By Cynthia Hand
January 22, 2013
Ages 13 and up
Reviewed: ARC from Publisher
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.
I’ll admit that the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand started off as just “average” to me. UNEARTHLY was “good”, HALLOWED was “great”, but BOUNDLESS, the final book in the Unearthly series, was absolutely FANTASTIC!
Through the series we get to see Cynthia’s writing mature much like the character, Clara. Initially, I thought that Clara was a self-absorbed, practically spineless teenager with few redeeming qualities. But in BOUNDLESS, there is plenty of evidence of her maturity, as well as her mental and physical growth. The qualities that I hated about Clara in book one are even addressed/acknowledged in BOUNDLESS in such a way that makes it obvious that Cynthia fully intended Clara to become a fully transformed individual. She transforms her from being a “care for oneself” girl to a “care for others” woman in a way that is both realistic and endearing. Here, Clara is strong, snarky and completely lovable. In the end, I wanted the best for Clara – but whether or not my wishes were granted are for you to find out (and find out, you must!)
You can tell that Cynthia thought Clara’s journey through from the very beginning. Nothing is set in stone. No character is safe from harm. Everything WILL CHANGE in this installment. I could not predict where the story was taking me as I read. All I knew that there was danger – lots of danger – and though I may not agree with all of the character’s decisions at the time they were made, there were plenty of “oh, SNAP!” moments when suddenly character choices from book one, book two and in the present suddenly made complete sense. Suddenly, I look back at UNEARHTLY and realize I like it a whole lot more with my current understanding after having read BOUNDLESS.
I cannot recommend this series enough, not just to fans of angel fiction, but to YA readers as a whole.
While my opinion of the series has changed (i.e. improved) one thing that has remained a constant is my love for Tucker. (Team Cowboy Hat. Team Tight Jeans. Team Carrots. Team Tucker 100%.) And because of my stance on that subject, there were plenty of laughs, plenty of swoons, as well as plenty of tears to be had while reading BOUNDLESS. I only with that I could have seen more Tucker in this book – though I must say that the few scenes in which he appears are MORE than satisfactory. Regardless of what “Team” you might be on, I think that everyone will be satisfied with the resolution.
BOUNDLESS takes us on a heart-pounding and oftentimes fatal chase across the country that ultimately leads us to one of the most beautifully tragic endings I have ever read in an angel series. It all comes to a solid and complete resolution – with some very minor, open-ended story lines (for some of the supporting characters) that could potentially allow for additional stories in this world. I look forward to reading those when (if) they appear. One can only hope that they do.
All other angel stories take note: It’s going to be darn near impossible to top the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand.