Book Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Posted August 28, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 2 Comments


 by Cynthia Hand


 Original Publishing Date: January 22, 2013
Length: 434 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Obtained Via: Borrowed from the Library
Format Read In: Hardback
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 The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.


 Going into Boundless, I was slightly terrified at the idea of reading the conclusion to this trilogy, especially when I loved the second book, Hallowed, so much. I knew it took place mostly in Stanford, as Clara goes off to college, and that decisions were made, but not much more than that. So with a leap of faith(get it–we’re talking about Angels? Faith? haha? OK, I”ll stop. . . ) I started reading, and soon I was once again lured into the world of Angel-bloods and intrigue, of family, and of destiny.

Boundless reminds me much more of Unearthly than it does of Hallowed. That is to say, it’s more about Clara’s purpose, a big show-down, and sub-plots than Hallowed. This isn’t a bad thing, and for many readers it’s probably a good thing, but I do think it was missing just a touch of the heavy emotional impact that made me love Hallowed so much. Other than that though, Boundless is a terrifically well-written book. Never have 434 pages flown by so fast. A LOT happens in those pages, and when I finally closed the back cover, my mind was REELING.

As far as the characters, I ache for ALL of them deeply. Jeffrey, Clara’s brother, really grew on me in this book. Even though he was always relevant to the plot in the first two books, I found him often an annoying add-on. In this book, even though it’s never the main focus, I felt he really came into his own as a character and added to the family dynamics I loved so much in the first two books. Clara is the same as always–flawed, sometimes selfish(all right, often selfish), but also caring and witty and smart. I loved the path and journey she took in this book. I felt like Clara was finally stepping up and OWNING who she was, and it was awesome to see!

The reason the love triangle in the Unearthly series WORKS, more than almost any other series, is for a few reasons: 1)It doesn’t take the focus away from Clara as the protagonist, 2)The two love interest really do show two different sides of Clara, and 3)Both boys are fascinatingly written characters with their OWN story arcs in most ways. However, I can’t really write a review without mentioning the love triangle(no spoilers!). Even though I was happy with the outcome, and it was the only one that made sense to me, I did think things wrapped up too neatly. There was also a plot development in regards to Tucker that I found to be just a little too convenient. However, both Tucker and Christian are well-written love interest, and I love that about this series.

The mythology and family lineages that end up being so important are really expanded upon and explored in Boundless, and perhaps this was the plot element I enjoyed the most. Despite the fact that Clara still explores a lot of the Angel world in Boundless, this was the book where I felt there was a little less discovery and more ACTION, and it was time for that. Overall, I’m really impressed with the ending. I won’t say it gets near the “best-ending-ever” shelf, but it was thoroughly satisfying, and it really did fall in line with the rest of the series.

Final Impression: I didn’t like Boundless quite as much as I liked its predecessor, Hallowed, but I still really liked the book. It was an engaging ending to a great series that really explored a well-done concept and a new and fresh way. I grew to care for the characters very much by the end, and I’m happy with how each character arc ended, for the most part. No unsatisfactory ending here! 4/5 cupcakes.




4 Stars

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2 responses to “Book Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

  1. I didn’t care much for Jeffrey or Angela in the first two books, but I really did feel sorry for both of them in this one. And this series’s love triangle is one of the very few that has ever worked for me in YA; Cynthia Hand did such a fantastic job giving so much depth to all three characters. Glad you enjoyed Boundless!

    • stormydawnc

      Same! Angela still wasn’t my favorite character by the end of this book, but I could tolerate her. And I started actively liking Jeffrey, at least a little. I thought it was a really well-done ending to the trilogy for sure.

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