Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: White Cat & Red Glove by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers)
From the Back Cover:

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

My Thoughts:

Holly Black has crafted a really cool story world, and I was instantly drawn to Cassel, who is a great character. He's the only member of his family who was not gifted with the ability to curse, and he's always felt like an outsider. When the story opens, Cassel is teetering on the edge. Literally. His dad's dead, his mom's in jail, (though she still manages to meddle in her sons' lives), his brothers ignore him, and his girlfriend has just dumped him. Then to top it off, he gets kicked out of Wallingford Prep, the only place where he's ever felt some sense of normalcy and belonging. But just when I started to feel really sorry for him, Cassel set me in my place:

Don't be too sympathetic. Here's the essential truth about me: I killed a girl when I was fourteen. Her name was Lila, she was my best friend, and I loved her. I killed her anyway.

Well there's gotta be a story behind that, right? There is, and it's a really good one. It soon becomes apparent that there's something really special about Cassel, and that those closest to him are all too willing to use it to their advantage. Cassel gets in deep over his head when he tries to find out if Lila's still alive. He's rocked from all sides, hurt and betrayed. He can't trust anyone, and the temptation to make the wrong choices has never been harder to resist. But deep down, Cassel doesn't want to be a con or a mobster. He has a heart, he has a conscience, he wants to do the right thing, and with a great deal of style, too. He's wicked smart and resourceful, soulful and sensitive...I just loved him. And just when it looks like he's about to come out on top and have everything he ever wanted...Surprise, Mommy's home! And she drops a devastating bomb on poor Cassel. (And on me--and then it ends!)

Red Glove (Curse Workers, Book 2)It's not every day a book comes along with a really intense plot that has some unexpected jaw-dropping twists and turns, and Black's ability to keep surprising me had me burning through the pages of both of these books. So I won't spoil that experience for anyone else and I won't say much about Red Glove other than it was great! Still reeling from a broken heart, Cassel finds himself in a world of trouble as the plot thickens, and he winds up trapped between two rival mob families and the feds. I love Cassel even more, and I'm already salivating for the next book. Read White Cat and then read Red Glove. They're smart, different, and very cool.

My Rating:  5 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance digital copy of Red Glove received from the publisher, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. I am a GFC follower. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. omg, that quote you featured from the book -- WOW! What oomph! This sounds like a good one!

  3. Great work keep it coming, best blog on earth



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