Sunhi's Reviews > Unearthly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
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's review
Jan 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: blogged, young-adult, paranormal, angels
Read on May 01, 2011 , read count: 2

How's this for an admission? I went into this novel expecting the worst. I have had no luck with the big name young adult angel novels, and this one had gotten so little press and reviews on my favorite blogs that I just assumed it was kind of not great. And to prove my point of "Go into something with low expectations and you're sure to be pleasantly surprised", I loved this novel. In fact, I immediately did a search on Amazon and Goodreads to see if I was going crazy and I found I wasn't alone. The ratings for this novel were almost all good.

The story starts with a vision from Clara which leads her family to move in an attempt to make the vision come true since Clara's mother (an angelblood herself) declares that this is Clara's purpose in life. To fulfill this vision. Clara does not doubt her mother, so move they do. There Clara meets several others who will either help or hinder her in her purpose and she learns more about what it means to have a purpose and to have the blood of an angel.

Clara's story is an intriguing one which explores the concepts of duty versus love, destiny versus choices, and friendship versus family. The real winning conflict, to me, is destiny versus choices. This is an especially fitting conflict to be explored in a novel of angels and devils since God created angels without free will. How much do I love the author for explaining that in this novel and addressing how an angel would fall without God's express permission and orders?

I honestly never knew if Clara was making the right decisions, but it wasn't because I felt she was being dumb or vapid. Like Clara, we are given certain input and data, and based on that, we have to guess -- is Clara making the right decision? Does it matter if her soul gets slightly tarnished if we feel she's morally right? Or are her decisions ones which will have longer consequences than we can guess at?

I'm very excited for the next novel now. I want to know more about Clara's family members especially. Why is her mother so secretive and what is the deal with her brother? And, again, I'm so happy that I want to continue to read not based on the romance but based on the strength of the plot.

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