Rating: 4/5 stars.
Unearthly is one of those books that you finish and then forget about in a couple of days. That sounds harsh, but I am not implying that I didn’t enjoy it. I liked Cynthia Hand’s smooth and simple storytelling, though it wasn’t especially memorable.
A lot of people have been talking trash about the young-adult paranormal genre recently, specifically paranormal romance. While I cannot comment on the validity of those criticisms (I’m getting behind on my reading because of school), I can say that the appeal of paranormal stories has been thoroughly exploited and taken advantage of. So much to the point where any book an author writes is subjected to accusations of plagiarism: vampires? Twilight. werewolves? Shiver. fallen angels? Halo, Hush, Hush, and… Heavenly. I don’t agree with these claims, though the books themselves are becoming a bit dull.
That isn’t true of Unearthly, however. Hand’s intertwining of the divine world of the fallen angels and the definitive, human life of Clara Gardner is expertly done. Reading Unearthly is an effortless experience; you can pick up the book, and Hand’s writing will whisk you away into Clara’s story and her struggle to decode who she is. She also, unsurprisingly, has to choose between two attractive guys. If anyone’s curious, I vote Tucker.
The only problem I had reading this book was that I felt no immanency, no sense of conflict or danger. Despite Clara’s purpose and her vision I did not feel compelled to pick up the book and tear through the pages to see what was going to happen next. The climax fell flat for me as well, and its cop-out feel disappointed me even more because the entire book had been leading up to it.
So, if it weren’t for the fact that the book was due back to the library on Wednesday I probably wouldn’t have finished it until today. A good read, but not one that would keep me up at night.