Book Club: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

The book cover

NB: This post will contain spoilers of you haven’t read the first book ‘Unearthly’, you can read my review on that book here: http://wp.me/p15PS8-qy.

This book is the Sequel to Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly, the story of angel-blood Clara who is trying to figure out and fulfill her purpose on earth, whilst being torn between two guys and being deathly scared that Samjeeza, the fallen angel she made an enemy of, will be back for her and her family.

After thinking she messed up her purpose by saving Tucker from the forest fire instead of Christian, and then finding out Christian is also an angel-blood who was having the same vision of saving Clara, she starts to have a new vision. In it she always see’s a cemetery and a funeral, but to her surprise, her boyfriend Tucker is nowhere to be seen, instead it is Christian who is by Clara’s side. Throughout the story Clara tries her best to avoid Christian and convince herself that she should be with Tucker; she loves him after all. But she and Christian find themselves thrown together a lot of the time because of their similarities, both being angel-bloods.

Clara convinces herself that because Tucker isn’t in her vision, he is the one that will die. She decides to try to protect him every moment she can, desperately afraid that Samjeeza will target him to get to her. But one night at angel club – a club that Angela forms to discuss all things angel and help each other figure things out along the way, consisting of herself, Clara, Christian and Clara’s brother Jeffrey – Clara has to face a devastating actuality; it’s not Tucker who’s going to die. It’s her mum.

After this realisation everything starts to fall apart. Clara and Christian are thrown together when Clara’s mother takes them to a congregation of angel-bloods, a member of which, Billy, will be Clara and Jeffrey’s guardian when their mother passes, to try to piece together Clara’s vision and prepare for what will happen. Also, Clara becomes increasingly distanced from Tucker with everything she has to deal with, and increasingly closer to Christian because she can share these things with him.

Christian is also very insistent with Clara; he believes they belong together because they are one of the same, and he reveals to Clara one day that he has been having a new vision and kisses her. Confused and insistent that she loves Tucker, Clara runs away, and it is not long after that their mother passes away. As if it wasn’t enough to be reeling in shock, Clara has to make some pretty big decisions about her future, as well as decide who she wants to be with.

I freaking love this story! Clara’s love for and want to be with Tucker was so strong that I did want them to stay together, but then as Christian becomes a bigger part of the picture, I found myself torn between who I wanted her to be with. Much like in the first book whereby at the start you want everything to work out between Clara and Christian, and then as the friendship between Clara and Tucker blossoms you want them to be together, the same thing happens in this story; even though I was glad she’s with Tucker there’s always that underlying fact that he cannot really accept her as she is, as shown when she brings glory. This coupled with the fact that she can be totally open with Christian and he very much believes that they belong together as their purposes indicate, you start to hope that she does chose Christian because in reality, he is an all round better match for her.

The plot twist of their mother dying was really heart wrenching and emotional. You see her become increasingly weaker as the story progresses and through Clara’s descriptions, can almost visualise, and so can empathise and sympathise with her having to watch that.

When Samjeeza comes back on the night of prom it’s a very tense scene and I found myself racing through the pages to see what would happen next. He threatens Tucker and Clara phone’s her mother who is too weak to come to her. On the one hand, it does break your heart because you know that she would help if she could, and on the other hand it gives Clara the chance to fight her own battle. Also when Clara sits down with her mum and she tells Clara how she was as a teen, and finally tells her daughter what her purpose was, I was tearing up. It was so well written and emotional, and could maybe be seen as a little bit of an insight into why Clara is being so insistent with the idea of Tucker.

Also, the inclusion of Clara’s dad and the nature of her mother and father’s relationship was so tender and loving that it did just make me want to cry, as did the death scene and the funeral. However, the funeral scene was charged with anticipation for the return of Samjeeza as well as the aftermath of Clara’s revelation that Christian kissed her.

The subplot involving Jeffrey and his purpose was also an interesting one that had me guessing at what he was up to, and I really can’t wait to see what comes of that. I really can’t wait to see what comes of all of the situations in actual fact. I really want to know how the Clara/Christian situation ends, what happens with Jeffrey, how Clara will fare now that her mother’s gone, and I’m really hoping to see more of their father.

The ending of the book was beautifully done. Very emotional and showed that even after everything that has happened there is something else out there, and had a sense of hope to it. I really enjoyed the story as a whole and I’m really excited for the next book to see how the story progresses, and what other twists and turns Cynthia Hand can throw in there. 🙂

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