Book Review: Black Heart by Holly Black

Title: Black Heart

Author: Holly Black

Series: Curse Workers #3

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Release Date: April 3, 2012


Book Summary:
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.
Adelynnes Review

Honestly, I actually had no idea what to make of this book for a while. I was sitting in shock for a while after reading it. Since I didn’t read the first two books, I was extremely confused in the beginning regarding the characters and the plot. Although reading the first two books would have helped a lot, I eventually caught onto the past events. The book was a fast-paced ride with no rest whatsoever from plot complications. 

Since I was just introduced to the characters in this book, I wasn’t  as connected to them as much as I should have been. Cassel confused me a lot with prickly exterior, which had a lot to do with the emotional turmoil he was experiencing. At one point, he seemed to be utterly obsessed with Lila, and that really freaked me out. I know that they were in love and all, but I really had no idea how their relationship started other than the fact that they were childhood friends. Cassel was an overall enjoyable character with ideas and thoughts that never ceased to surprise me. What puzzled me even more was the relationship between Sam and Daneca. It felt really forced, and never seemed to be real at all since they never showed any affection for each other other than the time when Sam was pining for Daneca after they broke up. Barron, Cassel’s brother, also confused me. Although he was described as a psychopath, he was so much of a self-serving enigma that I could never really place him- especially his relationship with Daneca.

The greatest part of this book was the action and the plot. It was non-stop twists and turns. Cassel constantly found himself surrounded by enemies, and that added to the exciting quality of the book. He didn’t know who to trust, so in the end, he trusted Lila and himself. All the complications kept me intrigued, and the testy relationships between the characters made me nervous for Cassel. However, there just wasn’t as much magic in it as I would have liked, and the “In a world where magic is illegal” line of the summary had me wanting more of an exploration of the uses of magic and its consequences.

Overall, it was a great read, and I would highly recommend it for those who love action books with a side of romance. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Content: Clean language, kissing, implied sex

Source: Review copy from Arcycling

Purchase: Amazon



  1. Wow! How can you read the 3rd in a trilogy without the first 2? 🙂 I loved the first two books but the cover changes put me off buying the last one. I will get the audiobook and just listen to that.

  2. I am glad that you liked this book! Holly Black wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles of which I read when I was younger and really drew me into the reading world. I loved her writing then and though I haven’t read anything from her since, I’m sure her books are just as good!