Release Date: January 4, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5
I read this a while ago on a whim and ended up really enjoying it, although I've yet to read the sequel >.< I'll get round to it eventually.
Unearthly tells the story of Clara Gardner, a teenage girl with some very unusual lineage; she's part angel. This first novel deals with one of the most important duties of angels - their 'purpose'. Having a purpose, for an angel, is basically like having something they have to do; they discover their purpose, like Clara, through dreams and visions. Clara dreams of a boy standing in a burning forest and knows she must save him. This mission leads her and her family to a new town where she finds the boy from her dreams. And then shit gets somewhat real.
What I really liked about this book was how well researched the angel mythology was; the idea of Glory, the visions and the knowledge of being put on Earth to do something meaningful felt more authentic than your standard YA angel mythology, in which they seem to be ~strong~ and ~sexy~ without being much of anything else. The focus on the angel mythology was also a really big part of the book's appeal to me, because it builds slowly right alongside Clara's own character development and thus never felt rushed. I'll also briefly mention an excellent reveal toward the end of the book, in which the angel mythology becomes truly fantastic:
(Highlight to view)
The Black Wings were undoubtedly my favourite reveal in the entire novel. I wasn't expecting it, even though Hand beautifully foreshadowed them with subtle hints throughout the book. Beautiful, powerful, fallen angels who carry around a sorrow so profound it cripples any angel that comes across them? SO COOL, I WANT MORE. Obviously I am here for any romance that could happen with Clara/her mother and any fallen angel because who am I. <<<
I also liked Clara, although I found her fascination with Christian deeply tedious. As a protagonist, she is interesting and likeable, and I found her refreshing because she truly loves being angelic. It was nice to read the POV of a teenage girl who was mostly accepting of who she is because you don't find that very often in mainstream YA anymore.
The romance is mostly lovely but this is because I enjoyed Tucker and Clara together. Their personalities were different but they still complimented each other really well, I thought. The two of them have some really sweet moments throughout the novel so that when the inevitable I love you's happen it feels natural as opposed to embarrassing for everyone involved, including the reader. I am not here for Christian and Clara in any capacity however; it's boring and predictable and I want more from a trilogy with this much potential.
In conclusion, this is a pretty good read with so much potential to keep getting better. This first novel leaves us with so many questions and brilliant developments SPOILER (JEFFREY ARE YOU FALLING I KNEW I LOVED YOU FROM THE MOMENT I MET YOUUUU) that made me really excited to read the next book in the series. Which I will do once I've emerged from my current to-read pile *salutes*