Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart by Holly Black

This is the third book in The Curse Workers trilogy. You can check out our reviews of the other books, White Cat (review) and Red Glove (review). You can also see us wax poetic about the narrator of the series, Cassel Sharpe, here. Once you've done all that, you should probably get your hands on the books and READ THEM and then meet back here when you're done....


The world where Cassel Sharpe lives is a world where people live in fear of the people who walk among them. Some of their fellow citizens' chemical make-up includes mutations that allow them to work a curse with their hands. They might touch you and suddenly you've forgotten just who you saw break in to a building. On the other hand, a lot of people would love to get their hands on a curse-worker to have them do a little magic to help them out. Cassel Sharpe has managed to get himself smack in the middle of this fear/desire problem.

If these books were classic noir, Cassel would be a hardboilded detective with his trenchcoat collar pulled up against the rain. Instead he's a rumpled private school senior who has collected enough demerits that it's pretty much anyone's guess if he will actually graduate. But he's also extremely smart, suspicious and capable of seeing the big picture in a way that makes him a person that you would do well to have on your side. His family knows this, his friends know this and now the problem is what happens when powerful people in Cassel's world start to figure it out as well. For instance, someone like a mob boss or the head of a government agency? All Cassel wants is to get out and live the life he chooses; as more people find out how valuable he might be, the chances of him getting what he wants are less and less.

This is the kind of ending that you hope for in a series. The threads that you have been following for three books all are tangled up in this book. The stakes are raised not only for Cassel, but for all the supporting characters you've come to care about as well. This world is dangerous and it's never been more so than in this installment. Everything might explode at any moment and you are not about to put the book down until you find out exactly what is going down.

I'm sad to say goodbye to this series, but I really couldn't have asked for a better ending.

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