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on 15 January 2013
In all truthfulness, I wasn't really looking forward to this book. I found number one to have a great concept, that was a bit muddled in it's storytelling to the point where I didn't truly understand the world that the author had created. Maybe I was having a bad day when I read that one, because this entry was not confusing to me in the slightest, everything was clear....and actually kind of brilliant.

The characters also stood out a lot more, and I really got a feel for the main character Cassell, he's definitely one of the more interesting protagonists I've come across in a while, and while some of his morals seem a bit questionable, he is undoubtedly a likeable lead. I enjoyed the way that he constantly makes reference to 'the con' and you really feel that he is a kid who has grown up within a family of criminals. The supporting cast was really good too, the mother, Daneca and Lila all have good moments and character growth within this one that sets up some exciting possibilities for the next entry. I think the only weak link is the character of Sam, whose interest in special effects make up is referenced too much, to the point where you know the author needed those skills for plot points.

Overall, this book was a real surprise for me and I can't wait to read the next entry in the series. Apparently it was suppose to be a trilogy but has been extended to at least a fourth book by the author, I'm not sure how I feel about that, but if she can keep up the quality, I welcome another series to add my collection.
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Red Glove continues shortly after the book White Cat. The Curse Workers are at it still. In a world much like ours, but where some people have the gift or the curse that their touch can influence people; some can bring or take luck, or memories, even life. Society dictates that all people wear gloves to prevent unintentional contact and thus being 'worked'. Cassel comes from a family of workers, and until recently he believed he did not have the touch.

Cassel is still being pulled by all sides - his mother wanting to use him in her next scheme, his brother wanting him for some scams, the government wanting him to catch everyone and the woman he loves hates his guts. Not exactly a simple life.

Holly Black writes wonderful books. I have yet to read anything by her that disappoints. In fact, all of her books I have read have ended up in my Top 10 for the quarter in which they were read. It's funny in that I read over 100 books a year and most I enjoy, a few I love, but even fewer still I wish I could visit. This is one of those books. I would be intrigued to wake up one day in this world. I k now that as I read these books they become so ingrained in my consciousness that I dream about them, the characters pop into my mind in meetings and during conversations. Holy Black is an addictive author. Once you sample her writing you will not want to stop. So check out this series, and let Black work her magic on you.
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Having enjoyed Holly's writing for years, it is with great delight when I read the first of the Curse Workers series last year, so when I had the chance to get ahead with the second book I really couldn't wait, after all the world was inventive, there were great powers for the magic users and whilst there were huge benefits for utilising your power, many came with great costs.

Add to this a lead character who the readers can get behind, who whilst he's unsure of himself to a certain degree as he knows that his powers were abused by family members, Cassel disguises his gift with humour as well as cunning. As usual with Holly's writing, the pace is decent, the dialogue is addictive and when backed with mysterious overall arc it's a series that will soon become ingrained in the readers psyche. Great stuff.
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on 24 October 2015
After finding out he's one of the most powerful curse worker's around, Cassel Sharpe can't trust anyone to keep his secret and protect him from being exploited. A lot of people want him to work for them and will use any means to get it to happen - bribery, blackmail and even murder are all on the table where Cassel's involved. The only person he can really trust is himself.

I will say right off the bat that I didn't enjoy this read as much as the first one in the series. I didn't find it as thrilling simply because the element of surprise wasn't there to the same extent. I already knew what Cassel could do and what the rest of the characters curses are. It just wasn't the same.

Those elements were there on a smaller scale though. I liked the mystery involved in this one and how Cassel (or Holly Black I should say) kept the answer secret until the very end, even though he knew who the murderer was quite some time before it was revealed.

What takes the biscuit for me, in both this read and the previous one in the series, was how Cassel dealt with his problems in such a genius way. He waits until he has all the facts possible and then puts them together to plan a huge con. The cons are the best part of the book. When everything comes together and everyone plays their part - pure genius. It gives Cassel such depth and mystery that I can't help but want to get to know him more.

Overall I really liked this read and I can't wait to see more of Cassel and his brilliant ideas. I definitely recommend it.
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The cat is out of the bag and Cassel now knows he is a Worker, he also knows that his brothers have been manipulating him for years forcing him to do unspeakable things and then tampering with his memory so he won't remember what he has done. He still doesn't have his memory back but he has a pretty good idea of what he was forced to do and it doesn't sit well with him. His relationship with his older brothers is more rocky than ever and it takes everything Cassel has got just to act normal around them, his mother is out of jail and up to her old tricks and the girl he loves has been cursed to love him so there is no hope of pursuing any kind of relationship with her. Yes, Cassel's life pretty much sucks right now and that was before one of his brothers was murdered and the government decided to try and turn him into a snitch. Now Cassel is in a very difficult position, he doesn't want to join the Zacharov crime syndicate but that doesn't mean he wants to become a police informant either. Unfortunately neither side is giving him much of an option & it's going to take all of Cassel's wits just to stay alive and out of trouble.

As much as I loved White Cat I think I enjoyed Red Glove even more, the story is really cleverly woven together and it is difficult to see how Cassel will manage to keep himself out of prison. He is forced to deal with his crazy family members and it seems like everyone wants something from him, his mum wants him to help with her latest cons and his brothers see him as an easy route into the syndicates. The only family member I trust to have his back is his Grandad but he has been kept in the dark about so many things that Cassel can't really turn to him for help. It has been great to see Cassel slowly building his friendships with Daneca and Sam though, he has come to trust them both and finally starts to open up a little and share some of his secrets. It's great to know that he has a couple of people who have his back, he is in desperate need of some allies considering all the things he has going against him right now.

