Black, Holly. White Cat (2011). 325 Pages. Margaret K. McElderry. $17.99
The Curse Workers | Book Two
Please be aware that because this is the second book in a series, there may be spoilers for the first book, White Cat. Proceed with caution.
Also included in this post, my opinion on “Lila Zacharov in 13 Pieces,” which was a teaser to bridge the gap between White Cat and Red Glove. (I loved it.)
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought 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 else.
That 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 does.
When 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.
I don’t know whether it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave. Her minnow silver dress swishes against the tops of her thighs like Christmas tinsel as she opens the hotel door.
I struggle to remember her name.
“So you’ll tell your father at the consulate about me?” Her lipstick is smeared across her cheek. I should tell her to fix it, but my self-loathing is so great that I hate her along with myself.
I’m going to start with my opinion on Red Glove and conclude with my opinion on “Lila Zacharov in 13 Pieces” because that is the way I read them, and I feel that it is the best way. Clearly, I’m biased.
When Cassel Sharpe found out that he was a worker– and not just any worker, the rarest of all, a transformation worker– he thought things might change, but Cassel just can’t catch a break. The one girl he wants is the one girl he can never have, not only because she’s a mafia princess, but also because his mother has “worked” her so she loves him. Because her feelings aren’t genuine, he can’t act on them, and it makes things between them even more impossible.
But Cassel’s relationship with Lila isn’t the only thing driving Red Glove, we’ve also got the mysterious death of one of his brothers, the Feds trying to get Cassel to work for them, Zacharov trying to woo Cassel, and school-drama.Well, friend-drama as well as school drama.
All of the sub-plots in Red Glove work together in such a way that while it’s not surprising that they come together, it is a little surprising how they come together.
I’m always a little apprehensive when beginning the second book in a series; sometimes it can drag, proving that it is a sequel for the sake of being a sequel. Sometimes, it begins too many things, and doesn’t conclude anything, because it is really just a bridge between books one and three. In this case, however, while Red Glove is a second book, it is not just there for the sake of being a Second Book. It has its own story arc, and manages to resolve quite a bit of the plot without resolving everything. It leaves you geared up for book three– which comes out April 2012– without being an over-worked trailer.
I believe this book earns a 4/5, and the suggestion that you take the time to read it. I hope Black Heart doesn’t disappoint.
“Lila Zacharov in 13 Pieces” is a story-generator which gives us glimpses into Lila’s life in the form of very brief vignettes. There are a few editing errors, but for the most part, it’s well executed. Every time you press the “start” button, you get the 13 pieces in a different order. They’re all interconnected, and each one is designed to influence your opinion of another piece, and they ultimately influence your view of Red Glove, and the events therein as well.
It’s a brilliant piece of writing/advertising, and really makes you want to know more about Lila, the world, and her story.
[SPOILERS: It also managed to make me really sad about how Red Glove ends. I actually got a bit teary. Highlight to read.]
When I read it, I got 12 6 3 8 10 4 7 2 1 9 13 11. What did you get? (Share in the comments below, please!)