Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Book Title: Unearthly

Author: Cynthia Hand

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication date: January 4 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Hardcover 448 pages

Format read: NetGalley ARC

Date read: October 25 2010

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

My thoughts:

Amid the flurry of Angel books, Unearthly stands out from the crowd. There have been several YA books centered on angels recently, but Unearthly ranks as my favorite among them by far. Unearthly impressed me with the character development, vivid descriptions, and compelling story telling. Unearthly is Cynthia Hand’s debut novel.

Clara Gardner is a sixteen-year old angel-blood living in California with her mother and brother when she starts having the vision. The vision represents Clara’s “Purpose” that she is destined to fulfill as an angel-blood on earth. As the vision takes shape, Clara and her family follow the clues and move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming so that Clara can complete her purpose. Now Clara and her brother have to start at a new school, and Clara must find the boy from her vision and save him from a fiery death.

The book is evenly paced, and always kept my interest. The details about Clara’s purpose are slowly revealed, keeping the suspense level high. The characters are compelling and fully realized, and the writing flows easily and is not overdone. Although the book clocks in at over 400 pages, the pages flew by. There were also a lot of surprises in the plot that kept the story fresh.

The protagonist Clara is easy to relate to. She starts out the story knowing that she is part angel-blood, but finds out more about the bigger picture as the story progresses. The family relationships and friendships in the book felt authentic and realistic and help to move the story along.

Although some may be drawn to the angel-blood aspect of the book, the book also offers a compelling romance. Clara is drawn to Christian, the boy she is destined to save. However, Clara is also pulled to Tucker, her friend’s brother. These relationships are set up very well and are slow building. It is a love triangle of sorts, but it’s more that Clara is torn between following her destiny or her heart.

There is an air of mystery about the characters and questions about the mythology that has me eager for the sequel. The ending is satisfying and strong, but also brings up a whole slew of new questions. Unearthly is an awesome debut that should appeal to fans of paranormal romance, and those looking for a fresh, unpredictable YA fantasy. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperTeen for the opportunity to read the digital galley.

For more information:

Amazon/ Goodreads/ Author’s blog




2 thoughts on “Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

  1. […] Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – Recommended for those weary of Angel-centered books. This is the best of […]

  2. […] am a big fan of Unearthly, and was so excited to finally have the sequel in my hands. The characters, romance, dialogue, and […]

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