Cynthia Hand’s first novel, Unearthly, was my first-ever angel book, and I really lucked out with it. I think it’ll always be special to me. However, when it came to reading the sequel, Hallowed, I was less than eager because it was obviously going to have some intense love triangle business. And I’ve never been a fan of love triangles. But I finally caved and decided to try it out.
So, let’s talk about the love triangle. Christian vs. Tucker, angel boy vs. cowboy. Towards the middle of the second half, I was getting annoyed by the whole “we’re destined to be together” spiel. I just hate the idea that Clara has no free will and has to be with Christian because that’s their God-given “purpose.”
However, Hand did manage to handle things pretty well. I still don’t like love triangles, but I think the author did a good job with hers. Clara did make the final decision for herself, and there was closure at the end. Sad, heartbreaking closure, but there was closure. Of course, I’m sure that we’re not done with either guy, so we’ll see.
Otherwise, though, I still like Clara as a main character. She’s independent and strong, and she definitely didn’t like it when Christian tried to convince her that she didn’t have a choice in falling in love with him. I find her situation interesting, actually. She’s a girl who strongly believes that Edward Cullen isn’t a dreamboat (she says so—yay pop culture references!), but she’s stuck in a situation where it looks like her only option is to go along with this guy, even if she isn’t sure she wants to.
I really admire Hand for trying out that characterization, because it wold only be too easy for Clara to have succumbed to Swan Syndrome.
That actual plot for Hallowed is, well…kind of heartbreaking. Clara keeps having these dream-visions of a funeral, and she knows someone close to her is going to die. This is where I love Hand’s ability to bring reality into her paranormal novel. Dealing with death is a very realistic, human thing to face. Sure, there’s a Dark Wing bad dude after Clara, which is a nice conflict, but I liked Hand’s touch of reality too.
Yet while there are a lot of sad elements in Hallowed, I wouldn’t say this is a sad book. It’s got a pretty positive spin to it, and in the end things are looking up for Clara and her crew of angel buddies. Book number three, Boundless, is pretty promising, and I’ll definitely continue with the series from here.
Oh! And just as an aside, if you’re going to use a foreign language in your book, make sure you get that checked over. Hand had a few errors with her Spanish, which I’m 98% sure weren’t intentional.
I’ve still only read three angel books so far, and since Cynthia Hand has done such a good job, I’m not sure if I need to read any more. Hallowed is a great book with a touching plot and a likable protagonist.