Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Egmont UK
Released: January 2nd 2012
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her 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.
 (from Goodreads)

Hallowed was an absolutely amazing sequel to Unearthly. I loved it. And one of the things I loved most about it was that it wasn’t at all what I expected. So much happened that I never could have guessed. Cynthia Hand knows how to pull in a reader, I’ll tell you that now. If you haven’t started this series yet – get off your computer and go. Now. You won’t regret it.

Clara had a lot to deal with in this book. She had to cope with the repercussions of deviating from her “purpose” and also had to get by while knowing someone she loved was going to die. It wasn’t exactly a great time for her. She was worried and panicking about almost everything inside while trying to stay calm on the outside. And those weren’t her only problems. Her brother Jeffrey was acting strange and seemed to have no time for her, and despite the fact that she chose to save Tucker over Christian, Clara’s connection to Christian didn’t weaken at all. In fact, it got stronger. They were closer somehow, which was the last thing she wanted. I really empathised with Clara. She was one of the most likeable heroines I’ve come across, because she just seemed really genuine. And not too perfect, but not too unrealistically off the rails either. In this book, I felt for her more, because she was having a difficult time. Her power of empathy allowed to her to sense other people’s emotions, and as you can imagine, that can be a lot for someone to take in. She was struggling to cope with her own feelings, let alone those of everyone around her. Despite all this, however, she tried to keep it together. I loved her internal thoughts because she sometimes thought absolutely hilarious things that made me laugh a lot. I think the snarky sarcasm she had going on was to help her get through everything that was happening, and I really liked it. It gave insight into how she was feeling, as well as making me smile.

The thing that probably surprised me most about Hallowed was how much it made me love Christian. If you’ve read my Unearthly review, you’ll know that I was firmly Team Tucker. Christian was just another okay high school guy, but Tucker was something special. I really loved him. While my thoughts on Tucker didn’t change much (I probably liked him even more in this one – he had a great sense of humour and was just so adorable), my thoughts on Christian changed dramatically. He was no longer that-guy-who-I sort-of-liked-but-didn’t-really-care-much-for. Honestly, I don’t even know how to describe Christian in this book. Okay, he and Clara shared this connection that neither of them could help. They were drawn to each,  and connected by their purposes, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t just that. In Hallowed, we really got to know a lot more about Christian. His life, his parents, his background. With each chapter, I found myself liking him more and more. He wasn’t the golden boy everybody thought he was. He had all these angel problems to deal with on top of normal fears about going to university and figuring out what to do with his life. He was troubled, but he also understood what Clara was going through. They had a lot in common, and he really got her. Not just in the “I understand, it’ll be okay” way. He actually got her. He could be there for her in the way she needed him to be, without her even asking him to. They had such a great chemistry, finishing off each others’ sentences, having little funny fights that I loved reading about. I hated the whole idea of being destined for something and not being able to choose who you love, but with Christian and Clara...I sort of wish things were different. I wish it were really a choice with them, and not just some angel-blood thing.

This leads to a huge problem. The way the story is going, I actually have no idea what the hell is going to happen, so I have no idea what team to ship. I loved both Tucker and Christian in this book. But even if I choose one over the other – there’s a huge possibility I’ll be disappointed in the end. Truthfully, I do not know who to choose. This has NEVER happened to me before. Never. I always at least prefer someone slightly more in a love triangle, but this time, I am neutral. I am no team. I am just waiting to see what happens next, because after that ending, I have no clue. Seriously, this book was full of so many great revelations and twists and unexpected events that I can’t predict a single thing that will happen in book three. The plot was fast paced and while there wasn’t a lot of action, there was still a lot going on. I was never bored, always curious about something, such as why Jeffrey was acting so weird,  or what Clara’s mother was hiding, or who was going to die, or when Samjeeza was going to turn up, or what scary angel fact Angela (Angela made me laugh, she was just so quirky and always coming up with something crazy to do) was going to discover in the next “Angel Club” meeting. It was all awesome, there’s no other word for it. The only thing I wished for was to see more of Tucker’s sister Wendy, because I felt she was a bit absent in this book, and I really liked her in the first one. But besides that – brilliant. And now I have absolutely no idea how the love triangle, or anything else for that matter, will play out in the next book. I need it now. I need to know what happens next!

Overall, Hallowed was everything I wanted and more. A better sequel that I could have imagined. Recommended for all of those who have lost faith in angel books (I was one of those people, before Unearthly), and to anyone looking for a great story with and an amazing romance.

6 comments:

  1. I have Hallowed sitting on my shelf but I haven't read it yet. I've heard great things about it but second books in series always make me nervous. I'll definitely have to read it soon though. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unfortunately I was disappointed in this book, more so with the whole Tucker situation (cause I'm a big fan of him so Tucker fans may not like this book). But I'm still looking forward to seeing what's going to happen in book 3 which I'm sure is going to rock. Anyway great review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh no. oh non no no no no no CHRISTIAN. I am so scared of him becoming so likable. I want to stay Team Tucker, damnit! Why do you have to be so layered and charming and RIGHT, Christian? Ugh. But I love how brilliantly Cynthia appears to have written this love triangle. Where it's so hard for the reader to choose between boys. I have GOT to grab a copy of this soon! Amazing review, Liz!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh no. oh non no no no no no CHRISTIAN. I am so scared of him becoming so likable. I want to stay Team Tucker, damnit! Why do you have to be so layered and charming and RIGHT, Christian? Ugh. But I love how brilliantly Cynthia appears to have written this love triangle. Where it's so hard for the reader to choose between boys. I have GOT to get myself a copy of this soon. Amazing review, Liz!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow :| I was 100% Team Tucker in Unearthly and this... is unnerving. BUTBUTBUT! If Christian has made you teamless, that must mean that he's as fabulous as Tucker, right? THAT MEANS A LOT OF SWOON FOR HALLOWED! I like swoon.

    Great review, Liz :) Can't wait to read this one!

    Sonia

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now I can't wait to read Unearthly since a lot of people and yourself have said how amazing Hallowed is. I just love when book two can live up to what happened in the first book and I'm glad this one does.

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are better than frosted cupcakes :)