Book Review- Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

06 Dec, 2011 by in paranormal YA fiction 1 comment

Hallowed (Unearthly #2)
by Cynthia Hand

Hardcover, 416 pages

Expected publication: January 17th 2012
by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 0061996181
Source: Netgalley
5 stars
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.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

Cynthia Hand’s debut novel Unearthly made my best of 2011 list this year and it looks like Hallowed will be on the my BIR list for 2012. I love this series! Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off, and had I a chance to do it over, I would re-read book one before picking up book two. I remembered the plot and characters well, but there are so many little nuances in this installment that you will miss if it’s been awhile. Clara’s vision has come to a close and now she is having dreams as well as an overwhelming sense of sorrow. She’s made her choice clear between Tucker and Christian but that choice may be putting those she loves in danger.

Hallowed is a much more emotionally driven novel with less action than book one, but I soaked up every minute. So much so that I couldn’t pick up another read for a while.  I wanted to fill in the blanks on some things so I actually went back and re-read most of Unearthly when I was finished. We see all the same people in book two, but much less of Tucker’s sister Wendy and her boyfriend Jason. Also, Clara’s brother Jeffrey is a mystery. The one character I have not been able to connect with at all is Angela. So I’m gearing up for more of her in book three.

I had many questions answered about who and what the angel bloods are, about Clara’s upbringing and why her mother has held so many secrets. But the best part of Hallowed by far are the two boys Tucker and Christan. Cynthia Hand knows how to write realistic, amazingly supportive, perfect heroes each in their own way. They are completely different, but each brings out a good side in Clara. So many noteworthy scenes with them both in Hallowed- including a ski trip, fishing, and learning to use glory. Both boys grew on me more than they had in book one. I really didn’t think that would be possible!

Readers will be thrown for a loop with some of the plot twists and will laugh out loud as Hand pokes fun at Twilight stalkerish behaviors and love triangles (though they are used in this book.) The pace of Hallowed is slower but never drags and the tone a little more heavy as Clara is dealing with so many swirling emotions she is picking up from other people and non-people. Some of the content is better suited for an older teens since there are a few heavy make out, a partially undressed scene in a bedroom, and mild violence. No sex or swearing.

I highly recommend both Unearthly and Hallowed. If you are a fan of all things paranormal including angel mythology and the perfect swoon worthy male characters this is the series for you! I’m having a hard time moving on to another book because they influenced me so much. So, if you haven’t read them yet, run and pick up Unearthly today!

About the author– Cynthia Hand grew up in southeast Idaho (very near the Wyoming border). Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and two small children. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University. Unearthly, her debut YA novel, was published by HarperTeen in January 2011, out in paperback on 11-1-11. The sequel, Hallowed, will be released on January 17.

Check her out on Goodreads/ her website/ blog/ twitter

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