Early Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

January 13, 2012 Review 5

Early Review: Hallowed by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17, 2012
Genres: Romantic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 403
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
4 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 paranormal YA series stole my heart with UNEARTHLY, and with HALLOWED, it has now firmly cemented these books as my favorite angel series.  Well conceived and always expanding angel mythology that doesn’t ruffle any particular religious feathers, swoon-worthy romance with a love triangle that actually works, characters you care about, and best of all, unpredictability.

The love story was my favorite part of UNEARTHLY, and it’s just as captivating in HALLOWED.  There are some achingly romantic lines in this book.  Words that slip inside you and wrap around your heart to make it beat faster.  I had expectations, and very firm desires for what I wanted to happen for Clara in regards to the previously introduced love triangle, and they didn’t happen.  Not one of them.  Yet, somehow, the author so subtly altered my desires along with her characters, that I’m not even disappointed (well, maybe a little, but I think things ended up just the way they needed to).

I didn’t have quite the same connection with Clara this time.  She was understandably more introverted and somber in HALLOWED.  She has to deal with a lot of changes, and some fairly devastating ones at that.  While I understood the more melancholy and occasionally cross Clara in this book, I did miss the lighter, witty version from UNEARTHLY.

Keeping with the the surprising directions with the romance, HALLOWED didn’t skimp on the shocking plot developments.  There were at least two jaw droppers that I was completely caught off guard by.  Clara’s next story will be a HUGE departure in just about every possible way.  I’m nervous about that, but based on how skillfully the author has handled the series so far, I’m extremely eager to read more.  The next book in the Unearthly series is still untitled and won’t be published until 2013, but the series is being developed into a TV show for The CW network.  Who else is excited about that?

Series Titles:
  1. Unearthly - 4/5
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5 Responses to “Early Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand”

  1. Abigail

    I'm thrilled that this series is being adapted for The CW. I was disappointed w/ The Secret Circle, so I'm really hopeful this adaption works.

  2. Tamlyn

    Just read the first one of these, will definitely have to get my hands on this one. I get the Australian cover too – I like it even more after having read the book. Despite the dress being red, it just fits it perfectly (I figure the red is to link to fire, as there's no red dress in the Aus version either).