Review : Unearthly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Pages : 435
Genre : YA, Paranormal
Series : Unearthly, Book 1
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Like her mother and brother, Clara is part angel, making her extremely talented at almost everything she tries. It also means she has her own personal purpose, a specific task she has to accomplish while in this world.

When Clara starts having dreams of her purpose, her life is forever changed. Moving away from the California where she grew up, she is unsettled both by her new surroundings and her more and more frequent dreams. Does she really have enough time to get ready for her purpose, or will her terrestrial side get the best of her?

My Thoughts :

Even though I had read countless great reviews of Unearthly, I wasn’t prepared to like it. Not only has paranormal YA been a little disappointing for me lately, but angel books, in particular, have been painful to read. I never made it through Halo (and gave away my copy). I finished Lauren Kate’s Fallen with countless yawns. Hush, Hush was only fun in a bad horror movie kind-of way.

Unearthly broke the mold by offering an entertaining, lovely, intriguing story with a main character who wasn’t, surprisingly, too stupid to live! Clara was so easy to warm-up to : her narration had a human simplicity with just a touch of angelical magic. She was both a teenager going through the mundane life of a teenager wanting to fit it, and an angel forever different who has a unique perspective. I think it’s admirable how successfully Cynthia Hand handled both parts in one single character, never neglecting one side of her personality for the other.

There’s romance, of course. But it’s not a love-at-first-sight-can’t-live-without-you kind of thing. And there’s a triangle, but though I definitely have a preference, it’s really not clear for me where the author is going with this. I thought I knew, but close to the end, the story took an unexpected turn and I wasn’t sure anymore. Which is another lovely aspect of the book, how it keeps surprising you with little twists and turns all along.

Clara, her brother, her mother, her two love interests and a few others form an intriguing cast of characters I am already looking forward to know better. There are a few hints of mysteries in the story that I can’t wait to know more about, and I really felt like the book was the start of a great saga, all while having a strong enough conclusion by itself.

Those who are tired of the paranormal-romance formula might not find Unearthly to be the most original novel on the shelves, but it is certainly one of the best. I personally loved it, and I am looking forward to reading the second novel a few weeks from now!

Series Reading Order :

  1. Unearthly
  2. Hallowed (coming January 2012)

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10 responses to “Review : Unearthly”

  1. BermudaOnion says :

    I’m glad this book exceeded your expectations!

  2. zibilee says :

    I haven’t read any angel books yet, but now I know that if I do, this would be the place to start. It seems like sometimes YA takes off in several directions, and goes through phases ( vampires, werewolves, zombies, angels) and I just can’t keep up. I know that my daughter would love this book, so I can imagine that it might be a good purchase for us to share. Great review today! I am glad this one didn’t disappoint!

  3. The Book Wurrm says :

    The second book, I am glad to say Kay, manages to sustain the charm and character that made this book a success. It’s definitely different from the usual sequels because there is a definite conflict in Clara: love vs. duty, and I think it’ll be interesting to see how the author resolves it. May I recommend Angelfall by Susan Ee which is a combination of dystopian and angel and totally mindblowing. It’s amazing that none of the big six publishers picked it up because the book has definite potential to be a huge success. It’s an e-book and I definitely recommend it. It presents angels in a light that is not at all sparkly. 😉

  4. toothy says :

    glad to see you like this one so much! i was on the fence about it too, but i think i’m going to go out and get this one now.

  5. Torbillon says :

    Sounds interesting, I will check it out.

  6. missjgirl says :

    I too loved Unearthly! It’s definitely one of the better angel books out there. So far for me it is the best angel book I have read. But I haven’t really read many angel based stories.

    I loved that the romances took time to develop! I loved that there was no ‘insta-love’ because that drives me crazy when there is.

    Cynthia Hand is now one of my favourite authors! I too wrote a review on unearthly 🙂

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