Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Posted January 27, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17th, 2012
Genres: Angels & Demons, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 403
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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.

4.5 Stars

WOAH. While I definitely liked Unearthly, with the amount of gushing I heard about this series, I was still a bit underwhelmed. While Unearthly presented us with a beautiful angel concept, irresistible romance, and interesting plot, Hallowed does it SO MUCH BETTER. It’s actually happening… I’m liking a sequel, not to mention a MIDDLE BOOK, better than the original. (It’s not that this hasn’t happened before, but still.)

Where to begin? In terms of world building (I suppose), the mythology becomes much richer in this installment. FINALLY some answers to those pressing questions about the angels and the Black Wings. While certainly not everything is now clear cut and resolved, I feel a much greater attachment to the story. Overall, this is the point at which I actually feel involved in this series. Took me a while, but trust me, I’m there all the way now.

Christian shows amazing character development. In Unearthly I just didn’t really feel him. I felt like I was being told he was amazing and awesome and hot, but his actions just left him a bit of a bland, static character. Boy was I wrong. Hallowed pretty much had me drooling by the end of it. I get it. I get why people keep raving about this love triangle. I have the slightest urge to say that I’ve switched teams. *hides* I KNOW. I’m a horrible person. But I don’t know. I’m pretty much on the fence right now, because Tucker is still really sweet, but just a bit absent. How dare you toy with my emotions like this, Cynthia? Cue the sobbing.

That being said, I feel like Clara also showed remarkable character growth in this novel. It’s like I finally truly got to see her strength. I sort of agree with Jeffrey, that in the first novel she was way too focused on herself, and in this novel, with her empathy, she’s much more observant of the characters around her. And that, ultimately, made her more likeable to me.

I can also note a marked improvement on the secondary characters. While I loved (and still love) Wendy and Angela, the arrival of characters like Michael (in particular, omg *squee*) and Billy made the story much richer and WHOLE to me. I also felt much closer to Clara’s mother – most of the annoyances I had with her in the first book fading away.

And finally, the plot in this one was much improved. I felt like Unearthly maybe focused too much on the romance at certain points. Here, the plot centers on finding answers and a good deal of action. There are plenty of plot twists, some of them predictable, some of them totally out of the blue, which is of course a good thing. This book really kept me reading. The ending was full of twists, gut-wrenching emotions (yes I teared up, so what?), and revelations. But it’s not enough. I just have to move on to the finale, Boundless, right away.

P.S. Nice jabs at Twilight. Bonus points.

Recommended To:

Oh, everyone, please just give this series a try!

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4 responses to “Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

    • Excuse me while I have a little freak out moment that you somehow found my blog… *hyperventilates*

      *cough* I’m cool. YES. Hallowed is my favorite of the series too. I did finish Boundless the day after this one and, well, it was great plot-wise but the ending really let me down. Hallowed swept me off my feet for Christian, and I just don’t think it ended fairly at all for him. 🙁

      Thank you!! *blushes immensely* :3