Publication date: January 17th, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Paranormal, Angels
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her 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.
I was not the biggest fan of the first book by Cynthia Hand, Unearthly. I liked it fine, but I was not crazy about it. Of course, I wouldn't miss a chance to read part 2, Hallowed, when I saw it on NetGalley. I don't know if it's the books' fault or mine though, because I think I enjoyed Hallowed even less than Unearthly.
I felt like Hallowed kinda lacked the innocence and playfulness Unearthly had. It seemed to me that it was more dark in a way and more fatalistic. Certainly glummer and more morose than its predecessor. Granted, the books are about the fight between the good angels and the bad, so one would think that as the story moves forward, books will get even darker and more ominous. Thing is though, there was no story evolving in Hallowed. Apart from one thing that was very important in Clara's life, there is nothing else going on to justify the creation of a whole book consisting of 416 pages! Obviously, Hand wanted to develop her characters and there was plenty of that in Hallowed. Everything that's in there has to do with Clara's relationship with either Tucker or Christian and how these relationships move forward or take a step back. We also take a peek at Clara's relationship with her mother, which I personally wasn't fond of, since Clara's mother is definitely not my favorite character.
The feeling I got while reading Hallowed is that Clara comes across as this very wise, learned, 80 year old woman. And she shouldn't have because she is 16! From the way she was written and her lines, I thought that she was a miserable girl that had to carry the whole world on her shoulders and she hated every minute of it. Naturally, seeing that she is a teen and wants nothing more than normal teenage-y stuff, like having boyfriend trouble, hanging out with friends and not doing her homework. What I got from Carla though, was that, even when she was with a boy and felt happy, she later felt regret for feeling happy because she had all these problems to solve and everyone depended on her to solve them. In other words, she had savior-syndrome. I think it was too much burden for a young girl to handle and eventually it cost the book its "frivolity", small amount of which is absolutely necessary in YA books.
I just wish there was more going on in Hallowed. That way the characters could get involved in action instead of sulking and brooding all the time, worrying about their dismal future. I'm not even gonna dwell on the triangle and who Clara ends up with blah blah. Clara's relationships with the boys is the whole book. If that's what you're into, then I absolutely recommend Hollowed.