Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 2011 (HarperTeen)
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

My Review: Okay, kiddies. I have Hallowed sitting right in front of me, begging to be opened. But I need to review Unearthly first because I don't want to be biased in any way by what might happen in the next one. This will probably be quick, though, as Hallowed is positively shouting my name right now.

This is my first real foray into the world of paranormal angel books. I tried Fallen but didn't even get a quarter of the way through it. There are several more I'd wanted to try, but I just hadn't gotten around to it yet. Unearthly was an absolutely stupendous introduction. I loved it so much! I was utterly addicted, reading it in less than 24 hours over two sittings. The moment I was finished, I foisted it onto my friend Lynne so she could know the awesomeness. I then got her addicted, so she hated me because the second one wasn't out yet. I regret nothing.

As for the actual book itself, I loved it! The characters were likable and interesting, and the whole concept was fascinating and very well executed. This book was very well executed. I like how you became more and more immersed into everything to do with angels, just like Clara. There's always reality to touch back onto, but there is so much to learn and know. I found the entire world Hand created with the angels to be fascinating, as well as her ideas of heaven and hell. Everything from Black Wings and White Wings to the wings to glory was well-written and intriguing.

I liked that there were subtle Biblical references in addition to the overt ones. I enjoyed reading about Clara's relationship with her brother. Her mother intrigues me. I would love to know more about her history and what happened in her backstory.

I would just like to note right now that I'm suspicious of Angela. I have been ever since Clara began spending time with her. I just...get a strange vibe from her. We'll see how that plays out. It may be nothing.

As for the twist at the end? I had suspected that might be the case, but I didn't know WHY. Ergo, I was not absolutely sure that was going to happen, but I wasn't surprised when it did. The why and the details are still bothering me, though. I am glad it wasn't super cliff-hangery, though, like I was afraid it would be.

For the record: Team Tucker. Practically from the second he was introduced. I'm so afraid that I have -- yet again -- picked the wrong boy in the triangle. But I don't even care because I love him so much. He is easily one of my top fictional crushes. [spoilers] During Clara's first kiss with Tucker, I literally teared up and couldn't breathe. It was that intense. This does not happen very often. I went back and reread it at least five times. LOVE. [/end of spoilers]

On a slightly shallow note, THE COVER. The covers for this series are seriously gorgeous. I want to decorate my room with them.

The end. I'm off to read Hallowed now! Aah!

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