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1.18.2012

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Hardcover $17.99 (448 pages, HARPERTEEN)
Paperback $8.99 (446 pages)

Ebook $0.99
Audiobook $17.94
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.

Author Site: www.cynthiahandbooks.com






Perfect page-turner for a long winter weekend (4 stars)

Leaving the comfort of her life in California for being the new-girl in Wyoming isn't a choice for Clara Gardner. As an angel-blood, she has many gifts that make life easier but it comes with the price of having a purpose. A divinely appointed duty she must fulfill. If only it were easier to figure out just what that duty was than trying to decipher cryptic clues in waking-dream-like visions. All she knows is that she must save a handsome guy from a forest fire in Wyoming so her mother packs she and her brother up and off they go.

Meeting Christian, the guy her visions indicate she must save, doesn't help much. The attraction she feels for him could be part of her destiny. But when another guy begins to steal her heart Clara is torn between love and duty. If loving Christian is supposed to be her fate then why does it feel wrong? Could choosing between the desires of her heart and the duties of her kind really be crossing the line between good and evil?

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of angel stories. They're not easy to pull off in execution without too much religion thrown in. But Nephilim tales are becoming more and more popular so I was pleased to give UNEARTHLY a try. What makes this book work is that readers know very little about what being an angel-blood is and neither does Clara. As she learns more about her purpose and what secrets about being part angel haven't been revealed to her so do we the readers. It makes this one difficult to put down and even a bit frustrating at times.

If you took out the angel element and made this simply a love-triangle story it would get a five-star rating from me. I adored Tucker right away and enjoyed the developing relationship he and Clara had. It made me want to be a teenager again just so I could have the fun they were having getting to know one another and becoming friends. In contrast, Christian isn't unenjoyable just vague. I look forward to getting to know him more as the series progresses.

In avoiding spoilers I can't truly expound further on what else there is about this book. It's long but only occasionally slow, I finished it in a weekend which is fast for me. While I didn't love it I will definitely keep reading more of the series. Hand has a wonderful grasp of voice and normally I hate first person-present-tense perspective but it was only mildly distracting for me here. A great book for a weekend when you're snowed in. Definitely recommended for angel fans.



Other Reviews:
Reading Teen
Books and Things
Sophistikatied Reviews
Krystle Yanagihara on Goodreads
Vampire Book Club
Chicks With Crossbows
Between the Covers


Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.



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