.Words can not convey how much I wish people knew about this book series These books offer up a fun, fresh concept focused around a world of ordinary people gifted with the ability to curse others with nothing than a simple touch of an ungloved hand.I m enad of Cassel, the male protag in this series He is a basketcase of emotions without being angsty Tortured would probably best describe him How could he not be He s been forced to kill under coersion and manipulation, then had many of those memories stolen His mom is a total nutbag His brother ruined his life then forgot about it, which means that Cassel has to act friendly with one of the people who plotted his own demise The girl that he loves was curseworked to love him, so he can t in good conscience accept her advances without feeling guilty that he s taking advantage What s a guy to do One great thing about these books is that there are elements that would appeal to both males and females All too often, most YA PNR and Urban Fantasy is very much geared to females, focusing solely on the love story It s not that there isn t a love story in Curseworkers, but so that it s not the sole focus I m very much rooting for Cassel to get his girl in the end, but still very much engaged in this mafia world of confusion and consequence.Having read this as an ARC galley, it means I ll be waiting a very long time for book 3 This makes me a little bit sad I can t wait to find out the next chapter for Cassel, Barron and Lila. 4.5 stars. Holly Black has taken a steady place among my favorite authors ever and she is perhaps THE favorite in paranormal YA.You think she writes about vampires Nah Shapeshifters Hardly Angels Nope Nephilims Nuh uh Are there mean girls Jocks Cheerleaders Love triangles Instalove No, no, no, no and no Then she CANNOT possibly write paranormal YA Yet, she does She writes about curse workers People, living in an alternate version of our society, very much like ours, where people can work other people just by touching them They curse them, influencing their physical or emotional state to their needs There are emotional workers, physical workers, death workers, luck workers, transformation workers this is a world where everybody wears gloves and where criminal organizations families, mafia style employ workers of all kinds for their illegal purposes.Cassel, aside from being a worker of the worst kind, is also part of a family of con artists If you haven t read White Cat, go do so now to learn all about his family and the kind of worker he is.In Red Glove, Cassel has to deal with the consequences of what happened in the previous book and with a murder case Except it s not just any murder, it s his brother Phillip who gets killed The only clue to the identity of the assassin is a video with the image of what seems to be a woman, clad in a coat and red gloves Red Glove totally lived up to White Cat Just as good, just as original, just as well written I found the mafia detective paranormal combination appealing and different from the mass of mediocrity.Black writes an incredibly believable male voice, which is pretty rare, I d say the other great one I encountered lately is Jace from Split And just like Jace, Cassel is one of those characters walking the fine line between good and evil, bad and wrong He struggles and you re never sure if he s going to trip over, if he ll get up again Circumstances are messing up his life, trouble seems to be always around the corner and tricky situations where it would be easier just to give up come to find him right on time.He s definitely no champion, but he manages, even with Lila, and I felt him as incredibly believable This is why, unfortunately, despite finding Jesse Eisenberg a fantastic reader and actor for this audiobook, I just could not envision him as the Cassel I had in mind I guess he sounded too much like the good guy to me But this is just my personal opinion, based on the Cassel that is inside my head Also, this was the first audiobook I ever listened to and it took a while for me to get used to it, so bear that in mind Nevertheless, for those who have been reluctant to pick up this series, I strongly suggest you give it a try If you re tired and bored out of your mind of the usual paranormal YA this might just be your cuppa Needless to say I am eagerly awaiting the final chapter of this series, Black Heart Whoever snatches an ARC of this will be on my blacklist forever Read this review and at The Nocturnal Library. Review First off, I need to reiterate that it saddens me to no end, to every end that Holly Black is not only a fangirl of Cassandra Claire, but, due to her fangirlism, unleashed Cassandra Clare and her shitty, melodramatic, poorly written, derivative hackish tripe upon the reading community But what saddens me even is that after giving Clare her big break, Clare, now practically an egomaniac of Meyer or Rice proportions, has gone on to be a much bigger name and far successful despite the fact that her work is so clearly inferior to Black s My only consolation is that in continuing to cling to Clare s coattails for dear life, Black might be able to pick up a few her bff s readers And honestly She deserves readers, because in the end if Red Glove has given me anything, it s absolute admiration for Holly Black s writing enough admiration to support Black s career by buying her books, even though she is in desperate need of a sassy gay friend periodically making snappy yet insightful commentary