23 January 2012

YA Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...

In her debut novel, Unearthly, Cynthia Hand left this reader spellbound and begging for more of her writing and her characters.  As many people do, I entered Hallowed with a bit of trepidation--will the sequel live up to its predecessor (because so many don't)?  After flying through the pages of Hallowed, I am happy to report that Hallowed does not suffer for a moment from the dreaded middle book syndrome and Ms. Hand's writing and story will continue to enthrall readers.

The first thing that will catch any readers eye is the Clara has morphed into a much more confident person.  Gone is the Clara who we felt sorry for most of the time with her clumsy nature and carrot-orange hair.  In her place is a much more confident and relaxed Clara whom we can fall in love with.  She seems a bit pre-occupied at times with her blossoming romance with fabulous boyfriend Tucker, but I can forgive her that because I happen to LOVE him. :)

The love triangle that we glimpsed in Unearthly becomes a bit more pronounced than it was previously.  The tension soars between Tucker and Christian and their attachment to Clara.  I tend to flip-flop a lot on love triangles, but I'm here to tell you that I liked Tucker in Unearthly and I LOVED him in Hallowed.  There is a lot going on with these two boys and I don't even pretend to know which one is better for Clara in the long run.  I did appreciate Christian more in this book so I suppose there's a chance that he'll win me over in book #3...but I think a piece of my reader heart will always belong to Tucker.

If you enjoyed Unearthly, then you can't miss this sequel! Cynthia Hand's writing is spot-on wonderful and her angel story continues to supply a perfect blend of romance, action, and tension (and not just romantic tension--family tension, friendship tension, etc.).  While Hallowed is definitely a middle book, it stands on its own as a wonderful novel, avoiding the stagnation of so many middle books.  It keeps you engaged in and entranced with the world and characters while piquing your interest in the final installment.


Tiffany said...

I loved Unearthly and I can't wait to read Hallowed, I'll have to pick up a copy soon. I'm glad to hear that it doesn't drag on like some middle books do. Great review :)

Heidi @Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I just reviewed this on my blog too. I know I hate love triangles so much but this one is realistic and I really grew to love Christian. I don't know who I would chose. You are right this book shines, no middle book syndrome!

Katie P. said...

I love Tucker SO much! I'm glad to know that you liked this one. I haven't read it yet but I'm hoping to do that soon! Great review!

Molli said...

Good to hear that this one doesn't fall into the "sophomore slump" so to speak!  I have the first one and really need to go ahead and read it!

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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