Monday, December 27, 2010

ARC Review: Unearthly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly #1)
Release Date: January 04, 2011
Published by: 
Harper Teen
Pages: Hardcover, 448 pages
Young Adult
Source: Harper Teen- Net Galley

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 it 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 deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Synopsis via Goodreads

My thoughts:

Cynthia Hand sure brought a great debut novel, an angel novel no less, to the table with Unearthly.  This early 2011 release will be a fabulous start to the new year.  It definitely stands out amongst the current crop of angel books currently available.

Character development is one of the facets of Unearthly that roped me in. We are given a complex cast in only a handful of recurring characters in the forefront.  Clara, our main character, is like her brother, Jeffery, and only one fourth angel, each have one purpose in which they live for.  Clara and Jefferey's mother is the definition of an Angel (at times) but harbors her own secrets which make the plot thick and further mysterious.  Wendy, the new and accepting best friend helps connect the dots of the story while remaining completely out of the loop.  Angela, the other new best friend, has hidden secrets of her own which may or may not be so good depending on who you ask.  Christian, brooding, god-like and taken, is the subject of Clara's reason for almost all that she does.  Tucker, twin to Wendy, cowboy-extraordinaire and is someone who is just as influential to the storyline as Christian and Angela both and sends Clara's world into a tailspin. Not to mention Tucker added a wonderfully realistic banter to this story.

Each character in Unearthly has their own personality and voice, there is no mistaking Angela for Wendy or Christian for Tucker.  Clara has a strong voice, even when she wavers with growing pains, which gives us further look into her character and soul.  I also love that no character is perfect even when the text tried to convince us so.  The ability to relate to the characters and want to befriend them gave Unearthly some of its magic.

The magic within Unearthly didn't only come from its cast of characters but from its setting and the plot's twists and turns.   Wyoming is the setting for this particular novel which is a great break from the typical beaches that seem to be popular in YA Fiction.  While there isn't an over abundance of otherwise useless sentences over-elaborating on the scenery we are given a great picture of where we really are.  Tall trees, valleys, sunrises to make your heart pitter-patter.  The speed of this book is great, varying at times but keeping a happy constant making this long-ish book an enjoyable well paced read.

Cynthia Hand gave us a novel full of twists and turns, which I have to admit I didn't see coming.  I expect no less of the next book in the series and am already attempting to come up with theories although Cynthia Hand has covered her tracks well and has proven her ability to spin a story in an intricate web that leaves no room for speculation offering this story of romance and mystery a little bit of suspense.

Unearthly is alluringly written leaving me begging for more.

Characters: Photobucket
Plot: Photobucket
Overall: Photobucket

On The Cover: I absolutely love this color and somehow the purple makes sense.  It reminds me of Clara's purpose.  I do have to admit that the Austrailian cover is my personal favorite.


  1. I love it when you can't predict exactly where the story is going. The guessing is half the fun of the whole story! Great review! :D

  2. I loved Unearthly too! You had a great review!


  3. Sounds like a great book! I can't wait to read it, I'm addicted to ngels books! Thankg good the wait is short

  4. I finished Unearthly a few days ago and absolutely loved it. I can't agree with you more--the character development was what really sucked me it, and the whole quarter angel aspect thing was really cool. It definitely stands out among the other angel books sitting on the shelf right now!

  5. I am currently reading this book. I'm enjoying it so far. Great review!


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