Monday, December 20, 2010

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly is a unique fantasy novel that really kept me rapt! Cynthia Hand has created a believable world in which angels, or in the case of our main character, part angels exist alongside humans.
Clara is sixteen and has recently learned from her mother that she is ¼ angel. Her mother has told her that angels have a “purpose” on earth, and that she must figure out and fulfill her purpose.  Clara is having visions of her task that lead the family (Clara, her mother , and her brother Jeffrey) to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
While the premise of the book is Clara fulfilling her purpose, of course there needs to be much more to make this as exciting as it is.  Clara makes friends, and finds out she isn’t the only angel in this town.   She discovers that the boy in her vision is Christian, the star athlete, most popular kid in the school, who has the most popular girlfriend.  This doesn’t make it easy for Clara to get close to him, but she feels she is here to save him, so she must.
Meanwhile, her best friend Wendy has a weird twin brother, Tucker, who will play an important part in the story too (OK, think “love triangle”).  I don’t think that’s giving too much away, is it?
Her mother is a mysterious character (1/2 angel), and we really don’t find out a lot about her.  I’m sure this is deliberate, but still a little frustrating (to Clara too.)
The ending is tense and exciting.  Plot elements are resolved, but there’s plenty more potential for adventure here, and I’m looking forward to the next book.  Jackson Hole is beautiful.  Even without having been there, Hand does a wonderful job of describing this setting.  The high school characters are true to life – not overdone, but they have the typical high school problems and attitudes. This was just an all-around enjoyable read.  It was difficult to put down, and I think high school teens are gonna eat this up!
Thanks to HarperCollins and NetGalley for allowing me to load this onto my Kindle in return for my honest review.


  1. I am almost done with this! It's so exciting! I really like Tucker. =).

    Great Review!!

  2. I definitely prefer angels over vampires. Maybe I'll add this book to my list of YA to read in the new year!


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