Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (review copy) - In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. I take a step toward him, open my mouth to call his name, only I don't know it. Then he starts to turn. That's when the vision leaves me. I blink, and it's gone.
Clara is part-angel. Through terrifying visions of a forest fire she is shown her purpose: to savea beautiful, unknown boy. When she finds Christian, the boy from her visions, he's everything she could wish for. But Clara discovers there's a darker side to her purpose. And if Christian is so perfect, why does she have feelings for someone else?
A mesmerising story of destiny, supernatural powers, forbidden romance and an impossisble choice. From the blurb.
Unearthly is another novel I was convince to pick up due to the high praise back in February from some enthusiastic Aussie bloggers (thank you, ladies!). So I pulled it out of my reading pile, intrigued by the two boys that were so talked about. And now I'm wishing I had picked it up much sooner!
Before I really get into my review, I need to tell you that reading the product description on Amazon UK wouldn't be a wise idea if you've never read this book. There aren't major spoilers, but there are a few details that are better discovered by reading the book. Especially one point that doesn't even come about until the very end - you don't want to know that stuff before reading, so steer clear is my advice.
Back to the book! I don't even know where to start. It's such a great new take on the whole angel story. There are a few books out there where the main character is an angel, and she either knows it or she doesn't. With this book, Clara grew up a completely normal girl, thinking she was human and not knowing any different until she turned fourteen and her mother told her the truth: she is part angel, and as such, she will eventually have a purpose, a mission from up high, that is the whole reason she was born. So when the book starts with Clara starting to get visions of her purpose when she's sixteen, she already knows what she is. There's still a lot her mother won't tell her, and is still pretty much a normal teenager. But once her vision starts giving clues as to what her purpose will involve and wear, the family uproots and moves. She has to save a beautiful boy from a forest fire. She doesn't know when, or why, or who, just that that's what she has to do.
As you can imagine, giving up your whole life to move somewhere to help some unknown would be a little annoying, and a little scary. But hey, when the guy you've got to save is the beautiful Christian - lovely, popular, gorgeous Christian - having to spend time with him to try and work out what she needs to do doesn't seem so much of a hassle anymore. She quickly makes friends and settles into her new life, and focuses on trying to pepare for the inevitable rescue, but things aren't always so easy. Tucker, her best friend's cowboy of a twin brother, makes it his mission to annoy the hell out of her and, unknowingly, distract her. And what a distraction!
Both boys are just awesome! There's nothing to really dislike about either guy; they're both gentlemanly, they're both good looking, they both care about the feelings of others, and in their own ways, they both set Clara's blood buzzing! However, I felt that I didn't get to know Christian enough due to lack of page time, so I am all for Tucker! Tucker is just the sweetest guy, and how he and Clara constantly take the mick out of each other is just so sweet! The boy is hot! And he's outdoorsy! And... he's just Tucker! I will say that a minor problem for me is how much time we get to see of Clara and each boy together. There are lots of times where they hang out, but there isn't much detail for some of the times. It's a lot of tell and no showing. I know some those times may not have been pivotal to the story, but I feel they would have helped me get to know the two boys a little better. They're both central to the story, and I feel I only have a vague grasp on who Christian is, and know only a little more about Tucker. Sweet moments are good moments, I want to see them, please! On the other hand, the book is already 433 pages long (my edition), so I guess they would have just made the book so much longer.
The mythology for Unearthly is great, but there is still so much we don't know, because Clara doesn't know. So much is hidden from her, for whatever reason, and you get frustrated right along with them. What is up with the Black Wings exactly? Other than that they're evil angels. Why is Clara's mother so intent on keeping Clara in the dark about a lot of things? What is up Angela, Clara's new friend, and her own secrets? No answers in this book. Despite all the questions, what we do know is cool; Clara learning about her wings and how to fly, discovering what glory is, and Clara's own abilities. It's fun!
Oh, the ending! I did NOT see it coming at all! I was so shocked! Such a twist to throw in! Now I'm questioning everything, and I have no idea where things are going to go next! There was something missing from the book though. I really enjoyed it, dreamed about it even, but I was never desperate to find out what was going to happen until I got to the very end. I can't put my finger on exactly why this was - possibly not knowing enough about the guys for my liking? - but there were days when I wouldn't pick it up, yet others that when I did, I was reading for hours. Normally, a book like this would take me about three days, but it's been over a week. And I can't really say why.
Overall, an awesome novel, and one you should definitely check out! So glad I have the next book, Hallowed, waiting for me to read. I will definitely be picking it up soon!
Thank you to Egmont for the review copy.
Published: 2nd May 2011
Buy on Amazon US
Cynthia Hand's Website