on her choice in writing besties Red Glove in my opinion is an even stronger book than White Cat, though it may be tough to articulate why I should probably start at the beginning though I won t, of course, waste time explaining the plot, one because the synopsis is up there for all to read and two because it s actually difficult for me to put it into words I mean, Cassel, youngest son of an insane worker crime family, spends this book basically trying to Out Gambit everyone while everyone else is trying to Out Gambit him His brother gets shot and he tries to figure out who the killer is while angsting pondering about his love interest object of his intense obsession Lila who s been worked to love him Shit happens, as shit always does because Cassel s life is so fucked up that morality means nothing any to anyone And there s some school hi jinks And stuffing dead people into fridges.And honestly, if this seems a little disjoint, it s because it is Make no mistake that Red Glove is a slice of life manga in book format What s slice of life Particularly how it sounds the narrative is construed, not as a well structured, honed and focused plot that takes you on some kind of strategically designed trajectory ie the Heroes Journey 3 Act Structure etc , but rather as slices of that heroes life, put in the chronological order that it happens It s just, So what s going on in So and So s life today Hm, well, he s going to school And he s dealing with his girlfriend And then he went to this diner Typically, slice of life can potentially get boring for those not already accustom to its meandering style particularly if the set up is something rather banal and pedestrian ie shoujo manga girl meets guy Life happens Fortunately, though, Cassel s life just happens to be so balls out insane that a slice of his life is than enough to be compelling, so for his story it s like So what s going on in Cassel s life today Hm, well, he s going to school running a gambling ring And he s dealing with his girlfriend brainwashed into loving him, which makes him feel pretty guilty when he accidentally shoves his tongue down her throat And then he went to this diner after being questioned by the feds and propositioned by a mob boss because it turns out he d make a great assassin Still, despite Cassel s life being compelling, the plot is still subjugated to the slice of life meandering style Reading the description about the murder plot, you d expect most of the plot to be primarily about it a bristling detective story that takes us from one point to another along the mystery until it s eventually solved But really, the murder plot is really just one part in Cassel s life that Black describes Every once and a while, we d discover something potentially big at the end of a chapter, and then the entire next chapter would be about Cassel going to a worker s meetings or dealing with his ex girlfriend s new sleazy boyfriend or whatever The meandering got frustrating from time to time, making the middle feel a little muddled, and my mind started wandering as well, which may be in part why it took me a while to finish it Still, it was much better than it was in White Cat, and honestly it didn t bother me too much, so I couldn t shave off than a half a star for that.Honestly, part of the reason why it didn t bother me is just that Cassel is such an amazing MC He is the best example I ve read so far of a Male POV in Young Adult I mean, compare him with, say, Sam from Shiver or Guy Who s Name I Can t Remember from Beautiful Darkness, both just two guys in a long list of YA guys who sound like how their 30 40 year old female authors probably wish 17 year old boys had sounded like back when they were teens Cassel sounds like a guy I believe him as a guy And the best part is like Jace from the Mortal Instruments, he s got a sharp wit and a lot of stuff to be tortured about, but Holly Black handles this a lot better than Cassandra Clare ever did and probably ever could Cassel s wit, for the most part, feels organic to his character and voice, and not something stolen from Joss Whedon thrown in so the author can prove her wittiness to her fans On top of that he had good reason to angst, but his self loathing felt earned and natural and he never delved too deeply into it and for too long The balance here was refreshing as I ve seen too many male characters just bask in their own angst as if they want a fucking medal.Of course, there were a few witty lines that felt out of place, not just coming from Cassel s mouth, but his friends especially Lila for some reason But they were few and far between But I will say now, before I forget, that I do wish, very very much, that Holly Black hadn t stopped her narrative every so often to wave at her friends Throwing in names of your family and friends and making such references is natural for a writer, but when your friendships are pretty high profile they can be jarring The Brennans The Goldblatts And oh hey, there s Jace Heya Jace, how s it going Still macking on that sister of yours OOPS SHE S NOT REALLY YOUR SISTER GET IT It didn t happen often, but it shouldn t have happened at all Or else, she should have just gotten that one Jace reference out of her system in the first page or so and just get on with it Instead, I m treated to a line where Cassel basically says that he feels like a clockwork automaton whose gears just locked up or something completely bizarre and obvious like that Yes we get it, you like your writing