Review: Black Heart by Holly Black

Book Reviews

Black Heart by Holly Black

5 Stars

This series is genius. Genius, I tell you!! It has kept me guessing in every single installment. Never once have I had a correct guess at how things really are. I make a guess, and Holly Black proves me wrong. The results always exceed my expectations. It’s part of what I love about this series.

The other part is, of course, Cassel Sharpe. Cassel has become one of my favorite male protagonists. He’s tortured. We all love our tortured guys. He tries so hard to always do what’s right, but he struggles with it. He lives with such guilt that it makes him hate himself. I love how much he’s grown in the series. In this book, he is surer of himself and more sure of his power than ever. Cassel Sharpe is badassery personified.

The con in Black Heart had me on the edge of my seat until the very last moment. Mainly because it changed so much from beginning to end. I really didn’t know what would happen because there were several possibilities and outcomes.

I was extremely invested in Cassel and Lila’s complicated relationship. They had so much distrust in each other’s feelings. Communication is key! Especially in relationships. So I was happy to see them finally breaking down and talking about everything honestly. I also enjoyed the moments when they weren’t talking, but being more…handsy. ;)

“I push her back against the wall, kissing her the way I’ve never let myself. I want to swallow her up. I want her to feel my regret in the slide of my mouth and taste devotion on my tongue.” – pg. 159

WOWZERS! I bow down to the intensity of that kissing scene because there’s a lot more where that came from!

I have such conflicting feelings for one, Barron Sharpe. Half the time I want to kick his ass, the other half I want to cry for him. I want to believe that he has goodness in his heart! So he really surprised me in this book, and my heart broke for him in the end.

Sam, Cassel’s best friend and roommate, had some really classic moments. He always makes me laugh, but he also made me very worried this time. He and Daneca had a really rough time in this book. We get to see sides of them we’ve never known.

Black Heart finishes The Curse Workers series on a hopefully happily ever after note. I was really happy with how things turned out. Cassel needs to be selfish and make himself happy for as long as possible, and he takes the first steps toward that in the last page of Black Heart. Bravo, Holly Black. I am sad this series is over but am so happy to have experienced it.

Book Info

Black Heart by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #3
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date: April 3rd 2012
Pages: 296
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: RomanceUrban FantasyYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

20 Responses to “Review: Black Heart by Holly Black”

  1. Avatar


    I have never read a Holly Black book, but I think I need to look for this series. It sounds great, and the fact that you say it ends on a hopefully happily ever after? I’m curious. Great review :) -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. Avatar


    AHH I’m about to start this series soon! It sounds so cool (mob! people who aren’t always good!) and reading your first two lines got me super excited. Fantastic review. :D 

  3. Avatar


    I’m so excited to read this when it comes out! I’m glad the finale lives up to the expectations set by the previous two books. Nice review! :D

  4. Avatar

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews

    oh my lanta!! I can’t WAIT to read this book and yes this series is GENIUS. :)) And that kiss… *whistle* man alive, April 3rd needs to get here asap!!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book

  5. Avatar


    I’ve been seriously worried about the end of this series! I want a happy ending for Cassel and I’m so afraid he’s not going to get it. Also, I’ve been listening to the audio versions rather than reading the books. I love them–they translate really well to being spoken aloud.

    • Avatar

      Jess @ Gone with the Words

      Let me tell you, Holly Black definitely had me worried about Cassel all the way to the last page! I’ve listened to both WC and RG on audio too and completely love them. I love how the narrator, Oscar nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg :), delivers this story with the perfect amount of cynicism and yearning and humor.

  6. Avatar


    WOW that kissing scene. Good gracious. That’s enough to start this series. So, yeah, I haven’t read this series but it’s totally because I’ve always hated the covers. (Shallow, I know.) But these new covers are awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I didn’t realize that this book went with the Curse Workers. Duh. With kissing like that, maybe I ought to go ahead and read them. Ha! I’ve been fooled by covers before…

    • Avatar

      Jess @ Gone with the Words

      I live for that one sentence in that kissing scene, “I want her to feel my regret in the slide of my mouth and taste devotion on my tongue.” LOVE IT!! I actually like both covers, but now I wish I had the same ones :(

      Since I know you like audiobooks, I HIGHLY, HIIIIGHLY recommend this one on audio. You’ll love it, promise! :)

  7. Avatar

    Laura Ashlee

    I love this series, and this review makes me want to read it so bad. I’m holding out for the audio to show up at my library, but it’s going to be awesome!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.