05 March, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Unearthly

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly
Pages: 435
Published: 2011

Summary: 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?

Review: I really shouldn’t be playing favourites with what book I pick to review first, especially when there are still so many others that I need to get done and have been waiting for a lot longer than Unearthly has, but I may or may not have fallen for this book enough to know that if I don’t get the review down today, it’s going to be potentially swamped with Hallowed spoilers when I read it this week.

Initially, I had no desire to read Unearthly. I had read reviews from people who I’ve friended and thought that while it sounded like an adequate book, it wasn’t something that was going to be nearing the top of my to-be-read pile. Then, when I won a copy of its sequel, Hallowed, I knew that I had to read it or else I’d never touch Hallowed and the point of entering the giveaway would not exist.

Clara Gardner, who is a quarter angel, starts having these visions of her purpose. Her destiny leads her to move with her family to middle-of-nowhere Wyoming so that she can fulfill her purpose, which every angel must do. Along the way, she finds challenges that she has to overcome, such as befriending the boy who she will have to end up saving, Christian, and batting away some unwanted enemies while finding some surprising new friends.

I have to say, when I started reading Unearthly, I thought it was going to be just an alright book. True, there were some good parts and other bad ones, but overall, I felt like it was just an average book. Clara seemed like a well-written character, which I enjoyed, and I really enjoyed the way she and her mom interacted, as well as her brother, Jeremy. The fact that there was the angel part in there really didn’t seem to matter much during the first part of the book. There were moments when I sort of forgot that I was reading a book about angels until she mentioned that she had to continue hunting down her purpose and then it’d all rush back to me. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing. I’m just saying that there really wasn’t anything too special about the first half of the book.

It really was only when we got the point that we find out about Angela that I found myself really starting to like the book. The fact that Clara could relate to Angela was really awesome, and the fact that she was no longer alone and had someone to discuss all of her teen drama with was pretty exciting.

The only thing that I found a little bit frustrating was that there seemed to much stuffed into the book. I understand that certain things need to happen in the span of a book to set up a plot and break down all the boring and exciting details that are required to know in order to understand a character, but I honestly felt like there was too much time elapsing in the book. I found myself wondering when it would end multiple times, only to realize that I still had a percentage to go.

The angel storyline I wasn’t hugely keen on, but the ending is what really won me over in this book. In the span of the final twenty percent of the book, Cynthia Hand managed to take my reality of Unearthly and turn it upside-down, making me fall in love with everything about this novel. Kaitlyn and I were talking as I finished reading the book, and she was listening to me as I screamed from excitement and confusion and all the other reasons a person would scream as they finished up Unearthly. Despite its beginnings, the novel clearly ended up becoming one of my favourite reads this year.

If you’re looking for a good angel book and you’re late to the party (like me) check out Unearthly because it’s an amazing read in the end, even if the middle lags a little bit.

Rating: ★★★★★ 4.5/5 Stars

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