besties But please just save it for the fucking acknowledgments, please and thank you.Ahem I do want to mention something that majorly bothered me namely Lila She is a bad ass character and potentially really interesting to delve into, but Black wastes her here, basically putting her into the role of that thing which Cassel wants, but can t have, but could have, but if he had he d be a total monster, or would he Rarely do we see Lila do anything of note except be unattainable to Cassel, which is unfortunate because she had real potential to move the plot in her own way Not only that, but I didn t really ever buy that Lila was THE LOVE OF CASSEL S LIFE I was hoping Black was simply setting up that he thinks she s this great love of his life but really he s just got this obsession, or it s just that she represents something to him like Audrey represented the possibility of a normal life , or something some kind of subversion But it seems Black was playing it straight Cassel does legitimately love her with ALL HIS HEART AND SOUL But I just didn t buy it I agree with Audrey Cassel doesn t know how to love How can he I d love for Black to explore that a bit as true loves are so infinitely boring and far beneath a story like this And hopefully in the next book we ll see Lila doing a bit of Xanatos Gambiting herself, what with her being a freaking MOB PRINCESS AND ALL, actually moving the plot rather than being a pawn The set up for book 3 seems to be going in that way.Despite that, Black s characters are all fully realized and fun to read They practically leap off the page, each with their own distinctive voices and behavioral traits Cassel s mom is the requisite HBIC of the book, and the ending really has you worried about her impending fate But aside from that, though there were some cool and some expected twists, the book kind of ended on a weird blah note Like Black didn t really know how to end it, so she did The set up for book 3 seems like it could be compelling, but I suppose because of the way it was executed and built up I just didn t feel any of that I ll still be running out to buy Book 3, though.Honestly, I enjoyed this book even than I did Jackie Kessler s Rage, simply because I find Cassel s world so compelling, so interesting, so fucked up and so much fun I won t tell anyone to buy it, because it s up to you how you spend your cash, but I definitely do think it was worth my money I actually hope I get to see this adapted into an HBO tv show or something Or a movie You decide.Edit I m definitely going with tv series It s decided May 7 Pre Review Lol it took my a full month to read this Though not because I wasn t interested, just because shit kept happening.Anyway, amazingly written story, awesome MC, bit of sloppiness in the middle, cool mystery albeit the solution was a little obvious with an unfortunately somewhat lackluster set up for book 3, made worse by an unfortunately weak ending Review to come probably, though I tend to be lazier than my goodreads friends.April 8th Pre Pre ReviewI thought I d read Banished first, but then I remembered this came out at the same time as Cassandra Clare s languid piece of horseshit CoFA, though I have no clue how it s doing profit wise Now thinking about it, it was probably a mistake having them come out on the same day wasn t it I mean, Black obviously was trying to snag some of Clare s readers ironic, considering Black discovered Clare thus unleashing her mediocrity upon the world , but when I went to the bookstore, CoFA had its own personal stand front and center I mean seriously, RIGHT in front of the steps while only four copies of Red Glove were tucked somewhere in the shelves As far as I could see they hadn t moved.I mean obviously having your book released on the same day as some blockbuster is going to mean you re going to get a bit overshadowed, doesn t it Black Not everyone knows you re bffs and not everyone cares enough to pick up your book out of obligation to Clare You may have just screwed yourself over here, which is a shame because White Cat was really imaginative and well written though not perfectly executed.Anyway, I ll give Red Glove a go and see how it is, if only to lament at how such an amazing author remade herself as a hack s toady.Of course, I have essays and exams to write so I m probably gonna read this super slowly Hmm I m not sure if it was the high of book one White Cat that made this sequel so disappointing but, whatever the reason, I really struggled to get into this one The story became too involved with many subplots that failed to affect me in any way, stuff like Sam and Daneca s relationship, Cassel s mother s annoying behaviour, campaigns for worker rights, and Cassel s run in with two federal agents who are determined to make him work for them.It wasn t bad enough that I won t read Black Heart, I really enjoyed the first in the series and this book still contained some of the things I loved about that I really like the style this series is written in, I find Cassel to be a very likeable, interesting and humourous protagonist This installment should have focused the book on the mystery and worked the various subplots around that but I found the opposite was true Every so often, the murder mystery would resurface and we d spend several pages on it and then the book would revert back to being about the subplots.In White Cat the main bulk of the plot is surrounding this idea of a white cat appearing in Cassel s dreams, the