Book Review: Hallowed
By: Cynthia Hand
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 17, 2011
Page Count: 416
Source: Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: YA - Paranormal
Hallowed is a much better book than Unearthly, in my opinion. It has a lot to say about love and loss, and it does it in a profound way. I found myself quite close to tears on many occasions, as Clara struggled to come to terms with the knock on effects of her choices at the end of Unearthly.
In Unearthly, Clara fell in love with Tucker, despite the attentions of Christian, and she chose Tucker over Christian. This time she is with Tucker, and he has to deal with the realities of loving an angel-blood like Clara. In addition there is Christian, who understands so much of what Clara is going through and knows how to be there for her almost innately; he really melted my heart this time. I didn't much like Christian at the end of Unearthly, but he really 'manned up' this time and won me over with his strong, silent type ways. (And cute attempts to cheer Clara up with snow-ball throwing and insane skiing!)
There was a lot to like about Hallowed. The scenes between characters felt really real, the emotions involved were strong and not at all 'cheesy', and the way that Clara coped with the approaching loss of a loved one was admirable and understandable. I really believe that the author shared some quite raw experiences with us, and I was surprised by the depth of this YA fiction book. It certainly has some lessons in how to cope with grief within, and I think it will resonate with the readers on a different, deeper, level than Unearthly.
In this book we also get to find out more about angel-bloods and Clara finally gets some proper answers to those questions she has been asking her mother for what seems like ages! Jeffrey's character also sees some significant developments, although for much of the book his activities are secretive and generate suspicion.
I think that the plot is fairly straightforward really, but it was wonderfully executed. There could have been more happening but actually, I didn't feel like the book lacked for pace. For me, it became a page turner because of the writing rather than a high-adrenaline story rampaging through the pages. There were still bits that made me laugh, notably the slight dig at a watching someone sleep being a bit stalkerish... as a Twilight fan, I chose to take that as a fond nudge rather than a true criticism.
I'll be waiting eagerly for the third installment!
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of 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, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.