Series: Unearthly, Book 2
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 17th 2012, HarperTeen
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Age group: Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.
Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.
The first book in this series was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for me. I’d been so disappointed with a lot of highly popular YA books, that I was very doubtful that ‘Unearthly’ would appeal to me. But it did! And after I finished it, I couldn’t wait to know what was next for the main character Clara.
I picked up ‘Hallowed’ right after I finished ‘Unearthly’, and just like with the first book, this one pulled me in from the very first pages. All the things that I loved about the first book, are still present in ‘Hallowed’ – beautiful writing, amazing characters and exciting, unique story. The pacing of this book is also slow but not boring in any way, there are a lot of landscape descriptions and Clara’s inner monologues, when she would weigh all the pros and cons to make the right decision.
The thing I admire about Clara is that, aside from her angelic nature, she thinks and acts like an absolutely normal teenage girl. She values friendship, family and romance in her life very much, and though she can’t help admiring her own powers, she wouldn’t mind being normal, just like her friend Wendy and boyfriend Tucker.
While the first book was all about introducing the reader to the world of angels and half-bloods, as well as the world of normal humans in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the second one is all about Clara going further in opening up the secrets about her purpose and future. She learns that not everything is so magical about being an angel-blood. First there are Black Wings, the fallen angels who actually are pretty dangerous to angel-bloods. And then Clara’s visions get more and more confusing, but what she does know is that she has to protect those she loves, like Tucker, even though it might mean for them to break up.
There were some pretty exciting moments in this book, like Clara meeting her father and finding out that she’s actually not a Quarterius, but a Triplare. And the scenes with the Congregation were pretty interesting. But the main vibe of this story to me was sadness all over. There’s a lot of sacrifices Clara has to make, and a lot of hardships she has to face. First of all, her mom’s dying, then there’s something strange going on with her brother Jeffrey, and Clara is very heartbroken that there may probably be no future for her and Tucker.
This books also have one of the strongest love triangles I’ve ever read about. Typically, the choice is normally very clear, like one of the guys is always a jerk. But for some reason, the heroine keeps going back and forth between these two guys, knowing who she’d like to choose but afraid to hurt the other one’s feelings. And that would really piss me off. But both Tucker and Christian are really good guys. It’s obvious they care a lot about Clara, but their origins are very different. So, of course, it would be easier for Clara to be with someone of her kind, another angel-blood. They could learn together about whatever there is to know about angel-bloods, fulfill they purposes, while supporting each other. But when the matters of the heart are involved, there is no common sense. I already said it in my review of ‘Unearthly’, that I’m a 100 percent Team Tucker, and this book only made me even more sure about it. It’s not about my personal preference, but Clara’s. Tucker is the only guy she ever mentioned being in love with, while with Christian it’s all about his good looks and angelic nature.
So, to sum it up, the second installment was just as great as the first one, I loved every single thing about it. This is definitely the type of series I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.