Die deutsche Rezension findet ihr hier
.This review contains spoilers for the previous book.3.5
It sucks to be Cassel Sharpe. His brothers betrayed him; his mother cursed his crush into loving him – now he doesn’t even know if he can trust his best friend’s words. Nevertheless, he tries to do as good as he can. The curse has to wear off finally and then he can believe what Lila tells him again, can’t he? Then his eldest brother is shot, though, and Cassel is supposed to find the murderer. Too bad it’s the FBI who wants him to solve the case, while the boss of the local mafia still wants to see the young man in his ranks – letting down either side could result in something worse than “bad”.
What I really loved about “White Cat” was that you couldn’t trust anyone – but you only realized that after some time. Brothers became traitors, and at some point all you could do was staring open-mouthed at the text. Who would have thought that any of this lurked behind the façade of the still somehow charming family?
Now we know it. There aren’t much more surprises, at least concerning this matter, though there are still rather shocking details. Already that you would do something like that to your own, little brother … but this can’t carry the whole story. This applies to other secrets as well as the shocking details; instead, we have the big question as to who murdered Philip – at least that’s what you would expect. The murder case isn’t that big a part of the plot because Cassel has so much else to worry about: who did he kill himself? How should Lila and he treat each other? Besides, you should always abide the school rules. As much as is possible, anyway. There is much going on, but not everything serves the purpose.
It isn’t boring, but the pace has already been a problem in the first book. The story takes its time to really get going. In “White Cat”, this hasn’t been much of a problem, but in “Red Glove” there aren’t constantly new realizations that keep the story going. Only at the end it makes ready for the sweeping blow, so we get a little suspense there.
Anyway, there’s still Cassel and you simply have to like him. He’s far from perfect, and even though he tries really hard to be a good guy, he isn’t always one. How could he when he still wants to protect his family who is entirely without scruple? (Admittedly, some of the mother’s moves are impressive.) I had hoped we would get to know more about his friends; anyway, it isn’t as if we don’t see them at all. Also, at least you can see the bond between Cassel and some members of his family, even though it is not as impressively displayed as in the first book.
But there’s Cassel whom you will have a lot to suffer through with. As I said, it sucks to be him. Few would be able to live through what he has to experience. It’s a good thing he’s a cunning chap with some amount of criminal energy – he’ll work it out somehow.
I’ll give the book an extra point for the political aspect. The workers are still forbidden to use their magic – and if you fight for their rights you are treated like a second-class citizen. On the one hand, government wants to take actions against the mafia-like unions of workers. On the other hand, they themselves work with censorship and oppression – I really hope this aspect gets even more attention in the next book. If there’s still time left besides Cassel’s other massive problems, that is.
“Red Glove” is not as good as “White Cat”. The story misses some surprises and realizations, but it’s still entertaining. Of course, Cassel can take most of the credit for that – that guy really earned himself a huge hug.