January 17, 2013

Black Heart - Holly Black

Now Playing: Parachute - Cheryl Cole

Goodreads says:  
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.

Black Heart is the third and final book in the Curse Workers trilogy and it was a quite honestly a fantastic ending to the Curse Workers. Cassel is stuck having to clean up a lot of messes in Black Heart:
  • first, his mom's sticky fingers and the Resurrection Diamond she stole from Zacharov years ago
  • the scheme he roped Barron and himself in as trainees for the FBI section that utilizes curse workers for the government, but at what cost
  •  the girl at school who needs Cassel's help conning someone,
  • and his best friend's Sam and Daneca's relationship. 
Black Heart was heart-stopping to me, as all the chapters would reveal clues and information on how to fix these messes was interwoven with the main part of finding the Diamond. Cassel is a sharp-tongued and sarcastic as ever, but we see more of a dreamer in Black Heart. A boy who wonder what life would be like with Lila Zacharov had the events of Red Glove not transpired. (spoiler alert, highlight to read; she decides to follow through with the mob life the Zacharov's are boss at)

Sam and Daneca served as great insight to the world outside of Cassel the conman, but also helped to lighten what could've just gone the very dark road. Sam is just as witty as ever, but nursing his broken heart while Daneca has a few secrets of her own that show what the events in Red Glove also did to her, personality-wise and decision-making wise.

Cassel's uncle was also in the story, provided a good dose of parental/grandfatherly guidance where Barron's older-brother reckless logic and Cassel's mom being an overall horrible mother, that are both pretty dangerous to Cassel throughout the series. The entire story is turned into a nice bow as it shows adults trying to take advantage of others or kids, always comes back to bite them where it hurts when Curse-Workers are involved.

Overall, Black Heart made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me want to find more books to do mystery and YA that remind me of Veronica Mars. And It made me seriously question the emotional investment I have in fictional characters. This is definitely a series everyone should read if they're not already.


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