mystery of what really happened to Lila, and discovering what Philip and Barron are hiding it s interesting, it kept me hooked and it allowed for relationships to be explored with the main mystery, not in their own chapters I really like books that can integrate finding out about characters and their relationships with one another into the events of the main story and I felt this novel failed with that As much as I hate to say it after loving book one, it was kinda boring and I think the only reason it got three stars from me was because a I loved the first so much, and b Cassel, I think he s a great character. [ DOWNLOAD ] ☪ Red Glove ♿ CURSES AND CONSGIC AND THE MOBIn Cassel Sharpe S World, They Go Together Cassel Always Though 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 ElseThat 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 DoesWhen 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 As seen on The ReadventurerGlad to report that my my new, unexpected and surprising love affair with Holly Black continues YES I approached Red Glove with trepidation, because a few of my book soulmate type friends, whose opinions I rely on, were not very positive about this sequel But I, thankfully, saw nothing wrong with it Red Glove is completely on par with its predecessor.So, Cassel is back in school after spending a few months with his conartist mom who curses and charms every rich and powerful man in the vicinity But getting rid of her for a time doesn t change the fact that he has plenty troubles on his mind he has to face the burden of knowledge of his assassin past and he is forced to confront Lila who was worked into blindly loving him by his mother To add to all that, Cassel has feds on his tail who blackmail him into helping them out to solve a murder involving a woman in red gloves.I enjoyed pretty much everything about Red Glove and most likely I will repeat all the complements I already gave White Cat Conartistry, mafia and activism in defense of curse workers are just great The dynamic between Cassel and Lila are even better Mysteries in YA rarely mystify me, but this one surprised me again and again.The only gripe with this series I d like to bring up is this what s up with the new covers I know not everyone is fond of the old ones, but I think they are clever and very much in tune with the stories inside them, sort of noirish Plus, how can I resist the color scheme that is cute play on the books titles Whose brilliant idea was it to change something that was never bad I ve been sitting here for an hour trying to figure out what to say about this book in a review Last summer, I read White Cat the book prior to this one and found myself enthralled by a world of curses, crime, and cons and at the center of the book was Cassel, a boy who couldn t decide between truth and lie, fact and fiction, good and evil, white and black It turned out that Cassel was as dichotomous as they come, gray to his core, doing bad things even if he has good reasons for them He s a very real character because of that mess of indecision and the desire to do the right things, and he s part of what made White Cat so refreshing and fascinating compared to other paranormal young adult books that focus on true love and or angst Cassel s problems are very real and very serious, yet he somehow manages not to be crushed by all the burdens he has, whether they re from his own making or that of others.Enter Red Glove Though I ve been picking this book up and reading pages at a time for the past month, I really did like it however much my overlong reading time may try to prove differently Cassel s world is as dangerous and untrustworthy as ever His mother, still fresh out of prison, is up to no good as she continues to scam her way through as many hits and their wallets as she can His one brother is now a friend while the other is an enemy who won t even speak to him And added on top of all the personal drama is the fact that the girl Cassel loves has been worked i.e charmed, enchanted to love him What s a boy to do I honestly thought that Red Glove wouldn t live up to White Cat Sequels don t usually live up to their predecessors Yes, there are the rare occasions like Empire Strikes Back but, honestly, most people complain about sequels being filler that merely stalls for time until the finale if the story is a trilogy After reading as many sequels as I have and seeing them on the big screen , I m often mixed on the sequel slump Honestly, if I love a fictional world and its characters enough, I won t care much about how the story pales or, in rare cases, shines in comparison to the first I ll just be happen to be immersed again in the world and find out what happens to the characters I am still willing to follow Red Glove held all that allure for me I want to follow these characters, I want to learn about their world, I want to see how the story unfolds but it s not just one of those sequels that I read just so I could say I had Yes, there were some slow going moments, but the characters are great, the writing is really good, and the plot is the kind that anyone who loves a good mystery would like But what really gets me are the twists and turns that Holly Black throws at her readers There were a few instances in this novel where I just had to utter, Oh my God simply because I was so amazed that the story managed to surprise me Isn t it wonderful when you can t predict every little thing that may happen in a plot Personally, I