Wednesday, February 15, 2012



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 (from

I have been anticipating the release of the sequel to Unearthly ever since I finished the first one. If you know me, you know I raved about the first book for a long time. I absolutely loved it. It had drama, humor, angels, and romance. And Hand's writing is fantastic and compelling.

Hallowed is a good followup to its predecessor. The overall tone, however, is an impending doom and a little more melancholy than the first one. We find Clara a little more determined to decide her own fate, but I worry that she's becoming a victim. She still remains a very well-formed and developed character with loads more dimension than, say, Bella in Twilight but I wasn't as impressed with the Hallowed version of Clara. At first she is ready to bring the fight and not accept the vision, but I think she hesitates because of how badly it turned out the first time she went against her purpose.

There are some beautiful aspects to this book. The gathering is fascinating. The description of Clara's father is great. I love what Hand has done with the mythos of the angels. She has truly made it her own.

This book is also full of surprises. Hand proves that she is a master at the craft by revealing new information in just the right way and at the perfect moment.

Love triangles. Yuck. Clara even talks about how much she hates love triangles (and goes on to compare herself to Bella which I found funny because there is no comparison. Go Team Clara!) and I find that I agree with her, yet we're pushed into this love triangle story that only gets deeper and more involved. I don't think it's resolved yet. At least I hope it's not. The third book has a lot to answer for the way this one left off. However, I do have to say, usually there is one obvious better choice in a love triangle, but Hand has done a good job of making it seem like both would be a good choice. That makes the ultimate decision that much harder.

Finally a YA fiction series with smarts and good writing! I'm totally a fan. The only reason I only gave it one Woot! was because there was a little disappointment because it wasn't as big a page-turner as the first one. Is that unfair?

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