Aug. 28th, 2012

starlady: (lemons)
Black, Holly. Red Glove. New York: McElderry Books, 2011.
---------. Black Heart. New York: McElderry Books, 2012.

Thanks to [ profile] swan_tower for borrowing these to me.

Premise description, from my previous post: In brief, a certain segment of the population is born with the ability to work curses on others via their hands--but each worker can only work one type of curse, and each curse creates blowback directly in the worker, so that death-workers, for example, are always liable to lose fingers. To make things even more complicated, Prohibition outlawed curse-working in the States, and of course, to deal with that, workers have formed organized crime families.

I enjoyed White Cat, and though the latter two books aren't quite as shockingly twisty as the first one, I liked them a lot too. They are compulsively readable, and as always, Holly Black is really good at capturing the atmosphere of New Jersey and also the character of New Jersey people. I also really appreciated the very believable New Jersey-style politics and violence of the overarching plot - there's a scene in the third book that is basically straight-up pasticheing Jim McGreevy, the former governor who resigned over a gay affair. Spoilers realize they never should have left New Jersey )

I'm on the fence about whether to tag this post as "chromatic protagonist" or not. The end of Red Glove finally confirms that Cassel is brown-skinned (it was ambiguous but suggested in the first book), but…Black doesn't really do anything with it. (To be fair, Cassel doesn't know his own family history because he lives in a family of con men.) I don't know. That was one of the few sour notes for me, but overall, having read all of Black's YA novels, I think these are her best yet.