Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Published: HarperTeen (January 4, 2011)
Pages: 435
Format: Hardcover
Series: This is the first book in a series.
Source: I purchased this book.

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Thoughts: All right, I'd like to put a new spin on the saying: "time flies when you're having fun."

"Pages fly when the author knows what's up and blasts out a frickin' crazy badass angel book."

Like a gift from the Big Guy Himself, Cynthia Hand appeared as if from nowhere on my radar merely weeks ago with yet another angel book. I am tired of hearing about angels who fell but are really trying to be good and redeem themselves. But they just can't help being bad. OH, SO VERY BAD. So thank you, Cynthia Hand, for gracing the YA book world with this original, innovative angel book with some swoonworthy detailed lore. Not to mention that Jesus is obviously her homeboy, because LOOK AT THAT COVER. It sparkles and shines and is purple. I love purple.

I lost track of so much time while reading this book. Clara's voice was refreshing and smart. I appreciate the fact that she was a very strong, determined individual. Adversity, you've got jack squat on Clara. Her hair glows? She's dying it orange. Her crush ditches her? She's pissed, not weepy. I am excited that this is written in first person, because Clara has a fabulous brain. Can I also point out the fact that Clara's mother is awesome? HUZZAH to parental figures that are active and involved in their children's lives! This author really shines in the secondary characters. I cannot stress enough how giddy I get when I read about characters whose personalities are so detailed and distinct, I can picture their appearances and mannerisms in my head. I especially loved Angela and Clara's brother, Jeffrey.

Onto the love triangle: there is one. It's hardly annoying, though. In fact, I went through probably a quarter of the book not knowing who Clara would end up with. Oh, the suspense. Tucker and Christian are both very well-written and superbly developed. I've already hammered my Team Tucker sign firmly into the ground. Ladies and gents, never did I think that the well-mannered cowboy would steal my heart. Done and done. I am TUCKERED OUT. (That's totally from the book. I'm not that original.)

Last but furthest from least: the lore. Cynthia Hand's brain must've been working on overtime with this. I am completely and slack-jawedly in awe of the amazing, detailed history of the angel-bloods. Quartarius, Dimidius, Intangere.. I want to know more, more, more about all of them. It's intricate and detailed, yet I had absolutely no problem following along with Clara's history and who's who in the world of the angel-bloods.

Unearthly is a mind-blowing start to a series and I refuse to believe that this is Ms. Hand's first book. She's just that good, people. I'm left with many more questions than answers, but I'm not annoyed by it. I'm intrigued by it. And I'm pained at the fact that I have to wait a year for book two. Frickin' A.


  1. I totally agree with this entire review, I'm also Team Tucker, and this was one of my favorite love triangles, and one of the best angelic type histories, it was so easy to follow.

  2. You've convinced me! I've seen some good reviews for this one but you have pushed me over the edge. I was wondering if this one would be cliched with the whole angels thing so I'm glad it isnt'. And I LOVE a good love triangle that isn't annoying. As always, fantabulous review!

  3. i ADORE that cover too. we have a different one in Australia ~ but I much prefer the US.

    i've never read an angel book. i am so UGH, THEY'RE NOT MY THING just by reading reviews and flipping through.


    i have this one on reserve at my library and am kinda psyched about it.

    LOVED this review, btw :)

  4. I felt like this was one of the best (if not the best) angel book out there right now. Glad you think so too!

  5. TOTALLY AGREE. I'm waving my Tucker flag high and proud!

  6. I'm totally looking forward to this one! Glad to hear such an excited review.

  7. I really haven't read any of the latest YA fantasy, but this review makes Unearthly sound like a well written book and I'm a sucker for a good myth...We'll see if I carry a Team Christian or Team Tucker sign soon :)

  8. I really enjoyed this book. Glad you liked it too! Thanks for sharing a great review

  9. Yay for team Tucker! Country never looked so good! lol I loved this one too. I had the ARC but had to buy myself a finished copy. That's when you know a book is fantastic! Fabulous review. :)

  10. Cowboys are SO not my thing...but Tucker won me over like WHOA.

  11. I actually just posted my review of this recently too! I totally agree - Team Tucker all the way. ;D

  12. I absolutely agree with everything you just said! I LOVED "Unearthly." I'm so sick of the angel books and the bad boy theme and everything. Plus, I LOVED Clara and I ADORED the character development of everyone, from minor to major characters. I need book two NOW. ^_^