I hated seeing how distraught he is over his relationship with Lila, he cares about her so deeply but now that his mother has cursed Lila to love him he is unable to trust her feelings or act on their mutual attraction without feeling incredibly guilty. It's quite disturbing that his mother doesn't even see what she did wrong and that more than anything shows just how twisted her abilities are. I thought things between the two of them were handled really well, I loved that Cassel was honest with Lila about what had been done to her and I was glad that he didn't take advantage of her. It was sad to see them so far apart though and I really hope they can find some way through it in the final book. It's difficult because I do have trouble connecting to Lila at times and her goals seem so different to Cassel's but I feel that after everything they've both been through they deserve some kind of happy ending. I'm just not sure if they can find it together or not.

Red Glove is a brilliant book, one that focuses on the murder of Cassel's brother and who was behind it but there is so much more to it than that. There are some fantastic twists and I enjoyed getting to continue exploring the world Holly Black has created. I eat up anything about the Workers and the consequences they have for using their abilities, I always prefer when magic has a price and that is definitely the case here. It's rare that I pick up the final book in a trilogy without even a vague idea of what to expect but I honestly can't even guess at what is in store for Cassel in Black Heart and that makes me even more desperate to read it.
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Cassel Sharpe's life is a chaotic one, even when matters have improved. And everything seems to be circling the drain in "Red Glove," which is even more taut and electrifying than Holly Black's first Curse Workers book. One part murder mystery, one part mob thriller, and one part tale of a good-hearted boy mired in a shadow world of deception.

Cassel's first day back at Wallingford is ruined by two things. One: Lila is now enrolled at his school, and she's still cursedly in love with him. Two: the FBI drags him in, revealing that his brother Philip has been murdered -- and since he had turned informant, they want his murderer. All they know is that it was a woman, and she was wearing red gloves.

Soon Cassel is trapped between the feds and the worker mobster Zacharov, both of whom want him to come work for them. And as he tries to keep his secret, keep his family from being arrested, and solve his brother's murder, Cassel begins to suspect that someone close to him murdered Philip -- and he's not sure what to do about it.

"Red Glove" is technically an urban fantasy, but it's really more like "supernatural suspense." We've got FBI agents, mobsters, teen love, lies, false memories and a young man walking the tightrope between right and wrong -- and even worse, between the amoral forces that want to use his powers for their own ends.

Black's story is tightly plotted, with lots of little hints and subplots that she ties off neatly, while still leaving the door open for the third book. She has sharply electric prose ("A glit ter ing chok er of dried blood") and dryly witty dialogue (""You're a pret ty cool customer, huh?" "I hide my inner pain un der my stoic visage").

And she takes some time out in the middle of the story to explore what a world with workers would be like: some people defend their rights, while others don't care about rights as long as they feel "safe" and the government is in control.

Cassel is still a "leopard pretending to be a housecat" -- a young man raised among criminals and grifters, but who still desperately wants to do the right thing, but keeps getting yanked back into MoralAmbiguityville. Black also fleshes out his conflicted, fiery love interest Lila, whose love for him may or may not be real, as well as his friends Sam and Daneca.

Holly Black might as well be a curse worker herself, because "Red Glove" is a spellbinding experience that wrenches your emotions and your gut.
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on 23 March 2015
The life of Cassel Sharp continues to become more complicated in the second of the Curse Workers series.   Family troubles heighten with his Mothers demands on her son and the shock and aftermath of the murder of his brother Philip.  The remaining siblings relationship  is fraught with difficulties, despite this Cassel pulls out all the stops regarding Barron especially with the FBI.  Needless to say this young magic user is in demand there are unlawful organisations all looking to recruit him Lila's father bein the main contender. 
Lila is now attending the same school where she once roamed as a white cat and due to his  Mothers medaling the possible romance is fraught with difficulties.  In school with his two firm  friends; Sam fellow bookie and Daneca with her strong convictions who are creatively helpfull when the time arises.   Cassel has a good heart and strength of character of which he is oblivious.  
The characters and their traits are very well written making this world of magic users known as "workers" very realistic.   This is a story full of surprises with a double twist at the end, readers will be thrilled, delighted, saddened and enchanted with this book. 
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on 3 February 2015
I love the characters in this dystopic world. Cassell traumered life is well depicted inside a contemporary world where magic users are generally criminals. When I first read reviews of this series I did not expect to be drawn in so much to the world and did not read 'The White Cat' despite purchasing it until almost a year later. However in this sequel and the first, Holly Black weaves just the right amount of mystery into a slow reveal of 'who did it'. There are lots of little mysteries she creates throughout the read and satisfyingly answers them, eventually. Who wore the red glove was not so difficult to guess but what Cassell's decision would be, was, and how his relationship with the white cat develops also kept me guessing.
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on 18 April 2012
I loved The Red Glove so much I'm devastated to have finished it! (but it's okay -- I'll read it again) I really enjoyed the present tense (I never notice, and I was a third of the way through before I realised it was written in present) and Cassel is a wonderful narrator.

I've very much enjoyed all of Holly Black's books, but I think the Curse Worker series is especially impressive -- you can see an experienced author writing tight intelligent prose and telling a fascinating story.

I can't recommend this (or The White Cat) highly enough.
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on 2 May 2014
A guilty pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed this series of books, the characters are great, the plotting is smooth and complex (if a touch incredulous at times). Brilliant premise that 'curse workers' can exercise their various powers through touch.
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