Black Heart (Curse Workers #3)
by Holly Black
What is it about:
In a world where Magic is illegal.
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.
What did I think of it:
Warning: I'm going to get a bit spoilery about the end.
I very much enjoyed the other two books in this trilogy, and overall I also really enjoyed this book.
It's well written, original, and with characters I really could root for. Cassel is getting himself in a difficult position, working for the law, while also getting involved with Lila and her criminal family.
I was drawn into the story from the start and was eager to find out how Cassel would get out of everything intact, and if he and Lila would reconcile. Overall I was loving the book, even though there were some unnecessary side quests, that took attention away from the main story.
And then I came to the end...
Now, I don't need a tidy ending. Often when people complain about an open ending, I love that ending, because it gives me the opportunity to fantasize about what happens next. So it wasn't so much the fairly open ending that bothered me.
What bothered me was that basically Cassel was back where he started from in the first book. So he got the girl, rides off into the sunset, blah, blah... But apart from that: nothing. He's been running for three books to escape the life he's living, only to end back at square one.
Maybe this is what Black wants to show the reader. Maybe this is about the inevitability of your fate. Still... I thought it sucked. So after really loving these books and rooting for Cassel, I was left feeling bummed.
I love Black's writing enough to continue reading books by her, and I will most probably also reread this trilogy, because apart from the ending it is a great read, but I will secretly imagine a different ending.
Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Paranormal YA read.