Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Posted November 3, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 2 Comments

Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
on January 4, 2011
Pages: 453
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Also by this author: Hallowed, Boundless, The Afterlife of Holly Chase


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.

Alright, yes, I admit… it’s November 2011 and I’m just now getting around to reading this. I was extremely skeptical about this one regardless of the glowing reviews. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from a YA paranormal romance book about angels. I can’t even count how many issues this book could potentially have… but I decided to read this at the perfect time because I was totally in the mood for something exactly like this.

The Storyline
Clara always thought she was a normal sixteen year old girl living in California with her mom and brother until her mom tells her that she has angel-blood. Her mother is half-angel which makes Clara a Quartarius: a quarter angel. Clara’s initial reaction is to refuse to accept her mother’s announcement but she is ultimately unable to deny the truth.

“My neck still tingled when I remembered the way she’d said “humans,” like the word suddenly didn’t apply to us.”

When she begins having visions which her mother informs her is her ‘purpose’ being revealed to her.

“In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…”

In her vision she sees a boy surrounded my forest and flames and she feels that it’s up to her to save him. Unable to discern where this vision occurs she begins piecing it all together and finally determines that it’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Clara’s mother stresses to her the utter importance of completing her purpose that this is the reason she was placed on this Earth, and they at once pick up their lives and move to Wyoming. The first day at school she sees him; the boy from her vision whose name is Christian.

The Main-Character
My main issue with your typical YA paranormal romance book is the main character, or more often than not, the heroine. I found that not only did I not have the urge to slap Clara, but by the end I actually kinda liked her. Shocking, I know. This is the one line that got me:

“I just need to be mad for a little while, okay? I know it might not be the most mature thing, but there it is.”

Thank you! Finally, someone admits to their immaturity, which in my book makes it okay if you’re not living in denial. Clara was quite the independent girl who even though she did develop quite a crush on Christian it wasn’t overkill and in essence her obsession did still revolve around her purpose which made it acceptable.

Also? View Spoiler »

The Writing
This was an extremely quick one day read for me because I simply couldn’t get enough. A light, refreshing read that didn’t come off as corny or immature (which I think is quite the accomplishment considering the subject: angels). Speaking of, my aversion to angel books in general tends to be because the author fails to handle the religious aspects of angels quite well. I’m happy to say that Cynthia Hand did a spot on job. The author also did a fabulous job of building up the mystery behind Clara’s vision and it had me intrigued and fully engrossed.

Final Thoughts
So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? The ending was not as I had hoped for. Personally I think it was a really messy ending that left too many questions and not enough answers. It wasn’t’t even really a cliffhanger per say, more like a… to be continued. View Spoiler »

I have in my possession the second book Hallowed, but I’ve decided to give myself some time to really think this one over and maybe try and work out some of the questions I’ve got bouncing around in my head. (Thanks for the idea Wendy :D)


2 responses to “Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

  1. This series is fantastic and I would be competely mortified if it was a short series of lets say, a trilogy. I’d be so much more satisfied as a reader if it had at least six books to the series. I know it has to end some time, so six doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

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