Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guest Post from Special K: Hallowed (Unearthly 2) by Cynthia Hand

Published: January 17, 2012
Publisher: HaperCollins
Pages: 416
eCopy: NetGalley and Publisher
Summary: GoodReads

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.

I loved Unearthly - I'm not usually one for the mushy-type supernatural romances, but it grabbed me in a good way, especially with the way it stayed true to the different types of angels, and the play the story took off that.

Hallowed I also enjoyed, but less so than Unearthly. The problem is I really dislike Clara and Tucker this time around: maybe I'm just a horrible person that way, but I'd like to believe that love doesn't make you absolutely stupid, and I also have trouble believing in undying-I’ll-risk-the-wrath-of-God love between high school students. They stop having intelligent motives for their actions and reactions - everything is absolutely centered on the other person in this romance - whether it makes sense or not.
So let me rephrase that - I dislike Tucklara. Clucker. However they mash those celebrity couple names, Tuck and Clara deserve one of their own (I’m going with Clucker). Clucker are fine characters when you let them stand alone without the influence of the other looming overhead - it’s together I have an issue.

Moving on. I loved the lore behind the story, and Ms. Hand does a great job in integrating it into her characters and the plot, and giving it to us in reasonable doses and in believable ways. She also writes beautifully, and I can picture everything in my mind fluidly. But if Clucker continues on, without learning any lessons or getting over their swooning, this series is going to begin to lose my interest.

I’m letting my dislike of this romance overshadow how great the story is - the second book of a series often falls into the rut of trying to tie up loose ends from book one and setting up the epic-ness coming in the next books - they don’t get to have any real story of their own. And while Hallowed definitely plays its role as a ‘Book Two’, it still gives us a story that we want to read and enjoy - and you do.

I’d give it two thumbs up and one big toe. The third book will get two thumbs and two big toes if Clucker suddenly realizes that they can’t stand one another. But that’s just my perspective.

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