Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Title: Hallowed

Author: Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly #2

ISBN: 9780061996184

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her vision, 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 role 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.

Meh, I say, meh. I liked this book alright, but I was a little put off by Clara’s constant “I didn’t complete my purpose what does that mean” whining that seemed to permeate the entirety of this book. Every time she brought up the indecisiveness of her choice at the end of “Unearthly” I just wanted to shake her. How can she think her life is meaningless when she did what she did? How could she think that God would wish her to make a different choice in the end?

Although that frustration was excessive throughout the book, it didn’t take away my feelings on it completely. I did still find myself thoroughly engrossed in the situations in the second book of the series.

I absolutely loved the blossoming romance between Clara and Tucker. The little things they did together that I found so completely perfect for them. I almost wished the book was entirely about Clara and Tucker and all the other stuff with Christian and her destiny fell away. I was steadfast in my determination to read every word of the book instead of just skipping all but the Clara and Tucker bits. Cynthia Hand writes good love scenes.

When I realized that Clara was going to lose someone close to her I ran through all the characters feverishly. Tucker? Jeffrey? Christian? Wendy? Angela? Who could she lose that would rock her so heavily. I came to the conclusion at the same moment that Clara did and I wept. I openly and without shame wept. My sobs generated a bit of an unease within my house, but such is the problem of a bookworm. We care about our fictional characters and don’t want any of them every to do… Unless they are exceedingly annoying and in that case, we pray for them to die.

A new evil that was vaguely mentioned in “Unearthly” is discussed more openly in this book by way of leading up to the grand finale of the third book. I loved that Cynthia Hand trickled information about the “big baddies” slowly throughout the three books instead of shoving it down our gullets in the first book and just casually reminding us of them in the subsequent books.

I devoured Hallowed in a matter of hours. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning following Christian, Clara, Tucker, and the various other characters down a road of weakness, strength, and love. I never expected to love Christian since, being a team Tucker member, he was the enemy, but I started to really start liking Christian. Why, Cynthia?! Why do you have to make the third in the love triangle almost as endearing as the one I love?! Starting to understand why Clara is having such issues.
“Hallowed” was the perfect middle book in the trilogy. It introduced the “big baddies” that will be the focal points of the last book, it caused it’s reader to feel heartbreak in preparation for the (most likely) happy ending of the final book in the trilogy, and it showed a few characters that were not the main protagonists to have deeper sides to them that originally thought. I think Cynthia did an excellent job with “Hallowed”… despite Clara’s constant turmoil over her purpose, her heart, and her existence in general.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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