Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly coverUnearthly #1

A review by Elizabeth Manthos

★★★★☆ four out of five stars

Born to a half angel mother and a human father, Clara Gardner is Unearthly, part angel, which makes her faster, stronger and smarter than most humans. But as a semi diving being, Clara was put on this world for a purpose.

Clara is plagued by visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger. Her visions and this stranger lead her from sunny California, to a new school in new town somewhere in snow ridden Wyoming.

Enter Christian, the boy of her dreams (literally); he’s also drop dead gorgeous. Clara’s visions and purpose finally fall into place – until it falls out. Tucker, another boy comes into her life; sadly not the boy of her dreams, but one that appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her place in this world, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make. Choices between love and duty, good and evil, honesty and deceit and, ultimately, life and death.

With the huge choice Clara has to make, she finds out if she’s truly ready to face her destiny.

Upon first reading about this novel, I admit, I was sceptical. I had read other “angel novels” and they were subpar to say the least. Delving into Unearthly surprised me. Cynthia Hand had me hooked from the beginning, maybe simply because Clara is not your normal protagonist.

Clara as a main character was strong and, although part angel, ultimately very human. Her choices throughout the novel showed that, even though she is part divine creature, she still feels the difficulty in making a decision that could ultimately cost someone their life. And her purity.

I honestly thought this novel would be all about a girl falling for a guy, having to tell him her secret… your cliché YA romance. I was pleasantly surprised to read that this was not the case, it was ultimately all about a girl trying to find her place in this world and the struggle between doing what’s right and following your heart.

Cynthia Hand really had me on the edge of my seat at moments. There were a few scenes in the novel where something happened and my mouth literally dropped open in surprise. Ms Hand definitely knows how to write a good novel.

I would definitely recommend giving this novel a chance. It was entertaining and the story kept this reader guessing. Unearthly was a good, fun read.