Black Heart by Holly Black
Reading Level: YA
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: April 3, 2012
Series: Curse Workers #3
Source: ARC from S&S Canada
Reviewed by: Tynga
Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.
Cassel isn’t like anybody else, and the things he has to deal with in Black Heart would most likely be to much for any of us. But if he wants some kind of like, then he has to cope with and do the best he can with what he has. His mom is on the loose, his older brother died and he is protecting the murderer, the girl he loves can’t stand to look at him and he’s got both the FBI and the Mafia breathing down his neck. Talk about pressure right? Cassel really strives to be one of the good guys, but it’s no easy feast we you grew up in a crime family.
The Cruse Workers series is one of my favorite because it stands out so much from anything else you can find on the market right now. Holly Black created a very unique world where some people are born with magical abilities laying in their touch. But magic is illegal and the law forces everyone to wear gloves, because you never know! Picture of gloveless girls is even considered porn hehe.
Black Heart, the third novel in the series proved to be as entertaining as the previous ones, and I wasn’t expecting less! The plot is mostly about Cassel walking the fine line between legal and illegal activities. He stroke a deal with the FBI to become one of them but his love for Lila, daughter of a crime lord, stops him from being completely honest with his new employer. Plus, he doesn’t really trust them, even if they are suppose to be the good guys. Seeing him struggle to do the right thing was great and his dilemma was that much more intense because he can’t rely on anyone else to help him. True to herself, Holly provided a story line full of secrets, hidden meanings and surprises to delight her readers.
Character wise, you can’t really go wrong with a guy like Cassel on the pay roll. He is witty and smart, resourceful and oh-so-surprising. You think you know what’s going on in this head of his, but you can never quite grasp what he’s gonna do until it’s right in your face. He gets himself in the worst situations possible to protect the ones he loves, at the risk of his own life, and your heart pounds because you have no idea how he’ll get out of yet another impossible mission. Barron, Cassel’s brother, also surprised me in this book. I never really liked him, but the little things he did between his “I’m cool and I don’t care” acts really brought a new light on him. The relationship between Cassel and Lila also reached new and interesting heights that will likely please you!
One thing I have to mention, is the new design for the covers. I am REALLY disappointed with them. Not only my series won’t match anymore but to new design is general and not relevant to the books. The original covers really captured to spirit of the series. Dark, sophisticated, mysterious, it really had the strong Mafia vibe you feel while reading the book and it was the perfect complement. I really wish the original artwork for Black Heart was available so I could buy it =/
The Curse Workers series is so out of the box that I’m not quite sure in which category it should be filed, but one thing is sure, it must go on your wish list if you haven’t read it yet. Intense with a dark taste of humor, this series promises to take you down unexplored paths.