Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Posted July 8, 2013 by Stormy in Books, Uncategorized / 7 Comments


by Cynthia Hand


Original Publishing Date: January 17, 2012
Length: 403 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Obtained Via: Hastings
Format Read In: Hardback
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from Goodreads:

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.


Beautiful. That’s the best word I can use to describe this book. I know many of my friends found Hallowed less captivating than Unearthly, and I do see why, but I absolutely loved this book for it’s writing, it’s emotional intensity, and Clara’s growth. As the summary says, someone Clara loves dies, and she KNOWS it’s going to happen. So much of this book is Clara dealing with her grief while wrestling with her identity as an angel-blood.

There’s quite a bit more in that area as well. I can’t talk about it for fear of spoilers, but let me just say there were things I did not see coming, and plot twists that I really loved. I think Hallowed managed to strike the balance between setting up this story arc perfectly for the third book while also not suffering from second book syndrome. Quite a feat.

The Tucker/Clara/Christian love triangle was just as present in this book. It began to tire me out a little during Hallowed, but it’s still one of my favorite love triangles. I really like how both Tucker and Christian appeal to different parts of Clara. Tucker is the down-to-earth cowboy who lets Clara just be for a while, to be completely comfortable with who she is and where she is. On the other hand, I feel that Christian, appealing to Clara’s angel side, urges Clara on to higher aspirations, and keeps her working towards a purpose. Both of these things are important for Clara, and it’s not clear-cut who is the “right” side in the love triangle. Sure, my favorite hasn’t changed(Tucker), but I think it was a little more balanced in this book.

Clara’s grief towards the approaching death in the book is dealt with in a way that is almost slightly muted, which really serves to actually amplify the grief factor. I loved this part so much, even as I hated what was happening to the characters I came to love. I just thought it was so well-written. It wasn’t overly sappy, as story lines like this one sometimes become, but the grief felt very raw and very real.

I thought Clara had developed quite a bit as a character as well. She’s still the same Clara from book one, selfish sometimes, not always the most caring, but she’s matured at the same time. I think her character has great potential to become a favorite in the third book.

Final Impression: A second book that I liked even better than the first, Hallowed left me with no complaints. I loved Clara’s character development, and the way grief was handled in this book. It was so raw and real, I felt for the characters SO SO much. This one’s a winner. 5/5 cupcakes.



5 Stars

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7 responses to “Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

  1. I’ve heard amazing things about this book and your review has me really wanting to read this book. I liked Unearthly and I need to get my hands on Hallowed…looks like a job for the Public Library !

  2. Okay, I need to get reading this!! I’m writing it down for the TBR Book Jar XD I’m so glad you loved it, which makes me so incredibly excited! I wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle in the first book, and I thought Christian was a boring old fartbag, while Tucker was full of sparkles and awesomeness. I’m glad that it’s a better love-triangle, but I’m still like TUCKER BABY!!

    • stormydawnc

      Meh, Christian’s still pretty boring in this book, but there’s MORE Tucker(though, there’s also more Christian, to be fair), but the STORY itself while sad, was really beautifully written and made me FEEL so much more than the first book!

  3. Oh wow, you liked Hallowed even better than Unearthly! I really should read it . I loved the first book but for some reason stopped there. I think I need to pick it up again. I need more Tucker (he is my fave of the two boys too 🙂
    Thanks for the review!

    • stormydawnc

      Ooh, I’d definitely recommend to read Hallowed! It’s very different from Unearthly–the plot itself is a bit slower–but the writing is very beautiful(better than in Unearthly), and Tucker and Clara are awesome in it(together too, but I mostly mean they’re awesome as characters, though I’m a total Tucker fan).

  4. I totally agree that Hallowed is better than Unearthly – it was my favorite of the three, and I’m glad you liked it so much too 🙂 Top notch character development here, and that’s super important to me. And you said it, beautiful. Just beautiful. Nice review!

    • stormydawnc

      Yup, I feel like this book is where Clara really comes to see some of her flaws(like her selfishness), and her character REALLY improves. Not that she was bad in the first book–she’s always been a well-rounded character–but I liked her better in this one, even through my tears!

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