Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 2011
ISBN: 9780061996160

Source: e-copy of ARC from NetGalley

Unearthly (Unearthly - Trilogy)

Clara is an angel-blood - one quarter angel - which definitely sets her apart from other teenagers.  When her family moves from sunny California to freezing Wyoming in order for her to fulfill her purpose, she fits in even less.  Having to dye your hair a wretched color to keep people from noticing your glow definitely puts a damper on your social life.  But, she does manage to meet the gorgeous Christian, who is intimately bound up in her purpose.  But, when the time comes to fulfill her purpose, will she make the right choice or follow her heart?

Things I Liked:
I actually came into this one with low expectations, having just finished and not been pleased with Halo.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  There was no instantaneous and eternal love.  I thought there would be at first, but I really liked how the romance developed - it was slower, sweeter, and definitely more believable.  It was also not what I expected it to be.  Not only was that a relief, but the other relationships Clara develops are interesting and make it so the whole book is not about teenage romance.  It almost felt at times more like magical realism than true fantasy.  I especially love how Clara is smart and realistic and so human despite her angel-blood.  Definitely looking forward to more from this author.

Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, the ending was a bit of a let-down.  There was a lot of build-up (and even the beginning was a bit slow), but I felt like Hand was ensuring people would read the next book so we could figure things out.  I thought we should have been given a little more information at least.  There was so much vagueness and mystery that I almost felt frustrated.  But, I suppose that evil plan worked and I will definitely be reading the next one.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Hush, Hush and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Fallen by Lauren Kate

s-factor: !
a few here and there

mrg-factor: none
but some excellent kissing parts :)

v-factor: ->
a very little

Overall rating: ****

Is there too much paranormal romance out there or should there be more published, if it's good (this is a newer book and pretty good)?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I just posted my review today as well and like you I had low expectations after Halo but I enjoyed this one. So far my favorite of the angel books.

  2. Debbie, I think it's the only angel book where I actually liked the heroine! Let's hope the next book is just as good.

  3. Erm, I don't like it when the ending leaves you frustrated. I'd rather read the sequel because the first book was so strong, not because it was unfinished. Still, the positive things you've said intrigue me and so I think I'll be reading this one. I haven't heard many good things about angel books, but Unearthly seems to be different.

  4. Small, I know. I felt a little angry after I finished, but it was so much better than I expected that I figured I'd give the next book a try. Unearthly is VERY different than any of the angel books I've read so far.

  5. Hi, what is the title of the next book?i really really wanted to read the next book..its really frustrating that it ended like that..it's really hanging..it leaves me depressed or something not the way i expected it.

  6. Anon, so far as I know, it hasn't been titled yet (Unearthly just came out). You can check Cynthia Hand's blog to see when she reveals the title of the next book. Hopefully the sequel won't leave you frustrated as well!

  7. I read this after seeing it on your blog (which I LOVE BTW). So, I liked the story but I didn't really love the way that the author writes using words like, 'dorkarina' in the first chapter or so made me really nervous about the rest of the book. Thankfully the writing didn't stay that cheesy but it still felt like it had been written by a really young author. With that being said, I really enjoyed the book. So much so, that I re-red the last two chapters because it kept running though my mind. LIke you, I enjoy the same things, the relationship between her and Tucker is cute and believable. I really like the relationships that she develops in this book. Quick fun read! Thanks for the review and for the FABULOUS blog!!

  8. Micaela, thank you so much! I'm glad that you liked it, even with your reservations (dorkarina? really? I don't remember that :) It is likely that Cynthia Hand is young, though it might just be because it's her first novel too.

  9. Hand masterfully creates Clara's story, so that it reads like a contemporary love story, but has plenty of angel lore to reel in paranormal/supernatural lovers. This take on angels is something I've never read before and I was enthralled with the mythology behind these angel-bloods.

    1. I completely agree - I was really impressed by how the angel lore was incorporated, but didn't dominate the story. Good stuff!


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