Hallowed (Unearthly #2) — Cynthia Hand

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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.

If you liked Unearthly, you’ll love Hallowed. At the end of Unearthly, Clara made he decision to save Tucker instead of Christian, leaving her purpose unfulfilled. Now, despite the fact that Tucker and Christian are both alive and well, Clara can’t help feeling guilty, confused, and lost. On top of all that, a Black Wing is still stalking her and she’s having more visions, this time of someone’s funeral.

I didn’t know what to expect from Hallowed. After finishing Unearthly, I thought of so many different directions Cynthia Hand could take the series, but I had no idea which she would choose. And still, she manages to surprise. Like Clara, I believed the issue of her purpose was now a moot point. She didn’t fulfill it, but everything turned out okay in the end, so no harm, no foul, right? Except maybe her purpose isn’t finished after all. Poor Clara — her mom continues to keep everything from her, despite how desperate Clara is for answers. But as frustrating as that is, at least Hallowed proves just how important it is for some of these secrets to remain secret. And Clara’s mom does finally give into Clara’s request for information, revealing a lot of shocking truths and interesting angel lore. Hallowed deftly explores the legend of the Nephilim and Hand puts her own spin on it so that the second book in the series is just as eye-opening and engaging as the first.

In addition, each character is much further developed in Hallowed. Jeffrey is insufferable and annoying and awful, but there’s a surprising motivation behind his actions. Christian is willing to just be Clara’s friends, though he is undeniably drawn to her. And while Clara loves Tucker with her entire being, she can’t deny that she and Christian seem to be destined for each other. Personally, it’s hard for me to pick favorites. I love each boy for entirely different reasons. In the first book, there wasn’t really any reason for Clara to like Christian other than the facts that he’s hot and she kept dreaming about him. Her slow-blooming relationship with Tucker was much more natural, the product of an adorable friendship formed over a long summer. But in Hallowed, it’s easy to see just how much Clara and Christian get along. They get each other and they have this one huge thing in common: they’re both angels. So how can she possibly decide between these two great guys? I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes.

Hallowed is one of those rare sequels that is just as good as, if not better than, the first book in the series. These characters are smart and lovable, more than willing to seek out the answers to all the questions the reader is just as eager for answers to. They’re easy to respect, the kind of characters you want to be best friends with. Cynthia Hand’s beautiful world is captivating, from the beautiful descriptions of rural Wyoming to the fascinating explanations behind angels and their purposes. If you were at all wary or suspicious of another angel series, like I was, cast your fears aside. You won’t want to miss Hand’s masterpiece.

Pages: 416
Publication Date : January 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Challenge: N/A
Rating [rating: 4]

Teaser Quote: “Warm fingers enclose mine. I look up at Christian. He squeezes my hand. I shouldn’t be letting him hold my hand, I think. I belong to Tucker.

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