That’s family for you. Can’t live with them, can’t murder them.”
― Holly Black, Black Heart
Synopsis: 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.
Our favorite coffee addicted charming anit-hero, Cassel Sharpe is back for a Curse Worker’s finale where the stakes are higher than ever before for Cassel, his friends, and his family.
Black’s gritty, descriptive writing style is addictive and better than ever in this novel. Especially when narrated by Jesse Eisenberg on the audiobook.
I’ve really enjoyed the Curse Workers series, and Black Heart does not disappoint. Black Heart contains all the expected snark, fun and magic of the previous books.
This novel has Cassel stretched across three different plots, with the clock counting down on Cassel’s future with graduation only months away. Cassel is to busy trying to solve everyone’s problems before even figuring out his own.
And wow do they have problems, we are talking blackmail, deceit and espionage.
Cassel’s development throughout the series comes full circle in Black Heart. In White Cat Cassel feels like he doesn’t fit in, that all he is is a charming liar and that is all he ever will be. Now, Cassel takes control of his story, no longer letting himself be the mercy of his family, the FBI or even his friends.
One of the great things about this series is how Black threads the relationship between Lila and Cassel into the story. We see more of the romantic ‘will they or won’t they’ side played up. As their family divides get in the way the novel explores if they can be together and if so, how ?
I love this line from Lila:
” Why do boys think that it will be better to lie and tell a girl how much they loved her and how they only dumped her for her own good? That they only tried to rearrange her brain for her own good? Does it make you feel better, Cassel? Does it? Because from my perspective, it really sucks.”
Take note every other guy in a YA paranormal romance novel.
An overall plus for this series is how much information Black can fit into the rather short novels. Black Heart is only 296 pages. Black doesn’t get to dense in her storytelling, she tells you what to need to know to construct the story and the characters in just the right amount of words. It never feels daunting or overdone.
Black Heart is an easy fun read and a great ending to a spectacular series. Although there are times when it leaves you with more questions (so,can you make meth in a hotel coffee pot ?) than answers. This book has all of the C’s ; Cons, Crimes,Cops, Curse workers and of course Cassel Sharpe.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.