Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Borrowed from library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Book 2 in the Unearthly series
Unearthly was one of my favourite books of 2011, and after eagerly awaiting the sequel (and more Tucker!) I have to say, that this is also amazing. It's an emotional rollercoaster of a book, that kept me engaged and tense with emotion the whole way through. I think I sped through this book because telling myself "just one more chapter" didn't work!
The story picks up shortly after the events of the fire, and with Clara having to deal with the consequences of what her decision that day might entail. Clara is also having dreams of a funeral, and as the mystery of whose funeral it might be unfolds, Clara and Christian slowly piece together the clues to work it out, and to deal with what that will mean.
It did upset me that Clara seems to lean on Christian for support a lot more in this book, and starts to push Tucker away, because I think Tucker is such a sweetheart. He always seems determined to be there for her, even though he struggles to really understand her world. Clara and Christian are both having visions involving the two of them again, but because of their history involving the higher powers tricking them into feeling something for the other, Clara is not sure if what she is feeling for Christian is the real deal, or if they are being manipulated again into starting a relationship. She does start to rely on his friendship however. Christian wants his visions of being with Clara to be true, but Clara is still in love with Tucker.
Clara herself is very strong in this book. She has to deal with so much, and she grown up so much in the past year, when she relied on her mother's advice for everything. The other wonderfully quirky characters in the story are also brilliant. There is Clara's best friend (and Tucker's sister) Wendy, giving Clara advice and acting like a mother hen, part angel Angela forming an Angel Club for her, Clara, Jeffery and Christian to find out more about their angel powers and history, and Clara's brother Jeffrey acting suspiciously dark and moody. All the characters have substance and personality, and I really believed everything between them.
We also learn a lot more about a whole Angelic community, and also a lot of back-story about Clara's family. With dreams of an impending tragedy, a few shock family surprises, and being stalked by an evil angel of hell, this book is more than just a focus on a love triangle. There is a good strong plotline to it too, making it feel more than just a typical middle book- a bridge between the action of the first and third book- this is a wonderful story in it's own right.
Cythia Hand writes in a way that grabs me and twists my heart strings. I love how powerfully moving her books are, how she can make me feel Clara's love and heartache, and her strong focus on the characters. Recommended for all fans of a paranormal romance. Bring on book 3!