Pages: 403 pages
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: 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.
The idea of fallen angels (or angel/human relationships) has never seemed romantic to me, but rather creepy and demonic so I usually avoid angel books with very few exceptions, Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly, being one of them. I really enjoyed it and thought there was a clear delineation between good and evil in the story. The protagonists were descendants of fallen angels, part human and part angel, who had a purpose on Earth to do good and oppose the evil fallen angels, or blackwings. Hallowed, on the other hand, introduced new characters, blurred the lines a bit and romanticized full blooded angels in a way that I’m not sure that I liked.
Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off with Clara, Tucker and Christian about to start their senior year of high school. The first portion of the book is filled with a lot of angst as Clara agonizes if by going against her vision, she has ruined her life by not completing her purpose in life.
Clara’s angst is understandable. At 17, all she wants to do is to hang out with her boyfriend and not worry about destiny and the consequences of going against your given purpose. Of course, her life is more complicated than that. Clara has her moments where she throws a tantrum and contemplates changing her life to suit her boyfriend (all realistic for a girl her age), but she does get it together and her character experiences more growth and maturity than in book one.
I have to talk about the love triangle in Hallowed. I don’t like love triangles but if you are a writer and you are going to include one in your book, this is the way to do it. Clara does not go annoyingly back and forth about which boy she wants to be with. She loves one of them but feels like destiny is pushing her to another and she resents it. It’s also hard to be annoyed by this triangle when both boys are fantastically written and Clara would be good with either one.
My personal misgivings about human/angel relationships aside, this book is extremely well written. Hand easily side steps the second-book-in-a-series-slump by writing a book with a winning plot, adding interesting new characters while still engaging us with the old ones and throwing in relevant plot twists. Hallowed is an emotional book with rich relationships and did I say amazing writing? It would have been easy for Hand to cheapen certain situations in the book but she didn’t. I can’t get too spoilery but there is incredible love and loss and it is very well done.
There is no cliffhanger at the end of Hallowed but readers will definitely be chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. The next book in the series will be out next year.
Content: Kissing and violence
My Rating: Really Good!