Sunday, December 5, 2010


Cynthia Hand

Unearthly is the first book in a trilogy from debut author Cynthia Hand.  And it's pretty amazing.  This supernatural romance follows Clara Gardner, who's part angel, and is learning about her powers as she grows into them, including her "purpose," which is a calling that comes to her in dreams, letting her know the mission that she must complete on Earth.  When Clara uncovers a clue that lets her know exactly where the burning forest in her visions take place, her mother immediately uproots her and her brother to move from Sunny California to small-town Wyoming, a jarring transition, especially as Clara isn't exactly welcomed with open arms.  But the boy she's meant to rescue, Christian, is in her sights as she slowly builds a life for herself, a life that takes her to some unexpected places, making friends along the way.  The angel mythology that Hand builds for this novel is pretty grand and mysterious, and thoughtfully created.  It's a lot of fun watching as Clara slowly comes to learn about the angel world, and just how magical it is.  But of course danger comes with the territory as well, as Clara encounters first-hand.  But it seems that Clara's biggest battle is of the heart, as she wages a war of emotions between the man she's come to Wyoming to save, and the boy whom she's come to really enjoy spending time with.  All of the relationships in this book come off as very authentic, growing organically from the story and the circumstances they find themselves in.  The characters are very fully-formed, with plenty of secrets and emotions roiling just beneath the surface.  While Hand certainly does the supernatural/action-y stuff really, really well, it's the characters that really drive the story and make it so exceptional.  Themes of responsibility, love and, above all, destiny, are at the heart of this story that is insightful, engrossing and perfectly paced to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  I'm definitely hungry for more from this new author.

Unearthly will be in stores 1/4/2011.

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