Saturday, 21 January 2012

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Published by Egmont 2012

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.
Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

Hallowed was one of my highly anticipated books to read this year because Unearthly was my second most favourite book of last year. I had the initial worry that Hallowed might have fallen under the "middle book" curse, but if anything, it was even better than the first. I also enjoy this cover a lot more to the Unearthly paperback cover. 

Hallowed starts off not too soon after the end of Unearthly, where we saw Clara rescue Tucker from the forest fire and there were many questions still lingering about her purpose. Clara starts having a new dream, which she realises is actually a vision, and she knows that someone she loves is going to die. 

The thing I loved most about this book was the character development. There's a lot more on Christian, his feelings and what kind of person he actually is. Jeffrey also gets some light shed on his purpose and what he was doing during the fire. The events are also significantly darker, with the death of someone Clara loves of course, but also reappearances of a certain Black Wing. It was inevitable but when it did happen it made for some very gripping reading. The character development also made it increasingly harder to choose between Tucker and Christian, and I completely understood why Clara was so conflicted. It wasn't all about the love-triangle thing though. I sympathised with Clara while she was trying to figure out who was going to die, and when she finally did find out, it was heartbreaking. She had to go through the process of waiting for that person to die, and there was a lot of love in those pages. Clara also came to accept certain things about life and death, how it wasn't really the end, and how some things were just inevitable. I felt as if she made some good progress in this book. Lots of secrets were revealed and questions were answered. The book also had a steady pace, allowing for some thoughts to come through and time to process new developments. The ending of the book really did tug at the heartstrings, and I'm looking forward to book 3 as we see Clara in a new environment. I look forward to how it's going to go.

5 stars 

P.S. I'm now Team Christian, previously Team Tucker. Don't hate me for it, it's perfectly justifiable once you read this! And don't get me wrong, I love Tucker and Clara together, but in light of recent events and where things are going to go in book 3... well. Team Christian, it is.

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