Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Posted January 26, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 4th, 2011
Genres: Angels & Demons, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 435
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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.

4 Stars

I always tend to say that paranormal romance isn’t my thing. Typically, I get more annoyed than pleased. I might need to specify that apparently there’s an exception on angel stories. Out of three angel series I’ve read, I seriously love all three of them. Unearthly is one of them.

I love the idea and concept of Cynthia Hand’s angels. They are born with a divine purpose, and should they stray from the path, God only knows what will happen (ha, get it? get it? God only– yeah, you get it). For some reason I really love that theme of fate, life being pre-ordained, that kind of thing. Of course, that will really only be explored in the next two books… So I need to finish writing this review and then get to reading right away! And all this fate stuff being said, I liked that the novel did not get too preachy, and religion was mostly kept out of the picture.

The romance in Unearthly tends to take center stage. Usually to me that is a turn off, but this time I didn’t mind. Why, you ask? Because Tucker. It was a beautiful build up of a love story and YES! No instalove! He’s a great character. Funny, chivalrous, dreamy, but still flawed. That being said, this is a love triangle. Christian, I felt, was a bit static, a bit dull. I’m guessing we get to know him better in Hallowed, but for the moment, I firmly know where I stand in this love triangle thing.

I must say, with all the talk of destined love, I’m happy the story did not go in that direction and that it was pleasantly surprising. Maybe that’s the best thing about this novel: you think you have it figured out in the beginning, but the plot twists and it becomes something else entirely.

Clara is neither a stand-out awesome character nor a TSTL, annoying character. I did like and appreciate her socially awkward penguin tendencies… That felt really relatable. And overall her point of view was pleasant enough to read.

Summing Up:

Ultimately, while the concept was interesting and creative, and the romance was to die for, I did miss something, reading this book. I just feel like I’m missing a bit more action and a few more answers. I mean, I got a bit annoyed with Clara not pushing her mom for more answers, even though she makes a good case for it being a lost cause because her mom won’t answer. And yes, I realize, this is a series, they’re saving that for later installments, but it made this one not feel like a 5 orange read to me. It was, however, extremely enjoyable and compulsively readable, and I’ll happily recommend it to people.

Recommended To:

PNR fans.

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14 responses to “Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

    • Hahaha, I’m almost through Hallowed and Christian’s more appealing now, but it’s like in Unearthly I just kept getting told he was awesome and amazing and “sparks fly whenever you smile” but I didn’t really see it in his actions. That’s changed a bit now!

      It is a pretty good love triangle, but I think I’m still more partial to Everneath’s Cole and Jack, personally. 🙂

    • I’m surprised at myself for actually liking a couple of love triangles lately! But indeed, it is proof that there is a good and right way to do it. Thanks! I hope you like it 🙂

  1. I just bought this book the other day and haven’t gotten around to it yet. So glad to see you enjoyed it though–makes me more anxious to get started on it!! 🙂

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I just ordered it so I can’t wait to see what the hype is about 😀 (Also: I’ve heard that this is a GOOD love triangle. And I haven’t seen many of those…)

    • Yay! I hope you like it! And indeed, this was one of the rare times when I didn’t mind there being a love triangle. What makes it really different is that it’s not one good guy and one bad guy, but two great guys that are distinctly different, but pretty darn irresistible.

  3. I love paranormal books! I’ve heard so much about this series, and I really can’t wait to read it. Hopefully I’ll get time sometime soon 🙂
    Great review, I loved how honest it was!

  4. TEAM TUCKER FOREVER!! I absolutely love Unearthly and this review was brilliant 🙂 I need to pick up Boundless ASAP. I really loved the whole concept of Unearthly and it has one of my favourite romances

    • Hahaha, thank you!! I do try to be brilliant xD Definitely get Boundless. It’s, well, you’ll like it 🙂 And I agree, the concept of these angels and the romance are absolutely great.