Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bookanista Review: White Cat and Red Glove, by Holly Black

Wow--it's been so long since I've done a Bookanista Review, I feel like I've forgotten how to do one. And this time I'm tackling two books at once--eep! Bear with me if my rustiness shows.

And on that inspiring note, lets get to the gushing--oh yes, there will be gushing. I'm officially a huge fangirl of The Curseworkers series now. There are two books in the series so far, WHITE CAT (which just came out in paperback) and RED GLOVE (which just came out on Tuesday)

Here's the official summary for WHITE CAT:

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.

I won't give you the summary for RED GLOVE because it has some spoilers for WHITE CAT in it, and I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't started the series. But OMG you guys, if you haven't started this series YOU NEED TO!

I mean, first of all--it mixes MAGIC with THE MOB. The sheer coolness of that concept alone should convince you.

Add to that the fact that Holly Black can seriously, seriously write. I can't tell you how many times I'd read something and think: why have I never thought to word something that way? Major word envy guys. MAJOR! And Cassel is an awesome main character--sarcastic and real and dark and haunted and still so dang likable. (How refreshing is it to have a male main character in YA, btw?) And the plot is so filled with twists and turns, cons within cons, you're never sure who's playing who as you race through page after page trying to figure it all out.

But I think my favorite thing--the thing that cemented my love for the series--is Black's complete commitment to being evil to her characters. She has no problem hitting Cassel as hard as she can--and when he finally crumbles, she kicks him when he's down. That's what makes a book powerful. What leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering what the heck will happen next, because no one's safe. The end of WHITE CAT is brilliant. And you come into RED GLOVE thinking things can't get harder, and they do. And they just keep getting harder. Powerful storytelling guys. Trust me.

I'm already desperate for the next one. Which is unfortunate because I'll be waiting for quite a while, given that RED GLOVE just came out. Guess I'll just have to reread the others in the meantime.

Now, usually, I end my Bookanista posts with a giveaway--and I am giving away a signed copy of both WHITE CAT and RED GLOVE. But it's part of The Bookanistas Give Back promotion--which you can learn all about by clicking HERE. Check it out--there's some awesome prizes to be won.

For more awesome book recommendations, here's what the rest of The Bookanistas are up to:


  1. Great review. I'm one of those people who needs to read this series. Thanks for inspiring me too.

  2. This sounds like a good read! I'll have to check it out! :)

  3. Wow! I don't think I really need to say more. I must get this!

  4. Thanks for reviewing both since I haven't read either. I keep seeing mention of Red Glove all over the place but hadn't heard much about White Cat. (Not that I couldn't look it up but ... laziness.)

    Hope things are calming down for you Shannon!

  5. Man. I don't know how you guys manage it.

  6. Ahhhhhhhh! I haven't read these, #1. Where will I ever find the time to read everything I want to read??? MUST. READ. FASTER. :-)

  7. Thanks for the review! I haven't read these yet, and I love Holly Black.

  8. Eep! I need to get on this series! Was about to buy it at the bookstore last weekend, but I held back. Now, I'm feeling so much regret!

  9. You convinced me! My mum bought me White Cat for Christmas, but it got buried in the TBR pile. Time to pull it out I think ;0)

  10. since i've been hooked on the mortal instruments lately, i've been wanting to read some holly black stuff as well (because she and cassie clare are good friends). so thanks for the review! the books sound pretty darn awesome.

  11. I've been really intrigued with this series. Now I'm going to have to go pick them up!

  12. I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of mixing magic with the mob! I should probably check these out!

  13. Welcome back! Great review. I think anyone would have a hard time not running out to getting both books after reading it. Holly Black is an amazing author.


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