Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
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. (Goodreads)
Hallowed is the sequel to Unearthly (which I loved). If you’ve not read the first book be warned. This will be quite the spoilery treat.
So, let’s play a little catch up. Clara is an angel—not some dark, annoying, I’ve-just-been-tossed-out-of-heaven emo poser, but the real deal. An actual angel on a mission. FROM GOD. The first time I read that I was like sa-weet, a new twist!
Things aren’t particularly perfect for our girl though because after spending months learning about her purpose—saving the ultra-hot Christian—Clara forsakes her mission to save her boyfriend, Tucker (and oh yes, he’s so very worth it). I wanted her to do this of course, because Cynthia Hand had me at hello, baby. The romance here was so sweet and holy cow, I fell for it all hook, line and sinker, just like Clara.
Christian who? Exactly.
So, Clara rescues Tucker from a horrible fire instead of saving Christian, only to find out (DUM DUM DUM—that’s my soap opera music) that Christian makes it out alive anyway because he’s an angel and he was trying to save her too, believing that she was his mission as well.
Hallowed picks up immediately after all this blessed awesomeness. Clara absolutely loves Tucker, but she’s feeling a teensy bit guilty about the whole Christian thing. In some weird way these two are drawn together now more than ever. Those feelings continue to intensify as Clara begins to learn more about life as an angel, something Tucker tries but will never truly understand. Things only get worse when Clara begins to have new, ominous visions of a funeral. And the person she goes to for comfort here is …wait for it…Christian.
Oh, love triangles can be so frustrating can’t they? And Clara can’t see that she’s shutting Tucker out because she’s so sick with worry over whose funeral she’s attending in this creepy vision. None of this—the worry, the growing attraction to Christian, the deeper attachment she feels to her angelic family—is altogether good for that whole Tucker/Clara situation.
There were things I really liked about this book: Tucker, Clara’s friends, and the basic premise of an angel seeking her calling from God while battling her very human desire to do her own thing.
This time around, however, I didn’t love Clara as much as I previously did. She’s already wracked with guilt over the whole missed calling thing from the first book, now we add to it her constant worry over who in the heck may be dying in the near future. And I get both of those things. I was with her there.
What was more difficult to swallow was the love triangle. Both guys are good. I see your dilemma here Clara, I really do. But seriously, will you just make a decision already?????!!!!!! When she was with Tucker she loved him. Except that she was lusting after Christian (which, you know, was all the time). And man, Christian totally knows it and, like any guy, he clearly has no problem with it. He wants her too. I just wanted Clara to stop already. Or start. Or do something other than what she was doing. And she does—it just feels like forever that she’s contemplating it all.
And while I liked Christian and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him better, I felt this book was truly lacking one truly spectacular element that its predecessor had: Tucker. Oh, he’s there, but not enough. Or maybe I’m over analyzing it all. Who knows? I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it, but honestly I wasn’t swept away like I was the first time around.
Crush Intensity: 3/5 . The third book in the series, Boundless, will be in stores January 2013.
Soundtrack: I’m sticking with the song I chose for the first book. Run by Snow Patrol. It just fits this series. I can’t even explain it.