by Cynthia Hand
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.