I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Also by this author: Unearthly, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye
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.
When I requested Hallowed on Netgalley I was dumb and didn’t realize that this was the 2nd in a series. Since I was already approved I decidedly to immediately read Unearthly so that I could dive right into Hallowed (that was the plan if I liked it). Well I did. I really really liked Unearthly and I wasn’t actually expecting to (not a diehard fan of paranormal/fantasy/romanctical/YA books).
There will be spoilers from Unearthly but any spoilers from Hallowed will be hidden in links!
Long story short, Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off; Clara is still confused about how to proceed after she failed to fulfill her purpose. When she starts having more dreams/visions she determines that she’s in a cemetery, that someone she loves is going to die, and it’s going to happen as soon as this Spring. Clara is also still trying to handle her conflicting feelings that she has for her boyfriend Tucker and for Christian as well.
What Was Missing For Me
Two key elements that had me completely enthralled in Unearthly unraveled for me in Hallowed.
The Love triangle: I think the author did a beautiful job of NOT making it a cliché and NOT irritating the daylights out of me in Unearthly. In Hallowed I felt that the work she did in maintaining the non-love triangle did not hold up under the pressure of being just like every other YA paranormal romance novel. Now don’t get me wrong, I can understand the reasoning behind her relationship with Christian in the beginning was because he was involved in her purpose. It then evolved into Christian and Clara both being angels, being able to relate to each other, and a kinship was created. It didn’t necessarily need to go into lovey dovey status, and that’s where she lost me.
Clara’s Independence: I loved the strength and independence that she exuded in Unearthly; I didn’t see that once in Hallowed. In this book she’s completely in love with Tucker (which is fine, not the issue) but she’s even daydreaming about their wedding and the kids that they would have and their life together (again, not really an issue). Where she lost me was when she started contemplating whether or not she should even leave for college because that would mean she’d be leaving Tucker behind.
Speaking from personal experience, I did this exact thing. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend at the time behind and so I decided to actually stay home instead of making the leap of faith and going to the university that I had been planning on attending. I look back and hate myself for my lack of backbone in changing my future plans based on a boy that I thought I loved. So essentially this may not be a problem for everyone else or the general population but I certainly saw a part of me reflected in Clara’s actions and it definitely registered quite a negative reaction for me.
The one thing I was thankful for was that the author gave the main character friends that made sure to tell her she was being dumb and made attempts to dissuade her.
Straight Spoiler Section
There were some parts that I simply had to get out there for discussion, but for those of you who have read it already. Spoilers ahead!
View Spoiler »Jeffrey: So why exactly is so much attention being paid to Clara regarding her purpose? Nobody asked Jeffrey about his purpose? But then again why wasn’t he up front and let everyone know what was going on and what he planned on doing? That would’ve made everything a whole lot less confusing and of course the book wouldn’t be what it was if everything went right. But I don’t understand why he gets to hide up in his room and his mom practically ignores him completely yet she bugs Clara incessantly. « Hide Spoiler
View Spoiler »Their Dad: Come on. So now Clara is some super rare angel and of course so is Christian and OF COURSE they’re supposed to bond completely over their extreme specialness. Personally, I still would have remained intrigued if she was just a simple Quartarius she didn’t have to become uber-special to keep my interest. Overboard I say, overboard. « Hide Spoiler
View Spoiler »Angela’s Secret Italian Boyfriend: Seriously though, what is up with that? It’s almost like he was thrown in there as a potential future storyline, which is kind of irritating as of right now since I have no clue what the hell is actually going on. And was I kind of sheltered or something, but what 17 year old girl has black lacey lingerie that she takes with her on her yearly trips to Italy? « Hide Spoiler
View Spoiler »Following her Purpose: So even though I was really happy about how Clara decided to love who she wanted in Unearthly (despite her Purpose), I did have a feeling that it was going to be short-lived. And sure enough, she finally realizes that if she stayed with Tucker he wouldn’t have the life that he deserved and blah blah blah… yawn. Essentially that just negated everything GOOD that she did in the first book because it became pointless. I mean really, what exactly was the point? In this book, Angela tells Clara about her Purpose and how she sees Clara in Stanford so OF COURSE it’s going to happen… so this time around she’s automatically accepting it which I so did not like. « Hide Spoiler
View Spoiler »Yes, I understand I’m reading a book about angels so I should expect at least some bits about religion; HOWEVER, in Unearthly the religion aspects were balanced beautifully and I didn’t grumble once. This time around it came all out and definitely made up for the lack of references in Unearthly, which I didn’t like so much. I’ll leave it at that. « Hide Spoiler
I still enjoyed this, it is still worth the read, but no I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Unearthly. I also feel a tad cheated as I was under the impression that this was a trilogy and now I hear talk of a fourth one? (Correct if I’m wrong.) I do see how there could be plenty more added on to the story, especially since Clara still has like 100+ more years of life left, but I do hope that we start getting some answers because the ending to Hallowed was a bit frayed at the edges for my liking.
So this IS a trilogy… I’m definitely looking forward to Boundless even more now because there will finally be a resolution and some questions that I’ve been dying to have answered! VERY EXCITED!