Review: Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand

3:37 PM

This was everything I wanted Fallen to be, but it couldn't be. 


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 by Cynthia Hand
Rating: ★★★★☆

Ah! Well, I finally read Unearthly after nearly 8 years and it pleasantly surprised me. See, I feel like I kept getting lured in by an interesting premise and a lackluster execution when it comes to books in a similar tone. Thankfully, Unearthly was nowhere near as frustrating as Lauren Kate's Fallen (which is not an intentional dig at the series--it merely wasn't my cup of tea!) and I'm honestly disappointed in myself for hesitating to read it.

I think that, to put it plainly, Unearthly was truly everything that Fallen and Hush, Hush could have been. This is perhaps entirely due to Cynthia Hand's magical prose and the way she is able to hook a reader pretty early on during stories.

At its core, Unearthly is not unlike its many counterparts. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. Both in terms of books about Angels or just the general theme in YA fantasy novels of coming of age while coming into the power of your destiny. What makes Unearthly work is entirely in the way that it is told--the execution of the central story arch is quick and enjoyable. Cynthia Hand is smart in using her time wisely and the development really shows.

There are so many good qualities in Unearthly that I'm unable to list in one go. This one didn't take its toll on me in terms of annoyance and frustration; I genuinely liked it and was fully entertained. I liked the central relationships, the main character and more. The way that the story ends leaves you feeling a bit stirred and intrigued--I can't wait to catch up with the sequel and finally get lost in this world once more.

Unearthly definitely surprised me and I'm glad I finally gave it a chance, no matter how late to the party I am.

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