Tuesday 19 March 2013

Review -- Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart

Title: Black Heart
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Curse Workers (3)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 03 April 2012
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Black Heart is the stunning end to Holly Black's Curse Workers trilogy. This is one of the most unique worlds I've read and Black further develops it and makes it better with this last installment.

Curse Workers was always driven by its fully fleshed out characters but Black blew me away by adding new layers to Cassel's character. I always loved him. His character has such real depth, such raw emotions that I couldn't help but relate to his character. In Black Heart, Cassel struggles to find his place in good or bad. He tries so very hard to ignore his 'evil' tendencies but cons and magic always have and always will be a part of his life. How can he deny himself of what is truly part of him? This inner conflict is one of the most memorable and admirable aspects of the story.
"I can walk into someone's house, kiss their wife, sit down at their table, and eat their dinner. I can lift a passport at an airport, and in twenty minutes it will seem like it's mine. I can be a blackbird staring in the window. I can be a cat creeping along a ledge. I can go anywhere I want and do the worst things I can imagine, with nothing to ever connect me to those crimes. Today I look like me, but tomorrow I could look like you. I could be you."
I had forgotten how much I didn't like most of the characters. Barron is a real jerk of a big brother. His mother cares for Cassel but she's got a pretty screwed up sense of morality. She insists she does things for the well being of her family, and maybe she does, but it doesn't come before her own personal gain. Barron is a real jerk of a big brother. He can be loving and caring towards Cassel but only when he feels like it. He will seriously mess with his little brother's life and have fun doing it, cause hey! That's what big brothers do. But he'll pound your ass if anyone else even thinks of hurting Cassel. Cassel's grandfather is one of the very few characters in this whole trilogy whom I don't want to strangle. He really does loves and cares for Cassel because he's his grandson and family stick together. Well... Until Granddad finds out that Cassel turned his back on his family and workers by helping the government. Then he's dead to him. Is it bad that I think Cassel's family is one of the most realistic portrayals of familial relationships in YA? Minus, the extreme government conspiracies, of course.
"That’s family for you. Can’t live with them, can’t murder them."
Daneca is a horrible friend. I don't even understand why they're wasting their time trying to win her back. She's annoying, haughty, thinks she's better than everyone and one of the biggest hypocrites ever. I never liked Lila. I'll admit, she's a lot less annoying in this book than in the previous ones. I never thought she was good enough for Cassel but if she makes him happy, then... I suppose, they can go be together. *sigh* Black crafted a unique romance with Cassel and Lila. They do make quite a pair. Their romance wasn't as stifling as I thought it was in the previous books, especially Red Glove. It's not to say Cassel didn't do his fair share of whining and obsessing over Lila but I love him, so I can excuse it. 

It sounds like I hated this book, doesn't it? What with all the character hate, but I loved it despite of that, or maybe because of it. Black's characters are so developed and fleshed out. They all feel so human.

Let's not forget about the mystery, suspense and clever reveals this trilogy is known for. Black has a real gift for secrets and ploys whose punches you'll feel completely because you'd never see it coming. Oh, and she's funny! Her wit shows through Cassel- dark and twisted yet hilarious all the same.

There were some loose ends, well one, that I'm really not happy about. But maybe it's better not knowing. Maybe the end will be one I won't agree with and it's better I that I just imagine what I want to happen...

No. It's not. I want to know.

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