Friday, April 12, 2013

review - Boundless

Boundless Cover Image

Four Stars
by: Cynthia Hand

Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: Unearthly Trilogy #3
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 438
Genre: Paranormal, Angels, YA
Get your copy: Amazon | B&N

Add to Goodreads

Summary: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Boundless Header Image
My Review
Techinically a review for Boundless, but I'm going to post my goodreads review for Unearthly from back in March 2011 and Radiant.

SPOILERS for series

Unearthly #1
This was my first angel story, and I loved it. Unlike most paranormal books, Unearthly starts off with Clara already knowing that she is different, that she is part angel. It was refreshing not to have to read the reaction to her finding this out. Unearthly started off with action.

Clara's family was interesting. Especially, her mother. She was very slow to reveal any information to Clara. Makes you question, "What is she hiding?" And the boys, totally swoon-worthy. Christian, who she is suppose to save. Tucker, who is just a distraction, but who doesn't love distractions? I loved Tucker's outdoorsy side, the skiing and hiking.

The last chapters were gut-wrenching. I honestly didn't know what she was going to decide. And the twist was awesome, definitely setup the next book nicely!

Hallowed #2
While I didn't write up a review for Hallowed, I do remember it having that slightly middle-book syndrome. There were some big reveals, secrets, and introductions made in Hallowed, including the congregation, characters' parentage, and the blackwings.

Radiant #2.5
I waited to read this right before I started Boundless. I know these e-novellas are suppose to tie readers over until the next in the series comes out, but I like holding on to them and reading them back to back.

Writing this review, I'm about 60% into Boundless. I can honestly say, that while some e-novellas are not needed, Radiant is pretty necessary to the story. I can't imagine reading Boundless without the knowledge that I got reading these 94 pages, which chronicles Clara and Angela's summer break in Italy and the introduction of Phen. Or maybe I would have interpreted Boundless differently, but that seems like it would have been a bait-n-switch (the whole Pierce/Phen thing).

Jumping from Radiant right into Boundless provided the perfect setup for the main attraction. Before you read Boundless pick this little gem up!

Boundless #3
Boundless starts with Clara and co. (Christian and Angela) heading off to Stanford, leaving one particular cowboy back at the ranch. Loved the college setting, had a new adult vibe, where the possibilities were a little wider for Clara. Having lost her mom, Clara truly is an adult and starts to make some big life decisions.

Clara and Christian struggle, or maybe awkwardly try, to define their relationship. With Tucker back in Wyoming, everyone questions when these two will make it official. Clara does recognize the inherent attraction between them, but is this a result of their visions and their purpose? The proverbial which came first, the chicken or the egg? Christian tries to let Clara find her own way to him; cue some of the sweetest and most honest lines from Christian. It also doesn't hurt that these two can't hide a lot from each other, with their mind-meld and all.

While I was absolutely in love with Tucker in Unearthly, my loyalties switched to Christian partly through Hallowed and totally in Boundless. This probably had to do with Christian simply being present; but he went way beyond being just a warm body. He understands Clara, her motivations, her world outlook, her world. Being brought together by their purposes, Christian let his heart lead him further to Clara. But I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder, in Clara's case.

Samjeeza has an interesting character arc in this installment; we never know quite where his loyalties lie or what his interest in Clara is. Makes for some tense moments between these two and a good payoff in the end. Actions taken in Radiant set in motion major plot points for Boundless, specifically Angela's vision and/or purpose.

Daring fights, excursions into hell, and darkwing encounters propelled this series toward a dramatic and fulfilling ending. As stated, I ended being Team Christian, so the ending was a little bittersweet. I do believe that Clara and Tucker are happy in the end, but knowing that Christian is out there possibly pining away for Clara…weepy just thinking about it. The slightly ambiguous timeframe/lives that Clara and Tucker have and the ongoing battle of good versus evil lets the characters' stories live a little longer in the readers' imaginations.

I must note Cynthia Hand's (via Clara's voice) writing had an awesome amount of snark and general nerdiness, see some of my favorite quotes below. This trilogy swept me off my feet from page one of Unearthly and delivers to the very last page of Boundless.

My Favorite Quotes
"A sword?"
"A flaming sword."
"Shut the front door," I gasp. - Christian and Clara page 42

"We are all connected, everything that lives and breathes in this world, and glory is what binds us."
Next thing he'll be talking about the Force, I know it. - Michael and Clara page 79

This is the part where my life becomes all apocalyptic, I think. - Clara page 103

Dad makes a face. "I think you'll find the sword more useful than anything else. And tasteful."
"An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age," I joke.
He doesn't get it, but my geekiness makes Christian smile, which counts for something." - Michael and Clara page 230

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