Black Heart by Holly Black

Black HeartTitle: Black Heart

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Crime/Paranormal

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 296

Rating: 5/5

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.

This book is the last in the Curse Workers trilogy, so even though I was eager to read it, I was also sad to see it end. Luckily, I think it was a great finale for a great series.

I love books about conmen, heists, the mob, espionage, and other related things, so I’m probably a bit biased when it comes to the subject matter – as long as it doesn’t suck too much, I’ll probably love it. Regardless, though, I think these books do a great job of dealing with that genre, whether I’m biased or not. Even when Cassel doesn’t want to participate in the world he grew up in, he’s always pulled back in. In this book, he has the chance to finally put that stuff behind him, but only if he agrees to work for the Feds, which is something a bit more than frowned on by the world he grew up in and is still a part of, in some way. Not to mention Lila, the interesting love interest, is the daughter and heir of one of the big crime guys, and even though she doesn’t love him anymore, he still cares about her and would be forced to work against her.

This book did a good job of wrapping up some things. For example, the “powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control” is a previous background character who now plays a bigger role in this story. The stakes were interesting, the story kept me reading, and I finished it in a mere day or so. I wish I could keep reading on, by at the same time, I’m glad with the way it ended. Not only was it a good ending, but it seemed plausible based on the characters and the story up until that point.

Without giving away too many spoilers, it’s hard to say exactly why I loved this book, plus explaining why you like books always seems to be much more difficult than explaining why you didn’t, but trust me – I loved this book. Other than Holly Black’s co-authored series of The Spiderwick Chronicles, I’ve never really read any of her books, but if they’re anything like this series, that’ll probably change.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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