Friday, 4 April 2014

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2) by Cynthia Hand

Description from Goodreads:
For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.
Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves 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.
In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

It was nice to start reading Hallowed, because when I started reading Unearthly, I didn't like the first book at all. But then the more I read Unearthly, the more I started liking it and in the end I was quite smitten by it. So it was super nice to get on with the second instalment of the trilogy. I really liked the relationship between Clara and Tucker, and I just couldn't wait to get some more.

But I was a bit disappointed that in the end of Hallowed we don't really get that much Tucker action. Instead, we are more focused on the relationship between Clara and Christian. I have always been Team Tucker, but I have to admit, the book two really made me question my choice of team. Even though Tucker is the dreamiest and kindest guy, Christian turns out to be pretty decent guy too. I would have never guessed that I would end up liking him! Christian is the perfect combination of patient and eager, nice and bad. In a way, I'm pretty content that my dislike for Christian turned into admiration, but I'm still a bit disappointed that Clara seems to be becoming more drawn to Christian than Tucker. Let's hope that Team Tucker will thrive in the third book!

I also grew to like Angela more in the second book. In the book one, I found her a bit too passive-aggressive and know-it-all, but at some point I noticed that I was relating more to her than I was to Clara. There is something about Angela (maybe because she is a bit of an outside, a bookworm, and very ambitious) that just made me smile whenever she was talking. I like her witty attitude and her verbal flexibility. Another character who triggered my interest was Samjeeza. He is a very tragic character, and even though he is a terrible creature, I'm just dying to know more about him and the Black wings in general. I love that Hand didn't write him just as the personification of the evil, but we get to see how he can be vulnerable as well. There is always something about those malicious bad guys who might have been decent at some point, but in the end chose the bad side - the complexity makes me so intrigued!

I didn't expect though that the book would made me laugh! There were some pretty good one-liners that actually made me snigger. Also the references to Fight Club and other popular books were spot on and gave the book some comical aspect to it. I can't remember if the first book had its share of humour, but I think that Hallowed did do better job on that than Unearthly. The jokes weren't pushed too far and felt really natural part of the narrative/dialogue. The book wasn't all about joking around and having cultural reference, but those additions were well paced and slowly started to cease when the end of the book was near which really emphasised the chancing atmosphere nicely. 

One of the things that made me like Hallowed a tiny bit less is because the plot was rather stable throughout the whole book. Yeah sure, there were some twists and some of them were even quite surprising, but most of the time the ups and downs didn't feel very intense or monumental. For example, the readers get to know this very emotional turn of events in Clara's life, which in itself warsreally sad, but I wish there was more elaboration to it. I'm sure the handling of this issue will continue in Boundless, but I thought there would be more to it in Hallowed. By all this I don't mean I was bored while reading or that I didn't like the book, but I just felt like something was missing from the plot (the excitement, maybe?), but I can't put my finger on it. 

I'm a bit torn between 3 and 4 stars. Initially I was thinking about giving 4, but maybe I should give 3 after all because the plot felt a bit flat to me. There were plenty of things I did appreciate like the character development of Christian and Samjeeza, but I really can't just ignore the fact that story line didn't float my boat that much. But then again, I did really like Hallowed in general. So maybe it's 4 stars? 

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