Daughter of the Pirate King

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia HandHallowed (Unearthly, #2) by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen on January 17th 2012
Pages: 248

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves 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.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Hallowed is the second book in Cynthia Hand’s wonderful Unearthly series. Without a doubt these books have risen up in my own personal rank of all-time favorite book series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading book one, Unearthly and am confident in saying that book two has gone above and beyond my wildest expectations. I wasn’t necessarily worried that book two would be bad; I just didn’t think that I’d end up loving Hallowed as much, or even perhaps more than it’s predecessor.

Hallowed picks up exactly where Unearthly left off, with Clara’s dream (in the beginning of book one) coming true, at least for the most part. She now has to deal with the outcome and soon-to-be consequences of the decision she made at the end of Unearthly. Clara, being of angel-blood, has been forced to live a double-life for the past few years. By day she’s a normal teenage girl dealing with school, homework, and boys. However by night she’s a flying-praticing, gym-bag-weight-lifting, angel-blood who’s dedicating her time to an important mission that she barely understands.

In their teen years, angel-bloods, such as Clara, are given what’s called a “purpose”. Each AB’s (angel-blood) purpose is a personal mission sent from a higher place, that which is meant to be fulfilled during a AB’s time on earth. Depending on which direction they take, AB’s wings which start out pure white can become anywhere between speckled with grey to full-on black. Those who reject their purpose become what is known as black wings otherwise known as fallen angels.

I wont give too much away, but Clara’s purpose didn’t exactly happen the way it was meant to in the last book and now Clara and her family are paying the consequences. Clara’s mom, and brother both seemed to be hiding some very massive secrets in book one, and I’m glad to say that we finally figure out what’s going on in book two. One of the things I love about Hallowed so much, is the connections Ms. Hand has interwoven. Some key elements that occurred in book one help pull the story together in book two and left us satisfied with the answers to are most-burning questions.

Like with Unearthly, Hallowed begins with Clara dreaming/having a vision of a future event that will come to pass in one way or another. Once again it’s up to Clara to dissect her various dreams in order to prepare for what her future holds.

When I reviewed Unearthly I declared myself as a TEAM TUCKER fan girl. However, as the chapters progressed in Hallowed I found myself really warming up to Christian. We learn that Christian and Clara are incredibly similar in quite a few ways. Through rough and emotional patches (and there’s a lot) Christian really steps up. Christian’s presence fills Clara with a type of security that she desperately needs throughout the novel. There are also a couple testosterone-filled scenes between Christian and Tucker where I was rooting for Tucker to punch Christian’s lights out. Which is another reason why Hallowed was so good. I love being entirely submersed in books to the point in which I can experience a character’s emotions.

When it comes down to it – did I like Hallowed? Nope. I LOVED it! It was an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I found myself laughing while other times I wanted to cry. Some of the burning questions I had were answered and like most good novels, a couple more were created. Needless to say I’ll be going through hellish-despair while enduring the wait for book three.

Daughter of the Pirate King

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen on January 4th 2011
Pages: 435

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.

Unearthly piqued my interest a few months back when it’s gorgeous cover graced my Amazon homepage. However, I didn’t actually get around to purchasing it until Epic Reads offered it as a Epic Deal a couple weeks ago. When I first began Unearthly it was roughly 11 at night. I had planned on reading for about a hour and then heading to bed. I was seriously mistaken. I was barely 2 chapters in when I became instantly hooked. It has all the good characteristics I look for in books, it had nice pacing, well-developed characters, great dialogue, and of course, an interesting plot.

I give high praise to Cynthia Hand for creating and displaying Unearthly’s character with such vivid detail. All of the characters have a way of leaping off the page and enticing me to read on. For instance, Clara, our main character and heroine is extremely likable. She’s very sassy and fun. I just love reading the interaction that takes place between her and her mother. I became so captivated with this book to the point in which at certain times I was almost jealous of the great relationship they have. Although there are plenty of secrets Clara’s mom has yet to divulge, you can tell that they are extremely close, regardless. Also, the conversations between mother and daughter are a joy to read. They range from completely serious to giggly-fun.

Now you can’t have a story about a teen girl trying to fulfill her destiny without some romantics mucking things up. Luckily for Clara, she’s got two cuties to crush on. There’s Christian the gorgeous and slightly mysterious guy, and Tucker the small-town and complete swoon-worthy boy. (Note: I’m a complete Tucker fan girl.) Towards the end of chapter 14 Tucker is talking about a lemon meringue pie, and that’s when I realized that the whole time I had been reading Unearthly my mind was reading Tucker’s lines with a southern-drawl. That realization was hilarious, and what I mean about great characters. When you can get such a clear picture of them in your mind you know you’re reading something special.

All in all I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, Hallowed because I must find out what happens next with all my favorites characters. Like a good author, Cynthia Hand has left us with a cruel cliffhanger, however I won’t have to wait too long because Hallowed has actually just been released. You can expect my review on book two sometime next week!

Daughter of the Pirate King

Radiant (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand

Radiant (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia HandRadiant (Unearthly, #2.5) by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen on December 4th 2012
Pages: 94

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.