Series: Curse Workers #3
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 3, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?
For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.
The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?
Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.
This is the third book in a series and while it is spoiler free for Black Heart there will be spoilers for White Cat and Red Glove.
What I Thought…
- Before I get into the story I want to talk about the amazing narration. Black Heart is narrated by Jesse Eisenberg (guy from the Facebook movie) and he did a fabulous job. I wish I would have listened to the first two rather than read them.
- One of the strongest things for me in the Curseworkers series is that the characters are not typical. They do bad things, and they are ok with those bad things.
- I love the world that Holly Black created. It’s unique, different and dark. People fear the curseworkers and the government is trying to control them. It’s all fascinating. The consequences for performing magic (the blowback) makes doing magic dangerous and I love how the blowback is related to the curseworker’s special skill.
- I freaking love Cassel! He’s not your traditional bad boy as he is really is dangerous (as a transformation worker) to others. He’s done some bad things, but he wants to be good-ish. He’s also very tired of being used. He was used in White Cat and Red Glove and it appears that the using is not going to end. This time it’s the FBI and his brother and Cassel has to decide who he can trust.
- Lila is different in Black Heart. As an official member of her crime family now she is distancing herself from Cassel and taking on a bigger role in the family. She’s not as good and innocent as she once was, but she does what needs to be done to protect those she cares about.
- I had mixed feelings about Barron in the first two books but here I really liked him. He seemed to be changing his ways and my heart broke a little bit when Cassel did what he did. Especially since Cassel did it for mostly selfish reasons.
- Daneca and Sam are having a lot of issues (due to Sam’s screw up in Red Glove). Daneca is not as likeable in Black Heart. She is angry and even though most of her anger is towards Sam she takes some of it out on Cassel. Once Cassel discovers her secret he shares his disapproval, which of course just makes the situation worse. Even after things get resolved with Daneca everything is not perfect.
- Cassel’s grandfather is amazing just like in the previous books. I love how he looks out for Cassel and the advice that he gives.
- Black Heart moves pretty fast. In addition to Cassel’s issues with the FBI he is dealing with some blackmail and Daneca’s issues. I could have done without the blackmail issue, though it did serve a point with Daneca’s issues. There were so many issues with the FBI it was hard to determine what was true and what was not (it was hard for Cassel too).
- I loved the way Black Heart ended. Even though it was a complete story it leaves open the possibility of future adventures, which I would love! It was not a perfectly happy ever after ending either, which I liked. There are still issues and problems. And Cassel did something that frustrated me, but yet showed that he isn’t perfect and we shouldn’t expect him to be.
“’But now I wonder–what if everyone is pretty much the same and it’s just a thousand small choices that add up to the person you are? No good or evil, no black and white, no inner demons or angels whispering the right answers in our ears like it’s some cosmic SAT test. Just us, hour by hour, minute by minute, day by day,making the best choices we can.’
The thought is horrifying. If that’s true, then there’s no right choice. There’s only choice.”