love when that happens Keep on surprising me, Ms Black, because I adore your storytelling for it.Needless to say, the wait for Black Heart will not be fun My advice to interested readers go slow with the first two books if you decide to read them You will likely be clamoring for the third as soon as you can get your hands on it. An excellent sequel indeed Makes me want to go out and get me some red gloves to parade around in Cassel is definitely one of my favorite male characters ever He makes wrong choices, a lot, but he s so dang likable I want to squeeze his cheeks Of course, Lila got worked in the previous book, so Cassel doesn t know if he can trust himself around her because her feelings for him he doesn t believe them to be real It s a mess of feelings, and an addicting one Also his brother, Phillip, is dead, so it s quite the mystery to figure out how he ended up that way And the freaking ending Another cliffhanger to where I have to read the next book Loved it And the magic system is just so cool The smell of Lila s skin, the way her eyes shine with mischief, the low rasp of her voice It hurts to think of her, but I can t stop It ought to hurt.After all, hell is supposed to be hot. Hmmm Well, I just have to say it If you, for whatever reason, have to put a book on pause and you come back to it and feel like you are still strongly a part of that book s worldthen you have an excellent book in your hands, Folks I have had a busy few weeks, book wise Blog tour, catching up on a favorite series for said blog tour, keeping up with ARCsand now here I am with a little bit of me time on my hands So why not pick up where I left off in this wonderful little story It was so much easier than I ever expected and I didn t once feel like I didn t know what was going on It s such a fun, wonderful, dark story with loads of heart seeped onto every page you can t help but to fall in love with Cassel and all his shenanigans I jump up and take off toward her, yanking the panty hose down over my face That slows me down some, because there is no way in hell these things are sheer I can barely see.People start yelling Yeah, because a guy with hose over his head is never the good guy He is, in fact, the stereotype maybe even a archetype of a bad guy.I can t say this was better than the first, yet I rated it a solid 5 Why is that I think it s because my enjoyment level skyrocketed after my hiatus from the series As soon as I began to read from where I d left off, my mood was instantly uplifted and I felt a sense of peace and contentment I started to laugh and smile like a deranged loon Reading about Cassel never gets old and certainly never gets boring He s a sweethearted con who only wants to do goodbut always ends up doing bad But he s getting better Or, at least, he s trying to.I wonder if that s my future Bad choices It certainly feels a lot like my present.And that s where we are in this book Something terrible has happened in the first book view spoiler Cassel s mother worked Lila, the girl he has loved all his life, so that she would fall in love with him hide spoiler I feel like I have very little to say about this book I liked reading it, but it didn t inspire me to great heights of joy or disappointment I like this one a bit less than the first, but that may just be because everything was brand new and exciting in White Cat, and I have to admit that my expectations were low I will definitely get Black Heart from the library next year, but I don t feel any desperate yearning for it.I think that my favorite part of this book is that Cassel s mother is out I wish that she had been in this book a bit Her toxic loving relationship with her sons and the fact that I am than sure that she s been working everyone for years is fascinating to me Cassel has been holing up with his mother over the summer, working cons to get by and trying but failing not to think about Lila But soon he s back at Wallingford, where the girl he s been trying to forget has decided to enroll Cassel finds himself caught between his love for Lila, and his disgust for his mother s curse He must also decide whether to follow in the family tradition by joining the Zacharov family, or go in an entirely new direction.Here is a quote from my review for White CatI am hoping for a ruthless, crafty Cassel in the second book Crosses fingers for no guilty agonizing over misdeedsI think that s my biggest disappointment with this book Cassel seems to still be a bit clueless and too na ve for his own good With all of the dramatic turns that his life has taken, does he really need to fret and agonize about breaking Wallingford Academy s code of ethics or passing physics As much as I love Sam and Daneca, I feel like Wallingford is such an unnecessary part of these books I just want to get to the good stuff cons, mafia dealings, adventure, and double crosses Cassel also seems to make really stupid decisions a few times in this book which made me a little eager to see him suffer for them view spoiler I was really hoping that all of his unquestioning trust in Lila would backfire He s so sure that she has no ulterior motive other than her love for him for enrolling in Wallingford Hello She s the future head of the Zacharovs It would be a huge coup for her to get you on their side, Cassel But, I was sadly disappointed in that one Also, how could he just accept that car from the Zacharovs like it was no big deal He s even still driving it at the end of the book hide spoiler