[Review] Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart
(The Curse Workers #3)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 296 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA Fiction – Mystery, Fantasy

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.


Review
I can’t believe that I read this book in one day, considering my average reading speed. One thing I know is it has been increasing recently. I really liked White Cat and I absolutely loved Red Glove and my expectations before reading the final book of this series was definitely high. Black Heart generally met up to all my hopes – Cassel is still the kind of Cassel I loved in the first two books, he still has a good sense of humor, the plot and character developments are fantastic. But somehow, I felt a little bit underwhelmed… Okay, I’m gonna say the positives first.

I probably already talked in my reviews of the first two books – about how Cassel was so relateable, how he’s such a smartass that he’ll eventually manage to wriggle his way out of his ever-so-complicated problems, how he made me laugh lots and lots of time. And he is still the same Cassel that I knew from the previous books, except here he’s more obsessed with Lila.

And the plot. I’m not gonna say much cause it’s basically the same like before – it kept you wondering and even after finding out your guess is wrong, you can’t help yourself but to guess what will happen next. It made me feel certain excitement whether my guess is right or wrong – I don’t care. But to be honest, I thought Red Glove was the best book of the series because the con and the climax and the surprise were totally mind-blowing. Probably that’s why I felt that there was something missing in Black Heart – the con is awesome, but less magnificent than the second book.

I think I loved Barron more in this book. He seems more… likable and I actually wanted him to end up happy. I sorta felt bad for what happened to him, though. Cassel’s mom doesn’t make many appearances here, but I liked her even more too. And Zacharov – I started to like him near the end of the book. It’s like he becomes more understandable somehow. I think I loved every character more. Well, not all, though. (I got annoyed with Daneca some times.)

Some people thought the ending was smart. Well, I thought it was good enough, but it didn’t really satisfy me. There was a lot of questions popping up in my brain once I finished this book. Like, what happen next to the other characters? We’re only shown glimpses of them. I know the MC is Cassel, but am I wrong if I’m also curious about the other? Hm, this might also just because of my personal taste. Or maybe I just didn’t want to admit the fact that I didn’t want to bid The Curse Workers series good bye. D:

In my opinion, Black Heart was utterly engrossing – mostly cause of Cassel’s fascinating narration. But you’ll definitely enjoy this, as this book (or series) will capture your attention with its mystery and well-crafted plot.

P.S: Does anyone want a spin off or novella about Barron beside me?? 😛 I really want to know what’s inside his head, since he turns out to be much more interesting in here.

Rating:
Actual Rating is 4.5 Cakes!

[Review] Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove
(The Curse Workers #2)

Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 325 (Paperback)
Genre: YA Fiction – Mystery, Fantasy

Summary

The cons get craftier and the stakes rise ever higher in the riveting sequel to White Cat—now in paperback! After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution and finding out that Lila, the girl he has loved his whole life, will never, ever be his, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a transformation worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends.
Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive…

Review

I’ve never read mystery books before. (You know, Sherlock Holmes and any of those.) I always thought that books like that need full concentration, you just have to think all the time until your brain get squeezed. Probably the reason behind that is because I read books as an escape from my horribly tiring school stuff so I tend to pick books with lighter theme.

Well, White Cat and Red Glove are not those kinds of book.

There are crime and mystery and I could say that Cassel is basically being a teenage detective in this series, being torn between his own desire, family loyalty and justice. The plot gets more and more complicated until you reach middle of the book so I suggest you not to put off this book too long once you start it. But, there are also humors thrown in every page to lighten the atmosphere and I couldn’t do anything but laugh, laugh and laugh in the beginning of Red Glove!

What makes this series stands out from the other YA is the writing. White Cat is written in Cassel’s witty POV and I’m glad that also goes for book two. It’s quite rare to find a book narrated by male these days… Cassel’s voice actually sounds like a real teenage guy and it couldn’t be any clearer and funnier than this. Though he’s kinda too impulsive sometimes.

Based on my experience with book one, I already smelled that there would definitely be plot twists in this book and fortunately I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the twists were quite obvious to me, some were totally unthinkable, one that I already guessed in the beginning was revealed halfway of the book to be completely wrong. But then later, my first prediction turns out to be correct. Haha. Holly Black has handled the plot development amazingly and a lot of things happening but she managed to conclude the book well.

All in all, Red Glove is a really great sequel – it has crime, mystery, secrets uncovering, unexpected twist and tough decision. You’ll be fascinated with the fun writing and characters, even with the villain. It makes me sad that this series is sorta underrated despite its fresh concept. I can’t wait to read book three and luckily, this time, I have it already!! 😀

Rating:

[Review] White Cat by Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 310 (Paperback)

Blurb

Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers – people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail – he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.


Review
What can I say about this book? White Cat is such an amazing read; I enjoyed it thoroughly since the first sentence. The humors on each pages kept me interested in it for the whole time. You know, there were a lot of interruptions when I read this book, like school tests, homework – okay, you get the point. But, each time I continued reading it, White Cat always dragged me back into its world directly from where I left.

The plot kept me wondering all the time. It’s full of mysteries and the secrets unravel one by one. When I was sure my guesses were right, the story made me doubted them, and then it’s revealed to be the opposite of my guesses. The twists are sometimes unpredictable but in a good way.

Cassel’s voice is clear, funny and interesting. Usually the lead characters are girls and to have a book narrated by a boy is utterly refreshing. I totally understood his feelings – always treated like an underdog when it comes to working stuff and I truly meant what I said.

And the ending! I thought it was great but I didn’t think it would happen at all.

I got confused a bit in the middle of the book but all in all, this thing is a gem. This book has interesting characters, fun writing, creative concept and some humors. For those who haven’t read this, you should check it out now!

Rating: 

4 Delicious Chocolate Cakes!