I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Black Heart: Book Three of the Curse Workers Trilogy by Holly Black

Holly Black, author of the Spiderwyck Chronicles as well as many excellent young adult novels, finishes the Curse Workers Trilogy and I am quite sad to see it end, even though I was really satisfied with how it ended.  It seems every time I read one of her books I want her more books about those characters.  I do not want to let them, or the world they live in, go.

This book opens with everything a complete mess.  Cassell's mom is wanted by the authorities for working Patton, the Governor of New Jersey into supporting the workers and not passing anti-worker legislation.  She is uncovered by his staff and suddenly becomes a bit unhinged and is now possibly pushing to send workers back to camps like they did decades ago.  His mother also stole the head of the Russian crime family, Zachorav's Resurrection Stone, which is said to have been worn by Rasputin and protects the wearer from harm.  She did this years ago and replaced it with a copy, but when she got out of prison and went on the lam, she needed the cash, so she (through an intermediary) tried to sell it back to him.  He figures out it was her and is holding her captive in his penthouse until Cassell can find the stone. 

Daneca and Sam are still not speaking to each other.  It is really complex as only teen romances can be.  Sam was mad at Daneca for not revealing she was a worker and then Daneca got mad at him for not speaking to her about it.  Then she tells him she is seeing another guy and Cassell feels he must do something to bring his two friends back together. 

Cassell is also approached by a mysterious girl at school, Mina, who says she is being blackmailed by someone who stole her camera that had pictures of her nude on it.  Cassell can tell she is lying all over the place, but he doesn't know exactly what she is lying about and what her angle is, because he knows she has one. 

Cassell's brother, Barron, is enjoying working for the Feds, as he is finding ways to scam them. The Feds, with whom Cassell still has not signed up to work for, have him learning to follow someone and learn things that, quite frankly, both learned at an early stage in life.  He chooses Lila to follow, the girl he cannot get over, even though she hates him.  Its interesting that Lila is the one person who truly understands him in a way that even he does not understand himself. 

Soon the Feds have an assignment for Cassell, even though he does not work for them.  He is not sure if they are trying to set him up or not.  He just wants to be a good person and do the right thing.  That's why he chose to make a deal with the Feds and join them after high school.  He thinks they are the good guys.  But what if they are no better than grifters in his family or those in the mobs, who all want to use him for his curse work power?

Cassell is walking on a thin line and any moment he could fall and destroy his life, or worse yet, someone he cares about.  Cassell has come a long way by the time this book ends.  Life is complicated and it's not always easy to see which path to take, especially when you have trouble separating the lies from the truth.  In this last book, Cassell finds his own moral compass and figures out, at least for now, which road to take.  What the future holds for him, I would love to find out, so Holly Black, please keep writing.
Link to Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Heart-The-Curse-Workers/dp/1442403470/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=01VGGS7JYJDTZW6VWZYB

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