Red Glove is, of course, the second book in the Curse Workers series, of which I believe there will be three books. White Cat is the first and I loved it with a deep and abiding passion. As a note, this review WILL include spoilers for White Cat, so if you haven’t read that yet, go do it!
Reading the second book in a series is always an interesting proposition. There isn’t that rush of finding a new world and getting yourself lost in it. On the other hand, the familiarity of the characters and setting lets the author change, and sometimes even reverse, what you thought you knew from the first book.
At the beginning of this one, Cassel is in Atlantic City with his mother, the summer before returning to Wallingford for his senior year. She is, of course, running a con. They get back home with only minor hitches, and Cassel starts his year, with Sam as his roommate again, only to discover that Lila Zacharov has enrolled at Wallingford.
This is very bad news.
The plot clips right along here–30 pages in, we get the first major twist (Lila’s appearance) and pretty quickly after that there’s another, even more irrevocable change. Part boarding school story, part mystery novel, part criminal enterprise.
Cassel continues to be my favorite character out of the lot. Though in some ways he’s given up trying to fit in the Wallingford world, in other ways he wishes just as much that he didn’t have this secret identity. I love his voice, which is sharp and humorous and tender. But for me, I think the key to his character lies in something Grandpa Singer says. It’s a tad spoilery, so I won’t quote it, but p.317, for those of you reading at home.
Sam is probably my second favorite. I kind of fell in love with him the first time he appeared, with his biodiesel hearse and all. Here, he only increases in his awesomeness. I loved the moment where Cassel had to decide whether to tell him that he’s a transformation worker or not.
So I enjoyed myself thoroughly–the writing is mostly memorable for its effortlessness, which is as it should be. This isn’t the kind of story that works with grand literary passages. It’s simple, good, clear writing, and it’s great. I did miss that heady rush of realizing that DANG, this book is going to be really good! It was good, but I also expected it to be. Nothing to be done about that, however, and it’s not really a complaint.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading “13 pieces” before you read Red Glove. There are moments where Lila comes across as a little distant in both books, so reading from her point of view was great.
Can’t wait for the third book! This waiting for books thing is very wearing. I tend to get
extremely slightly over-invested in books.
Book source: public library (Dear Holly Black, if you happen to be reading this, I PROMISE I will be buying a copy when I have a job.)
Book information: Margaret McElderry, 2011; YA