Sparkling water fanatic. Lover of random crap. Goodreads member curious to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.
Holly Black is one of those authors who I struggle with when it comes to putting her style of writing into a category. She's a little bit dark, a little bit snarky, and I get the distinct impression that she's going to write what she wants, the way she wants to, and screw anyone who doesn't like it.
Because of this, I have both a love and frustration with her work. Every time I pick up a book of hers, I read it and get caught up in the story. However, every time I pick up a book of hers, I find myself annoyed with at least one of the characters; usually it's the lead female or one of the "sidekicks." Out of the five books I've read from this author, I've always found myself drawn more to the lead males than the females every single time, and it has nothing to do with their sex appeal. It's just that generally the male leads tend to have more dimension to them than the females do. And what is up with these side characters who seem to be weird ass parodies of people? In Tithe, it was Corny (that name still kills me). With this book, it was the strangeling twins (although the way their story ended was a sickeningly good shocker).
In some way, I feel like I'm doing a disservice to Black's kick-ass style of writing by not rating higher. This chick is a natural-born idea machine. She's also quite clever with her character banter and interaction. But outside the fabulous-ness of the Curse Workers series (which holds a special place in my heart), I find myself closing the pages of a Holly Black book ready to move on, no matter how much the story entertained me.
Where I give Black serious credit is with her bravery to write evil and gore in a genre saturated with a romanticized version of what vampires should be. Heads were rolling, blood was spurting, and the body count piled up. It would have been great to see the author just run with it and make this more of an actual horror story, instead of a romance with some dark elements.
If you're new to Holly Black and would like to try out her writing, I'd recommend to start with her Curse Workers trilogy. I have a certain fondness for Cassel and his mafia style family who can destroy a person with the touch of an ungloved hand.