Book Review: Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

11563110Title: Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Angels
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 17th 2012
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Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her 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.

Hallowed is a tough book to review, because it deals with a lot of difficult topics. It’s certainly a lot more emotional than its prequel, Unearthly, which is great, but also places the characters in difficult situations they may or may not be able to handle. Clara is a part-angel, and that gives her visions of a purpose she must fulfill in life. She’s already fulfilled hers, or at least one of them, but she keeps having recurring dreams that place her at the cemetery, grieving. When it becomes apparent the vision is telling the future, Clara has to find out what’s about to happen and who’s going to die so she can stop it.

While it takes a while for Clara to find out what’s going on, I knew almost immediately. It was very obvious. I didn’t know if this was on purpose or not, but it slightly annoyed me; I wanted to be kept in the dark, just like Clara was. The conflict, of which we’ve seen the roots in Unearthly, now expands rapidly and quickly takes over the entire plot. Black Wings arrive at Clara’s school and watch her every move. With a war slowly growing all around them, Clara and her friends decide it’s time to learn themselves a few new skills.

But in the midst of dealing with it all, Clara must also find a way to keep her growing feelings for Christian in check, considering she’s still Tucker’s girlfriend, and she still loves him. But like all things in Clara’s life, love isn’t easy. It’s complicated, mysterious and more than she could ever hope for.

Hallowed starts out strongly, falls a little flat in the middle, and ends strongly again. I had trouble with how some of the characters behaved. Half of the time I felt like slapping Clara around the head, but then I felt sorry for her and grew to like her somewhat again. This constant like-dislike relationship I had with the main character kept me annoyed for a large part of the book. Also, in Unearthly, I was a big fan of Tucker, but I found myself not liking him all that much in this sequel. In fact, my feelings slowly changed to liking Christian instead. There were definitely some scenes here that gave him major bonus points.

I was also disappointed by how Tucker, the brief times he actually makes an appearance, is portrayed in this book. It’s like he made an one-eighty after Unearthly, turning into a completely different person. He’s childish, immature and shallow at times. Huge dissapointment there.

Plot-wise, this book was all right. I wasn’t blown away, nor was I bored. I enjoyed the plot, but it didn’t strike me as particularly original or intriguing. The side characters were well-developed, but same old, same old. I wanted a bit more originality, a bit more character depth, and a bit more conflict to keep myself intrigued.

Hallowed is a decent sequel to Unearthly. It starts where Unearthly left off, and follows the lives of Clara and her family and friends. If you like YA paranormal romance, feel free to give the Unearthly series a try. The lore behind the Angels is intriguing, at times even refreshing, and the book is well worth reading.

Comments

  1. Great review, I thought this was a good middle book, although I understand how you feel about Tucker.

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