Review: Black Heart | Spoiler Free


Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black
Published: 03.04.2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Urban fantasy, YA
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★

I won’t provide a synopsis, as this is the third book in the trilogy. 

My review is spoiler free, even to those who haven’t read any of the previous books.


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.

7 thoughts on “Review: Black Heart | Spoiler Free

  1. Thanks for posting this review Jolien, I have the 2nd and 3rd books of this series sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read them but I just have been struggling with the motivation. You made me think I should finally keep going with them.


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