Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book #35 of 2012: "Black Heart" by Holly Black

I just finished Black Heart, the third book in Holly Black's "Curse Workers" trilogy.  I read White Cat last year and Red Glove earlier this month.  I doubt that anyone will read this book that hasn't read the previous two, so I'll keep my comments brief.

Overall, I was pleased with how well the series tied up some of my questions from the previous two books.  Unfortunately, the third book introduced several new conflicts that it left unresolved.  I felt like the ending, especially, left it wide open for another book--but I haven't heard of any plans for that.

In Black Heart, teenage curse worker Cassel Sharpe continues to grapple with where to place his loyalties--with the mob or with the federal agents, or with only himself?  He truly wants to do good, but the people in his life keep conspiring to use him to futher their own ends.  I thought this passage summed up the main idea quite well:

"I don't know if I'm being set up.  I don't know who the good guys are anymore.

"I thought that the people I grew up around--mostly criminals--were different from regular people.  Certainly different from cops, from federal agents with their shiny badges.  I thought grifters and con men were just born bad.  I thought there was some inner flaw in us.  Something corrupt that meant that we'd never be like other people--that the best we could do is ape them.

"But now I wonder--what if everyone is pretty much the same and it's just a thousand small choices that add up to the person you are?  No good or evil, no black and white, no inner demons or angels whispering the right answers in our ears like it's some cosmic SAT test.  Just us, hour by hour, minute by minute, day by day, making the best choices we can.

"The thought is horrifying.  If that's true, then there's no right choice.  There's just choice."

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