Book Review: Black Heart

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Black Heart Black Heart in 2012
Pages: 296

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.

My Review:

Wow! What an ending for an awesome series! I have always loved the premise of the Curse Workers – mobster magicians! What’s not to like?! But what really carried the story through to the end of Black Heart for me were the interpersonal problems.<!–more–>

The really big issue that threads its way through everything is the repercussions of prejudice. Everyone in the Workers’ society is incredibly prejudiced against them. It’s to the point that most workers have no choice but to go into gangs, just so they can protect themselves. Even though the series is thoroughly fictional, the dynamics of the society are an incredibly interesting commentary on prejudice and its effects on society. Let’s face it – as interested as we are in abolishing prejudice in our country, we still deal with it on an almost daily basis. Just look at the reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes after the Boston bombings and you know it’s true.

It’s really hard to review a third book without spoiling the rest of the series, so all I’ll say is this: I think Black Heart wrapped the series up perfectly. There were still a lot of unknowns for the imagination to play with, but I don’t desperately need another book in the series. That’s not to say I wouldn’t read more if it became available – I think it’d be fascinating to read a second trilogy, set a couple of decades in the “future” perhaps with Cassel’s kids as the main characters. But I will be perfectly content without more as well.

In short, this is one of my favorite series EVER and if you haven’t read it, you should ASAP!

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