Saturday 27 April 2013

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand


Clara is a quarter angel--an angel blood. Raised by her half-angel mother, she lives a relatively normal life until receives a vision telling her of her 'purpose': a mission on earth that an angel blood must complete during their lifetime. To complete her purpose, she moves to the town she saw in her vision and meets the boy of her dreams (literally): Christian. But as Christian makes everything seem to fall into place, another boy, Tucker, appeals to her human side. As Clara begins to find out more about her destiny, she becomes tangled in secrets beyond her. 


This book was recommended by a friend, and the reviews for this book were generally high, so I gave it a shot. Overall, I would say it was a pretty decent book. 

I loved the mythology. Lately, a lot of paranormal/fantasy authors have been giving very little thought about the mythology and background of their subject matter. An example would be Evermore (but we don't talk about Evermore). I love authors who clearly gave thought about making their mythology both recognizable yet unique, and Cynthia Hand did just that in this book. The idea of half or quarter angels answered some major questions I had about angel mythology. 

On to our protagonist, Clara. She's an interesting character, and a breath of fresh air for me. She actually acts the way a normal person would act (except, you know, for the angel bits), and less like the romanticized, overdramatic stereotype most YA authors seem to have for teenaged girls. She could flirt successfully and keep up a lighthearted conversation with the guys she likes and does blush, squeal and become a stuttering mess the minute he tries to talk to her. And when she's in love with the guy, it doesn't stop her from having lighthearted conversations with him. Honestly, I loved that about her. She has her insecurities, and she does get nervous around the guys she likes, but Cynthia Hand portrays her realistically and doesn't overdo her character there. 

I liked the supporting characters a lot. Her mother, for example, is a wonderful mystery, and the little clues she drops leave you wanting more and coming up with theories without realizing it. Her brother, while probably one of the more stereotypical and flat characters, is realistic (I mean, he's not portrayed as "too young" or "too bratty" or "too nice". He acts the way a normal brother would.) And for that, Cynthia Hand, I applaud you. 

But I had some major issues with this plot. 

The biggest issue, would be the goddamn love triangle. I love love triangles generally. I don't get pissed off by them like a lot of reviewers are getting, but this was just crossing the line. Clara's love for Tucker just felt sudden and forced. *this is a major spoiler* I mean, they flirted for ages, but they only properly hung out together for a few days before Clara decided to proclaim her undying love for him. It just felt ridiculous. And I don't use that word too often. And while Tucker is portrayed to the likable side, I just didn't think that I, as a reader, has enough time to get to know him before he became such a *suddenly* big part of the plot. It felt like only a few pages. It probably only was a few pages. *end spoiler* And Christian. Christian is your typical broody bad boy love interest. He has a funny side and Clara keeps having visions of him and stuff. Great. I did like him more than Tucker, mainly because nothing much really happened between him and Clara. I understood where he was coming from, and I enjoyed Clara's interactions with him. 

So um

Grade: B+ I'm trying to be a bit more brutal with my grading, but generally different from the other books. Give it a try.

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