by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
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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
I picked Unearthly up sometime in 2011 because I loved the cover. For some reason, it kept getting shuffled around to the back of my TBR pile and after reading a review I almost bought it again. Unearthly is the first in a trilogy and I will be reviewing book two the Hallowed later this month. This novel is filled with angel mythology, suspense, romance and typical high school drama.
The protagonist is sixteen year old Clara Gardner. Clara is an angel-blood. Her mother was part angel and her father is human. Every angel has a purpose; a task they must perform in their lifetime. When Clara begins to have visions about her purpose, she and her family move from California to Wyoming. Clara’s visions show a young man and a fire. She believes she must save him from it.
In Wyoming, Clara and her younger brother try to fit in at the new high school. Which isn’t easy, since being part angel makes you faster, smarter, and better at almost everything. Clara attempts to get closer to Christian (who she quickly learns is the young man in her vision) and learn her purpose. The school year is filled with typical high school drama. Clara begins to crush on Christian. She makes a few girlfriends. Wendy is the first to friend her. I really liked Wendy; she doesn’t care about the in-crowd and seems to genuinely care about Clara. She has a twin brother named Tucker who teases Clara unmercifully. Clara also befriends Angela. The friendship between them grows when Angela reveals her secret to Clara. I haven’t made up my mind about Angela. There is something I do not trust about it.
During the summer while Clara waits for Christian to return from a trip, she starts spending time with Tucker. We slowly get to see this romance unfold, and I enjoyed watching Clara come to realization that she loves Tucker. This romance is pure, believable and sweet. Clara’s mother fearing Tucker will distract her from her purpose; grounds Clara and forbids her to see Tucker until her purpose is completed.
Throughout Unearthly there is something sinister lurking and Clara has experiences with it more than once. As the tales moves towards its conclusion we are again confronted with this evil. We witness a battle between good and evil. After the battle, Clara is suddenly overwhelmed with a vision and realizes the time is now. Her purpose is now. She flies to save Christian. When she arrives she is too early and as she waits she learns someone she loves is in danger. She must choose between fulfilling her purpose and saving someone she loves. The ending left me with more questions than answers. I am hoping Hand clarifies things more in book two.
I really enjoyed Unearthly. The pace was nice and it was well written. I am look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy. I recommend this to fans of paranormal romances, angels and young adult urban fantasy. This novel is available in all formats.