Monday, December 19, 2011

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: 1st January, 2012

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Pages: 448pgs

The Story

Clara Gardner knew that as a part angel she would one day have to fulfill her purpose, rescuing Christian from a forest fire . . . what she never considered was what might happen if she were to fail.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend Tucker, Clara must deal with the repercussions of what happened the day of the fire as the two boys vie for her heart. And, as she is drawn further into the world of angels and 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 after a shocking revelation, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning . . .

The Review

A big thanks to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Unearthly, the first installment of the series, was one of my favourite reads of 2010 and I thought Cynthia Hand handled all aspects of the paranormal story and even the romance with such grace. For the most part, she entertained me on a high level which is rather hard to do lately considering angels - in my opinion - are overused in young adult fiction. I still love angels but we have to admit to ourselves that they aren't unique anymore in young adult fiction. But since I fell deeply in love with the first book, I had very high expectations for its sequel and the author didn't disappoint me . . . well not too much.

In HALLOWED we continue to follow Clara's journey to find out more about her purpose and what it takes to be an angel-blood. For those who've finished the first book, readers will know the town is still recovering from the fire incident and Clara is still trying to overcome her feelings for two boys that she has a strong connection with - one she was supposed to save in the fire and one she didn't want to leave to his death. But things start to get really complicated for our young Clara because not only do her dreams or rather "visions" seem strange (and so very haunting and real), but her family are keeping dangerous secrets from her and with bad people wanting to hurt her family, she's is also struggling with her feelings for two boys, even if one is not her boyfriend.

Even though I loved the overall storyline of HALLOWED and the direction it was heading towards (don't get me wrong it's still a great book), but I struggled with certain parts of this sequel and not to mention the characters themselves whom I loved originally in Unearthly. Story-wise, readers will have many unanswered questions solved and learn some new and exciting things in regards to Clara's family that will change everything. And for that, I applaud Hand for writing these surprising twists. Now as for the characters, while already beging a fan of Clara herself, I knew she would remain a strong main narrator in the book and she did to a certain extent. But when it came to the love triangle shared between her and the two main love interests, Christian and Tucker, her emotions and thoughts fell a little flat for me - mainly because of her constant infatuation with Christian, even with her boyfriend, Tucker, by her side. While I understand her "crazy" and internal pull towards Christian and all that, but I disliked the way she propped herself on the pedestal and remained undecided about what she truly wants in a relationship. It got on my nerves more than on one occasion.

Okay let's talk about the two boys. I mean that's what we're really here for, right? Firstly let's discuss Tucker (you knew I would talk about him first didn't you?). Tucker . . . Tucker . . . Tucker . . . where do I start with you? For those who know my fictional boy teams well, you will know I was forever on Team Tucker in Unearthly and no one - not even another fictional boy - could change my mind about Tucker and my love for him.

Now after eagerly finishing this book I still remain faithful on Tucker's side and I love him to bits. I admit you get to see a little different side to Tucker in regards to jealousy and possessiveness, and sometimes he was a little shallow, but he's still my favourite cowboy with a pot of golden hearts to share with the world. His devotion to Clara and his acceptance of her angel-gifts were truly aspiring and readers will love him even more in this book. But to ruin the Tucker highlights you have dear Christian . . . freaking "golden-boy" Christian. *shakes head* Christian is the type of boy I want gone from this Earth and I will do whatever it takes to get rid of him . . . but sadly I had a soft spot for him in HALLOWED and I grew to like him. But I still hate him and his sensitive (pardon my language) ass. Christian was the problem of this book and I've read many review that said they love Christian but I don't know what to think after the cliffhanger Hand pulled off. I'm still in denial just so you know.

As for the other supporting cast, Clara's friends and family, they were fantastic characters to have around in this particular sequel. I don't know about you guys but I'm not a fan of Clara's friend, Angela, because I think she's a terrible friend and unworthy to be called a friend, but in any case I continued to love Clara's mother (she's a great mother) and Clara's brother, Jeffrey (he's a great brother in his brotherly-moody ways). Despite their deep and dark secrets that they carry along with them, Clara's family was the strongest point in the book and their relationships with Clara are tested beyond your own expectations and I loved that.

Overall, I still enjoyed this book despite my "small" disappointments in the characters and in the ending itself. Nonetheless fans of the first book Unearthly will love HALLOWED for what it's worth and what it has to offer in preparation for the third and final installment which isn't due out until 2013. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Clara. But be warned my dear readers - this book will have you screaming in tiny fits and you'll be left in some dark depression. Lot's depression in fact.

The Rating

3/5 stars

Here in the picture below is the US cover of HALLOWED which I prefer compared to the UK and AUS covers. I can't wait to get my own preordered copy of this book to match my own shiny purple hardback copy of Unearthly.


  1. LOL on Erin.... Christian is the type of boy you want gone from this Earth (and will probably trample him down with one of Tucker's horsies) but you grew to like him. Makes sense :P

    But sad to hear that the love triangle aspect was a little disappointing. I am so curious to see what I'll think of this given the varied opinions. And what can I say, I want me some more Tucker!! Fantastic review :)

  2. Tucker needs to round up his horses! Christian was likeable in this book but TUCKER!!!!!!!!! No one cares for Tucker.

  3. Ooh, you prefer the US cover? I think the Australian covers are much more awesome! :P. Soo pretty. Anyway, in regards to the book - Christian! Tucker! I'm really worried about what's gonna happen now - almost scared to read this book! Thanks for the review :).

  4. Liz: Yeah I prefer the US covers. AUS covers are cool but I love the shiny US covers better. You should be scared. haha. It takes an interesting turn.

  5. Awww, it sucks that you were disappointed by this book! :( LOL I was totally Team Tucker going into this book too, and when people said that I was going to switch sides, I didn't believe them! But Christian ended up growing on me too, even though I was still all for Tucker! <3

    Amazing review!! :) I'm glad you still enjoyed it despite your disappointments, and I can't wait to read the next book either! Plus, I love the US cover better too! x)

  6. Mimi: Yeah it does suck. Christian was a 'little' bit better in this book but I'm still faithful to Tucker. Poor guy. I too prefer the US covers. They are pretty when in hardcover.

  7. Sorry you were disappointed with this book (you're obviously aware I loved it! haha)

    I understand what you mean with Christian being the "golden boy" and I agree with the possessiveness/jealousy being perfectly okay! That's what I meant about realism :) I thought Tucker's reactions were spot on!

    Great review :D

  8. I love both of the covers !! thanks for the book review !! Its great to get insight from different readers !!

  9. Aw, I so want to read this one! I heard such good things about Unearthly (still need to read), and while I'm seriously not a love triangle fan, I need to fund out about these two boys... But you're cracking me up about Christian! He sounds... Er... Yes XD

    Eeeeeeeee! Ok, ok, I'm S U P E R S L O W, but I'm reading Blood Promise and JUST got your 'little Dhampir' screename reference! Eeeeee! I love LOVE Adrian... Not with Rose (Dimitri + Rose = <3), but I love him, and SO want to see him happy...

  10. Great review. I still prefer the Aussie cover, but the US isn't too bad. I have heard great things about this book and it is always interesting reading different reviews. Thank you

  11. I really want to read this book now! I like the US cover too but I like the Aus cover as well...I'm torn. I can not decide!

  12. Thanks for all your comments. Hope you enjoy the book!


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