Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
January 17, 2012; HarperTeen



Source: Library

Summary

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. (courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Hallowed was...good. I realize that "good" is the blandest descriptor aside from "interesting," but it is the best summation of my feelings about Hallowed. To be more specific, Hallowed was a step up from "okay," but a step below "really good." The interesting thing is that I read Angelfire and Unearthly within a few weeks of each other. I much preferred Unearthly. A year later, I read Wings of the Wicked and Hallowed within a few weeks of each other, but this time I preferred Wings of the Wicked.

I can't entirely describe what I disliked about Hallowed. Partially it was the lack of the qualities that made me love the first book so much. Especially Tucker. I adored Tucker in Unearthly. He had such a distinctive, funny, pleasant personality. He is still a large part of this novel, but their relationship has moved into the typical troubled "second book" realm. Instead of seeing sweet Tucker, he's either absent or jealous of the time Christian and Clara spend together. Aside from Tucker, the book just didn't capture me. When you read a book, you either gel with it or you don't. There's not always a rhyme or reason.

Moving on to what I liked about Hallowed and why I think most people will really enjoy it. The plot is stronger in this book than in Unearthly. There is a strong theme of choice versus destiny. Clara is fighting her pre-destined purpose. Is that the right thing to do? As time goes by, even Clara wonders whether she wants to fight destiny - or what she thinks destiny is. The theme causes the reader to pause and think about our own lives. In that way, Hallowed feels more important than the typical fluff paranormal.

There are several huge plot twists. Clara has a vision that someone she knows is going to die, but doesn't know who. She also learns a lot more about her past and her family. It doesn't sound all that exciting when I describe the plot, but I don't want to say anything to spoil it. Needless to say, I was very surprised. I only wish the plot development had started a little earlier. The first major twist showed up about halfway through. Up to that point, I was quite bored.

As I mentioned above, "second book" syndrome affects Clara and Tucker. Mostly because she and Christian spend so much time together doing angel stuff. As much as I love Tucker in Unearthly, my affection is changing. I am now Team Christian. I don't even like the guy all that much. He's a bit too "white bread" for my taste, but he feels right for Clara. Hallowed doesn't break any new ground in the love triangle storyline, but it still manages to be compelling.

If you liked Unearthly, you will probably really like Hallowed. I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy it very much. The second book advances the story and gets us deeper into the characters and their relationships. I did like Hallowed, but I wasn't able to lose myself in the story. It remained a book that I was forcing myself to get through because I wanted to know what was going to happen rather than because I was enthralled.

Rating: 3 / 5

14 comments :

  1. Great review! Unfortunately this book was "okay" but not "really good". Mostly because I'm a Team Tucker fan so I guess lot's of Tucker fans will be disappointed with this book. But it's funny seeing so many fans switching from Team Tucker to Team Christian . . . still sucks for fans like me since I will never switch. haha.

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  2. I was upset with the lack of Tucker in this one. I hate Christian. He is so bland and as Tucker called him "a smug bastard" I have no good feelings about him. There was a big thing with the choice versus destiny. I don't like when books go the destiny route. I want character to choose what is best for them. I didn't feel like Clara was choosing Christian. I just felt like she thought she was stuck and might as well not fight it. I want her to fight or at least really believe Christian is better for her and I didn't feel her doing either.

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  3. That's why I've been putting off reading this. I saw the spoiler early on that she goes more for Christian in this book and I know I'm going to loathe that. Tucker is totally what made Unearthly a good read for me. NOOOO!

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  4. I agree with you on Tucker - he was the highlight of the first book for me with his sarcasm and country-boy adorableness and I'd hoped he'd be a bigger part of this story. That being said though, I loved this one overall, mostly because of the huge revelations you mentioned:) Hopefully book 3 will grab you from page one Alison!

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  5. I agree with you that "Hallowed" has a very different tone than "Unearthly". Yes, Tucker isn't visible as much in this one, but I was really glad to get to know Christian much more. The huge revelations were also a surprise but I enjoyed the more thinking aspect to this one.

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  6. Yep Tucker was awesome and seemed to fade in Hallowed. I actually began to love Christian much more and ended up thinking that they would be much better for each other. I loved the plot twists!
    Too bad you didn't love it more, I hope the next one will do :))

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  7. I agree with your review mostly. For me, nothing really interesting happened in Hallowed yet it still managed to keep me reading. I did love the plot twists, but that's about it. As for Tucker and Christian... I've always been Team Christian but I still love me some Tucker and wish there was a bit more of him.
    Great review!

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  8. Aw--Tucker has fallen out of favor? I really liked him so much better than Christian who was so...plain. I STILL haven't read this one--it's sitting on my Kindle. *sigh*

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  9. I haven't read this series, but I have heard a lot about Tucker, so I'm sorry to hear that he doesn't appear to be the same loveable character from the first book. Too bad. I haven't been much interested in this series, I don't really care for angel stories, but I do own book one, so I will try to read it someday.

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  10. I too enjoyed the first much more than this one! I really liked Tucker in Unearthly but you're right, he got borderline boring in this book. Still am very much looking forward to the final book in the series though. :) Here's hoping for some fireworks.

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  11. This book made me cry! AHHHH! I can't wait for the next one.

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  12. Great review and I remember talking with you in the car about both of these books and why too . This is one of the better angel series that I enjoy. I missed Tucker too.

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  13. I did like Unearthly but at this point I don't remember much about it. Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  14. I thought Hallowed was a bit better than Unearthly, but I agree it wasn't earth-shattering or anything. I liked Christian better in this book and Tucker better in the last too. I hate when I do that, makes me feel wishy washy, haha. Anyway, thanks for the review!

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