Black Heart, Volume 3 by Holly Black

bibliophil's review against another edition

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-3 star

joliendelandsheer's review against another edition

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Review first published on my blog The Fictional Reader

I am so proud of myself for saying I want to finish a series in 2017 and then actually doing it. If you haven’t seen my post on 10 series I want to finish this year, you can find it here. The reason I hadn’t finished this trilogy about Cassel Sharpe, is that I prefer to listen to the audiobooks. They are narrated by Jesse Eisenberg, and I happen to adore him. I know that he has a very specific voice and speaking rhythm, so it’s definitely not for everyone. But I’d encourage you to give it a go. He just makes this series come to life for me.

(Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention with the previous two books, but I only now realized Cassel is a POC main character! The white dude on the cover of the first or second book certainly didn’t help. But yeah, I thought I’d mention it.)

Anyway, I don’t really want to say anything spoiler-y so I can’t say anything at all about the plot, as this is the final novel in the trilogy. So what can I tell you?

I can tell you what the first book, and the series really, is about. In this world (it’s urban fantasy), some people have powers. They’re called curse workers. A curse worker works by touch, which is why everyone wears gloves at all times. There are several types of workers though: death workers, luck workers, memory workers, physical workers, etc. They all have certain powers. As curse working is frowned upon/forbidden, big worker families usually have some ties to mob families -or are the mob families. Cassel’s entire family are workers, and that’s the world he grew up in. They are con artists, workers, thieves and liars. Some shit goes down at every turn so that Cassel not only has to try and avoid jail time for him and/or his family at most times, he also has to try and keep his grades up so he won’t get kick out of the fancy prep school he goes to.

I can tell you that I really enjoyed it. I found that listening to an audiobook on the train is the perfect way to utilize my commute to the maximum. I can read, and eat breakfast on the train in the morning at the same time without the risk of spilling on my book. I flew through this audiobook in just a few days, as I immediately put it on when I got on the train.

I can tell you that the audiobooks are worth a go. Jesse Eisenberg really elevates this series, in my opinion. Plus, they are only like 6 to 7 hours long. That’s not a long time at all.

I can tell you that Cassel is my precious, precious being. That I want to hug him endlessly. That I admire him for making me think about good vs bad people. Is anyone really a bad person? Or are there any actually good people out there? Life is about choices. And while Cassel always tries to do the right thing, he might not always make a good choice.

I can tell you that I really enjoyed Lila in this book. In the previous ones, I liked her but wasn’t a big fan. I do admire her now. And I admire Holly Black for not backing down when it comes to Lila.

I can tell you that I’m kind of sad Daneca didn’t play a bigger role in this. But that I’m glad I got to see more of Sam.

I can tell you that I was grinning at times, looking like a fool while listening to the audio book. Sarcastic Cassel gets me every time.

I can tell you that I loved how all the threads of the story came together at the end. How so much happened in a book of 6,5 hours.

I can tell you that at times, I didn’t see the point of a certain plotline. Or that I felt the different threads of the story weren’t woven together very well in the beginning. I sort of felt like Cassel jumped from one problem creation to the next, without dealing with any of them for a while. Yes, they all came together beautifully. But they didn’t start out that way.

I can tell you I’m so glad to have read this trilogy. That I was never really sure I’d like Holly Black’s writing until I started this series.

I can tell you that it makes me sad to see so little people talk about this trilogy. It’s urban fantasy mixing the mafia with magic -in a young adult setting. Doesn’t that sound great?

I can tell you that I’m kind of sad it’s over.

That’s family for you. Can’t live with them, can’t murder them.

Mine. The language of love is like that, possessive. That should be the first warning that it’s not going to encourage anyone’s betterment.

wisegirl2715's review against another edition

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I will Write a coherent review later but just omg.. SO GOOD. MY HEART. Yup Holly you own it.

lsvicente537's review against another edition

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Pretty good, quick easy read. Good continuation of the story. Cassel's a pretty sharp kid, good twists.

kelz31's review against another edition

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If you liked the first two, this won't disappoint.

And unlike so many other series, I love the ending.

theamazingfencer's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


lucerez's review against another edition

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This book had one too many subplots to make it truly great; if just one had been dropped then the reader could have more fully appreciated the other stories and characters. Also, rather than interweave these plots and have them intersect in unexpected/interesting ways, this never happens - Plotline 1 gets a few scenes, then we just to Plotline 2, then Plotline 3 takes a turn. A great writer would have had them be interdependent (at least at the end), but they never were and most are not fully resolved or leave plotholes. I feel like it was all sort of flying out of control to the point where the author, reader and characters were all lost and forgetting things. But other than that issue, I did enjoy it.

cat55's review against another edition

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This is (overall) a really good series that I would highly recommend. Cassel is a fantastic main character and probably one of the best male mcs I have read. I don't think the high jinx was as good as Red Glove but I still enjoyed it.
My love for this series mostly revolves around Cassel and his relations with his family. I honestly don't care about his relationship with Lilah. But I enjoy the banter and his quick wit and ability to get out of any situation.
I was shocked with what he did to Baron's picture of Danaeca and thought it was out of character for him.

kaz_brekkerrr's review against another edition

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dark funny mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


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emiliebookworld's review against another edition

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The Curse Workers series by Holly Black is one of my all time favorite series so I was beyond excited when an ARC of Black Heart showed up on my doorstep. But as much as I was excited about reading it, I also didn't want to because that would mean one of my favorite series would be over. Regardless of all this, Black Heart ended up being a fantastic read.

Now training to work for the government, Cassel Sharpe has left behind the life of crime he grew up in and has always known. Except that the more he works with them, the more Cassel finds that the good guys may not necessarily be as good as they appear to be. Not only that, but working with the Feds means that Cassel is working against Lila, the girl he has been in love with his entire life. And to make things better, everything seems to be going completely wrong in Cassel's life, both at home and at school. When you grow up in a world filled with lies and deception, nothing can ever be what it seems.

I absolutely adore the world and story that Holly Black created in her Curse Workers series. It's dark and deceiving and I absolutely love it. The story itself will take you to places you never thought it would. The story in Black Heart was packed with twists and turns, every time I thought I had everything figured out, Holly Black would throw something new in the mix and I would have to re-evaluate everything. And of course Holly Black's writing itself is incredible. It draws me in to the story, to a place that I just don't want to leave. Once I started reading I just couldn't stop. And the ending was just perfect, both for the book and for the series. I couldn't have asked for a better one.

I am most definitely at least a little bit in love with Cassel Sharpe. I mean, not falling in love with him would have been a little difficult. In this book, he was the same Cassel that I have come to love in the other books. Once again, he has really good intentions and his heart is most definitely in the right place, but sometimes the follow-through is a little bit lacking or doesn't really turn out quite as planned. But, hey, at least it kept things interesting. And Lila finalled proved to me that she was deserving of Cassel and I was finally able to see what he saw in her. And of course, more than anything, I was happy with the way things turned out for everyone.

I loved Black Heart. In this book, Holly Black wrote an amazing conclusion to her phenomenal Curse Workers series. Though I'm sad this series I love has now ended, I couldn't have asked for a better ending for it.