Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Title: Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 2012 (HarperTeen)
Rating: 4/5
Summary: 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.

My Review

I like that the opening of Hallowed mirrored that of Unearthly. It provided a nice symmetry, yet there were sufficient changes to compel you to read further. Like the first, this book was a quick, thoroughly addicting read.

In Hallowed, Hand took the opportunity to reveal more about the angel history as it appears in the Unearthly world. I became less confused on the front of Watchers vs. Black Wings and things like that. I truly enjoy reading Hand's version of the history and reality of angels. It never feels like an infodump, yet I came out of the scenes more knowledgeable than I was when I started them. This is quite a feat, because I have a severe dislike of the infodump and tend to barely skim them unless absolutely necessary. Anyway, it is nice that we got some more answers in this book, although I still have more. Which is the point, I suppose; it would hardly be an effective series if I had no lingering questions to be answered in the next book (or the one after that, etc.).

Hee! I loved the small reference to the cherry Jolly Ranchers, which threw me back to Unearthly.

Oh, Christian. I still loved Tucker, but I actually connected with Christian in this one. In the first book, he wasn't quite cookie cutter, but he really had nothing in particular to compel me toward him. In Hallowed, however, I started to really get to know Christian and truly like him. I very much enjoyed his interactions with Clara.

I won't spoil it, but there is a surprise guest who appears in the book who is completely and thoroughly intriguing and awesome. I want to know more! Alas, it is still a long time until the next book. Ten months is so long...

I still get a weird vibe from Angela and harbor an inherent, if irrational, distrust of her. I actually discussed it with my friend Lynne, and she does, too. I really wonder if it is intentional on Hand's part, whether as foreshadowing or to be misleading. Or maybe it is all in our imaginations - Lynne and I tend to be extremely similar in our reactions and opinions, so it is not a particular surprise that we both feel the same way.

Quotes Time!

Yeah, somehow I have the feeling that my first visit to a therapist would end with me in a straitjacket getting comfy in my new padded cell.
I’m having an argument with myself. And I’m losing. So not a good sign.
This was dumb and admittedly creepy in an Edward Cullen kind of way, but it was the only thing I could think to do.
It’s not stalking if you’re happy to see me?
I keep showering and I brush my teeth and I carry on.

There were several plot twists in Hallowed. I saw a couple of them coming a mile away, but others caught me completely unawares. I appreciate an author who can do that. There were definitely heavy moments in Hallowed; it was not all sunshine and rainbows. Regardless, it was a great read. I am fascinated by Hand's world, I love both Tucker and Christian, at the end of the day, I am completely addicted to this series. The next installment cannot come out fast enough! I recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Unearthly or who simply enjoys YA paranormal fiction.

Purchase this book at: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || The Book Depository

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