Synopsis: Clara Gardner knew that as a part angel she would one day have to fulfill her purpose, rescuing Christian from a forest fire…what she never considered was what might happen if she were to fail.
Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend Tucker, Clara must deal with the repercussions of what happened the day of the fire as the two boys vie for her heart. And, as she is drawn further into the world of angels and 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 after a shocking revelation, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning…
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cynthia Hand’s Hallowed is the second book in the Unearthly series. What I previously said about Unearthly also holds true for Hallowed. While I wasn’t as descriptive for my love of Unearthly, back then, let me take the moment now to express my love for Hallowed. I just hope that I can express my feelings properly.
Unearthly was a book about Clara’s journey of self-discovery. It was the beginning of Clara’s vision, her goal, her purpose. I witnessed a budding romance for Clara, and fell in love with a cowboy named Tucker. I found out who Christian was and my heart grew. Unearthly was light, funny, and filled with love. Hand introduced me to a unique series, one that I quickly fell in love with.
In the beginning of Hallowed, Clara Gardner is recovering from the aftermath of the fire. She is facing her decision to go against her purpose. Clara is no longer the young, immature, and naïve girl of Unearthly. Instead, Hand matured her to reflect on the decisions and face the consequences of her actions. Clara’s relationships between her mother, Jeffrey, Tucker, Angela, even Christian, are tested and tried in Hallowed. With the obligations of fulfilling her purpose, to getting to understand Christian, Clara goes into a deeper, more serious mindset – at least in my opinion. She understands the weight of her decisions and finally takes her responsibilities a little more seriously.
The level of intensity in Hallowed is not for the faint of heart. The dangers have increased, the emotional turmoil has gone beyond the boiling point, and the amount of tears shed have broken the dam. Hallowed is about choices and decisions. Hallowed is about fulfilling purposes, believing in faith, and most of all trusting in a higher power. And like with most things, Clara has choices. One of those choices is the inevitable: Christian or Tucker.
I was prepared to write a breakdown about the differences and similarities between Christian and Tucker, but you know what? Unlike most love triangles, Hand has written this in a way where either choice isn’t so bad. She has allowed me, the reader, to accept the inevitable and face reality. I think this is the only story where I was okay with the choices and decisions that Clara had to make, when it came to these two.
How could I not love them both equally? Tucker is the first love, but Christian is the right choice. There are events in the story (which I won’t spoil for you) that made my emotions spiral out of control. I fell in love with each boy, as well as hate them equally. I cried and my heart ached. Why? Because while Unearthly was light and airy, Hallowed is dark and deep.
Each individual relationship has changed. From Clara’s mother, all the way down to Christian, nothing has been spared. Hand shows her talent by bringing you to the other side of the emotional scale. She has given me the chance to get to know each character a little better, allowing me to understand who each one is individually. I was able to understand different viewpoints, seeing the how their choices have affected them. Each character is important individually, and they each play an essential role in Clara’s life.
Hand’s writing is impeccable. Her words flowed throughout each page, and I connected to the world, her characters, and the story that she wrote. What I connected the most with was the amount of “faith” written throughout the book. From the wings, to the glory, I felt a level of love for a subject that I don’t normally read from other authors. It’s clear that Hand is passionate about the world and culture written in Hallowed.
But I will be honest. I died reading this book. I don’t think I cried so much about a story, and a middle book at that! I didn’t think my emotions could take all the heart-break. I didn’t think I could survive the amount of love. Most times, a middle book is a filler, but Hallowed was a strong book with very strong emotions and messages.
This was the first 2012 book that I read. And for the rest of you 2012 books? You have some serious competition. Everything I felt about Unearthly? I felt in Hallowed. It is such an amazing book. Such an emotional and powerful read. Maybe even more so than Unearthly.