Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart by Holly BlackTitle: Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 304 pages
Source: personal copy

Cassel Sharpe is back in the long-awaited final book of the Curse Workers Trilogy, Black Heart. While he has been known to use his ability for evil things, even though he didn’t know it, Cassel is trying to be good. He’s trying to make good grades and stay in school, but things are coming at him from every direction.

Lila, the girl he’s loved since he was a child, is preparing to take her place in her Mob family. His mother has been on the run and has recently resurfaced. And his brother is still working with the feds.

When the feds ask Cassel to use his Transformation ability to take care of a political figure, Cassel must figure out who he can trust– his family or the federal agents he’s always been told are no good.

I was so glad to get my hands on this book. It seems like forever since I’ve been able to read about Cassel and his friends, Sam and Daneca. I wasn’t disappointed because right off the bat, Cassel finds himself in all kinds of trouble.

My only regret was that I wasn’t able to read the series all at one time. It took me a little bit to get into Black Heart because it had been so long since I read the first two books in the series, White Cat and Red Glove. I feel that if I would have waited and read the entire series all together, I would have been more invested in the characters like I was when I read the first two books back to back. I definitely see a reread of this series in my future.

Black Heart is the final installment of the Curse Workers trilogy. I eagerly awaited the release of this last book, wondering what path in life our boy Casell Sharpe would choose. I was also curious about how the author would wrap up the series. So many times author’s disappoint us with the ending, leaving us wanting more or feeling cheated. I am happy to say I felt neither. Black leaves us with a completely satisfying ending and while I’m sad there will be no more Cassel Sharpe in my life, I know that he’s going to be okay.

Cassel, who is a transformation worker, left us at the end of Red Glove having made a deal with the Feds so he and his brother Barron could stay alive. These two brothers are con artists and grifters and how they are going to fit in with the Feds instead of the life of crime they were brought up to embrace was definitely on everyone’s mind. Cassel soon learns that the only difference between the mob and the government is that one is licensed to murder and con and the other is prosecuted for those behaviors.

Cassel’s mother worked over Governor Patton, the governor of New Jersey, and she has gone into hiding as the crazed governor is trying to kill her. Cassel has to grapple with how to help her and balance the desires of crime boss Zacharov, the federal government, and oh yeah, himself.

Besides the tricky Fed entanglement, Cassel’s love for Lila has grown so severely that it’s a physical pain he carries around. He’ll do anything for a glimpse of her and drives himself mad thinking about her. But Lila has officially stepped into her father’s business which puts Cassel and Lila on opposites sides.

Black really knows how to weave a sound, believable, storyline – well as believable as you can get in paranormal. While Cassel and Lila are 17 year olds who have to manage a lot of very serious issues, this is the life they have grown up in and really they know no other way to be. I think readers of this series will be quite happy with how these two handle themselves in Black Heart and the final outcome of this trilogy.

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