Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

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Author’s website
Publication date – January 4, 2011

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) 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?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Thoughts: I have heard so many good things about this book over the last week that I couldn’t delay reading it any longer. And while it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, it was still fun and enjoyable to read. The author did a good job of building on existing mythology and creating some interesting characters to follow. I particularly enjoyed what little I got to see of Wendy, as I could relate to her a fair bit.

I was quite impressed by the way the romantic plot was handled in this book. You expect, right from the first page, that Clara and Christian will be the ultimate romantic couple, having their sappy moments and the on-again-off-again thing that seems so popular in teen novels these days. Instead Clara ends up with more of an interest in Tucker, who was something of a jerk to her in the beginning, and that interest distracts her from Christian. I have to give the author kudos for that one, since even if it isn’t unique in the world of teen romance, it’s certainly getting to be uncommon.

The author’s got a good gift for style and pacing, too. The writing is very fluid, and it reads easily and well for a variety of age groups, not just the teenagers for whom it’s intended. If she keeps writing like this, I can see big things in her future.

My biggest beef with this book is that it feels like only half a book instead of being part of a trilogy. Too much was hinted at but never dealt with, too many times the reader is given glimpses of something that should have at least been thought about more but never was. It isn’t always easy to write a trilogy so that all the books can stand up on their own and yet continue as part of a series, but I think this one could have benefitted perhaps from being a 2-book deal instead of a 3-book deal, putting more of the story into each book instead of doing so much hinting. I enjoy a good series as much as the next person, but the way it was done here bugged me a little.

Still, in spite of that, a good story was woven and I do want to see what happen in future installments of the series. I have to say this book was definitely worth the good reviews I’ve been seeing.

2 comments on “Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

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