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Review: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Review: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

by GTMeghanApril 13, 2012

TLDR Recap:

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy. Unearthly is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: Unearthly
  • Series: Unearthly book #1
  • Author: Cynthia Hand
  • Prominent Characters: Clara, Tucker
  • Recommended Reader Age: 14+
  • Sexual Content Level: Very little, practically none

*** This review may CONTAIN SPOILERS. Read on at your own risk. ***


Clara’s mother is half angel. Dimidius, to be exact. Which would make Clara a Quartarius. Being an angel blood means that you are not only unbelievably attractive but you are also smarter, stronger, faster and have a “purpose”. Your purpose is the reason why you exist, what you are truly meant to do on earth. Your purpose could be anything from saving someone from a potentially life threatening incident to passing a message along to someone and Clara learns that it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.She’s known since she was fourteen years old what she was, and that someday she would have to fulfill her purpose. So, when Clara has a vision of a truck’s license place, and a boy in a forest fire, she finds herself transplanted from sunny California to podunk Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her life has been a whirlwind of trying to make sense of the vision, making new friends, finding where she fits in, and trying to capture the interest of the cute boy starring in her visions. Oh, and not to mention being called Carrots every other day by the hella obnoxious brother of her new friend, Wendy.

So, here’s where it gets super spoiler-y. I seriously expected Clara to end up with Christian. I mean, it totally makes sense. She has the vision about him, he dumps his crazy hag beast of a girlfriend, and they end up going to prom. But, it doesn’t happen that way, which I found refreshing. So often, you see the lead female protagonist falling for the first guy introduced in the book, but <em>Unearthly</em> wisely takes a fresh approach. She and Tucker start to spend more time together and fall in love. I freaking know, right?! I never saw it coming. I actually kind of thought that she would end up ‘falling from grace’ or whatever, but it turned out that Christian was completely irrelevant to the entire thing. I’m totally not going to ruin the book for everyone else, so I’ll shut up now. /end spoilers

Clara was a pretty likeable character. She struggles just like everyone else, even though she’s part angel. She isn’t genetically superior in every way, and in a lot of ways, she seemed just like an average teenager trying to get through day to day life and get out of high school. I also really liked that her friends were legit characters in the book, and weren’t just props for our star. They were real people with real depth, and had total likeability. Even though Angela was super weird, but that’s just her character, I think.

Clara’s world of angels and half-bloods unveils gradually, little by little. There’s no info-dump — Hand slowly lets the reader into the story and the world. The mythology was not complicated, but you could immediately see that it’d been well researched and there wasn’t any plot holes in sight, thank God.

Memorable Quotes:

Clara on flying:

“I’m flying!”

Of course, I’m not flying so much as coasting over the treetops like a hang glider or a freakishly large flying squirrel.

If you liked Unearthly…

If you enjoyed Unearthly, I recommend Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, featuring angels, demons, and tortured, sensitive man candy.

Final Thoughts:

This book went above and beyond my expectations. I adored it from beginning to end (even though the ending was a teensy bit rushed, I thought), and I seriously can’t wait for the second installment! Team Tucker all the way!!

Rating: Unearthly


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