Published by HarperTeen on December 4th 2012
From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a riveting original novella (available only as an ebook) set in the world of the Unearthly series.
Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn't ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .
For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.
Alternating between Angela and Clara's perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.
Novellas, a rather new concept, seem to be all the rage these days. I’ve read a couple for Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series, but they all were released after the predecessor *book* was out. Radiant is the first novella I’ve read that truly attaches one book to another. At the recent Pitch Dark Days signing I went to, Cynthia Hand talked about how Radiant was originally part of Boundless and how the publicists encouraged her to take it out. She said they felt like the story in Boundless doesn’t really begin until after the events in Radiant occur. I agree. Well… I haven’t read Boundless yet, but I agree that it would have dragged the plot.
So I think, making a novella with the original first chunk of Boundless – was genius, especially because of what we find out.
Angela has always been an iffy character for me. I don’t know if it’s how Hand writes her, or the fact that she’s very bottled up and sometimes mysterious, but I just can’t wrap my mind around her character. I can’t figure out which line she’s on. She strikes me as one of those characters who walks down the line of good and evil, precariously close to either side. In Radiant, although we get some Clara-POV, the story mainly focuses on Angela.
Finally we get to meet Angela’s mystery guy. I’m not going to go into details because since Radiant is so small, there’s only so much new info we learn. I will say that I am even more intrigued by mystery guy and his role in the final book. I definitely feel like he’s going to take at least a semi-important role in Boundless, which is why if we didn’t get this section in the beginning of Boundless, it was absolutely essential to have in some form or another, before the final book comes out.
Overall I was pleased with Radiant. I thought that it gave us some new tidbits to stew over and a nice connection between Hallowed and Boundless. I’ll definitely be reading more novellas in the future, especially because a lot of ”Imprint” novellas seem essential to their corresponding series.