I had Unearthly in my TBR pile for months, but due to a nasty combination of pneumonia and law school it just sat there on my shelves until it was recommended to me on a chat on Good Reads (thanks, Paige). Out of curiosity I decided to give it a whirl. And boy am I glad I did, this is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year.
General Summary: Clara is a quarter angel and like all angels have purposes. Clara’s purpose sends her to Wyoming where she believes she is destined to rescue the beautiful and aloof, Christian. But things are not what they seem.
Review: I savored this book. The first night I read like eighty-five pages and was wowed. After that, I read it in small increments (say twenty or thirty pages) a day because I wanted to enjoy it before it was gone. The mountain setting is charming as well as the characters. Although, I thought I was going to get annoyed with Clara at first, I really did like her. And I liked both of her love interests, even though I am definitely Team Tucker (just saying). One of the great things about this book is it’s pacing. Take the love story, it wasn’t instant love s and Clara has issues with both of her suitors. The main plot, Clara’s purpose, is woven brilliantly throughout the story. The same is said concerning the world building. I give Cynthia credit for this because it makes the info dumping, which is a necessary evil with paranormal books, bearable. And the little hints referring to the climax of the book made me want to keep turning the pages.
Best Feature: Bending Cliches: When I first read the summary of this book, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes thinking that I read this story before. But something made me buy the book anyway. And when I did finally read it, I was wowed. Sure, there are moments that almost seem cliche then Hand will have a twist here and there that would just shock you.
Worst Feature: Um, nothing. I kid you not. I really enjoyed this one. Sure, there were some characters I wanted more of (okay, Tucker) but there’s not one thing I’m really going to complain about here. The writing was good, characters were good, plot was good, and it had angels. I am a satisfied reader.
Blockbuster Worthy: Hell, yeah. I’ve read somewhere that this one in development by the CW to be a TV series. Let’s hope the CW actually does produce this one because it could be epic. Here’s who I’d cast:
Clara: Lilly Collins, perhaps? She has that ethereal Clara look about her.
Tucker: Chace Crawford. I don’t know if his acting skills can do Tucker justice, but I see Chace’s face when I think Tucker.
Christian: Darren Criss: I think he has Christian like features.
A) Angels are Vampire Lite: Not the case here. While Clara’s quarter angel status does play havoc with her relationships this is not a YA vampire book in disguise of an angel book. Hand has done her homework when it comes to angels and this is purely an angel book.
B) The Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil: While it’s not directly stated that this an apocalypse like battle is in the works here, Hand certainly does show us that there are both good and bad angels in Unearthly. She also makes clear that there is a gray area that Clara often finds herself in, especially in the latter part of the book.
C) Wide Array of Possibilities: It seems like Cynthia took the Nephilim-decendents of angels- approach in this book. It provides for an interesting story especially since there are all types of angels that exist in Clara’s world.
D) Because Angels have an Excuse to Stalk: Okay, Clara does admittedly stalk Christian a bit in the book. It’s not like she’s climbing into his bedroom and watching him sleep at night way though. And as the book goes on the Christian stalking diminishes. And for that matter there’s no instant love between them either.
Overall Thoughts: This was a great book to be reviewed for this series on angel lit in YA. While it does incorporate several of the elements you typically see in angel books, it’s not cringe worthy, and it’s pretty original. It makes me realize that there are lots of possibilities in the way you can go with an angel book and that’s a good thing. It makes me excited about what I could read next when it comes to angel books.
Overall Rating: Ten bells have been rung (yep, ten angels get their wings from this book).