Red Glove by Holly Black

(8.2/10) Holly Black uses her writing to weave a clever and dark tale of tragedy and bad luck.

I don’t like lazy writing. I don’t like convinced convenience. In the end, if you can’t make me understand why something is happening using formulae from the world I live in, then you’ve screwed up. Using magic or blaming something on the juvenility of teenagers does not cut it.

That’s why, at the end of the day, Holly Black’s ‘Red Glove’ will receive a lower rating than it would have had I finished reading the book 3 pages earlier.

To be fair, I want to reiterate that the problem comes at the very end of the book, and you may end up disagreeing with me on the validity of the characters’ rationale. Up until that point, Holly Black is writing one of my favourite modern day fantasies.

Red Glove is the second in Holly Black’s ‘The Curse Workers’ series, which kicked off last year with ‘White Cat’ and which I scored pretty highly. I loved the innovative way in which Black drew us into a modern-day world which is just a little skewed from reality. I thought the way in which the magic ruled the thoughts of everyone was clever and made for a very believable tale; wouldn’t you be a little bit nervous if just about anyone in the street could wipe your memory or make you do something you didn’t want to do.

So I was really excited to sit down and read Red Glove the other day; not only to continue reading a great story, but to interact with characters that I really enjoyed reading.

For the most part, Black’s teenage characters don’t act like the stereotypical-yet-unrealistic teenagers of so many books: they made justifiably insane and silly decisions, while never straying from the explainable; the realistic.

That is, up until the last few pages (sorry, I’ll shut up about that now).

Red Glove’s story is great, even though the authorities may be a little bit too dumb for my liking. Cassel is appropriately affected and stressed by the events going on in his life, and you really do route for him to pull through; to not cock everything up.

His friends are fantastic; funny, loyal, with their own quirks and issues. Lila especially makes this book fantastic, because we get a character who is from the darker side of the tracks, but one who – like Cassel – doesn’t necessarily thrill to stay there.

In the end, I did enjoy Red Glove, despite the last few pages, and by the time the third book comes out in 2012 I may be thoroughly devoid of frustration (though it will immediately pop back up the moment I start reading). Holly Black uses her writing to weave a clever and dark tale of tragedy and bad luck, all the while keeping you a little in the dark and on the edge of your seat.

Review by

Our interview with Holly Black

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children. Holly collaborated with her long-time friend, Caldecott award winning artist, Tony DiTerlizzi, to create the bestselling Spiderwick [...]

Read interview

12+

Red Glove reader reviews

8.2/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for Holly Black's Curse Workers series

White Cat

Curse Workers: Book 1 written by Holly Black

Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going [...]

Published: 2010

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Red Glove

Curse Workers: Book 2 written by Holly Black

Cassel has discovered the dark secret of his past, a secret that has transformed his life for ever and given him unimaginable power. Now intent on uncovering the person res [...]

Published: 2011

Our rating: 8.2 | positive reader reviews

12+

More Holly Black reviews

The Field Guide

by Holly Black

Book 1 of The Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory, Simon and Jared get acquainted with their new home but find many unexpected things. It all starts when Jared Grace fin [...]

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 1
Published: 2003

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

9+

The Seeing Stone

by Holly Black

We are very proud (and a bit wary) to announce the publication of The Spiderwick Chronicles. But beware, the faeries will use all their power to stop you from reading these [...]

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 2
Published: 2003

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

9+

Lucinda's Secret

by Holly Black

Things at the Grace residence are getting completely out of hand. As if being attacked by goblins and almost eaten by a bridge troll wasn't enough, now the house boggar [...]

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 3
Published: 2003

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

9+

The Ironwood Tree

by Holly Black

First a pack of vile, smelly goblins snatch Simon. Then a band of elves try to entrap Jared. Why is the entire faerie world so eager to get their hands on Spiderwick's [...]

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 4
Published: 2004

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

9+

The Wrath of Mulgarath

by Holly Black

Twists and turns abound in the final installment of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Bruised and battered, Jared, Simon and Mallory return home to find their house completely ran [...]

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 5
Published: 2006

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

9+

Books you may also enjoy

Circe

by Madeline Miller

"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scop [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2018

Score: 100

Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Once And Future King

by TH White

Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in w [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1958

Score: 99

Our rating: 9.5 | 4 positive reader reviews

12+

Tender Morsels

by Margo Lanagan

Liga raises her two daughters in the safe haven of an alternative reality, a personal heaven granted by magic as a refuge from her earthly suffering. But the real world can [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2008

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Brides of Rollrock Island

by Margo Lanagan

Rollrock island is a lonely rock of gulls and waves, blunt fishermen and their homely wives. Life is hard for the families who must wring a poor living from the stormy seas [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+