Author: Holly Black
Release Date: April 3, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.
When White Cat was first released, I didn't jump at the first chance to read it. It wasn't until Red Glove was soon coming out that I finally began reading the novels... and realized I'd made a huge mistake by not getting to them sooner! I've fallen completely in love with the Curse Workers series and if you're still hesitant to read them, I can only hope you take my advice and give them a try!
I don't think I could choose a particular favourite novel within the series because each of the books have just been so equally well-written and engaging, but I'm quite sure I finished reading Black Heart the fastest. With the Feds trying to get Cassel to join their side and Lila now a member of her father's crime syndicate, Cassel is caught between two opposing worlds. The stakes are higher than ever before for Cassel as he tries to do the right thing, even though he's not all too sure what "right" really is anymore.
I was anxious when I reached the final pages of Black Heart, partly because I didn't want to the book to ever end, and also since I still had no idea to expect! Just like the previous novels in the series, Black Heart kept me on my toes the entire time I was reading. Holly Black knows exactly how to keep readers enough in the dark that the suspense never fades away, throwing in twists and turns that keep your mind sharp as you try to figure out what's going to happen next. And once again, I was amazed by how all the little details fall into place to help solve Cassel's problems.
You definitely won't be able to easily find another series like the Curse Workers one. Holly Black's clever writing style shines through her characters and gives the entire trilogy a completely original feel. While the ending of the book leaves the doors open for a possible return to the dark world of curse workers in the future, there's no denying that Black Heart is an absolutely fantastic finish to the trilogy.
Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing this review copy! If you missed it before, you can read my Q&A with Holly Black on the the Canadian Blog Tour for Black Heart. You can also read my reviews of White Cat and Red Glove.