by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #3
Publication Date: 22 January 2013
HarperTeen, Hardcover, 438 pages
WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST 2 BOOKS.
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.
About a little more than a year ago, Unearthly was the first book I ever read about angels. I am completely thankful for that because it was really good and I didn’t get the mentality that all angel books were bad books (which many readers got if they were introduced to the genre through Hush, Hush and/or Fallen). The second book of this trilogy, Hallowed, however, was a slight disappointment what with Clara pushing Tucker away when all he wanted was to be there for her. But… Boundless was simply amazing.
I’ve got to admit I had a pretty bad case of memory loss concerning the plot when I just started on it, due to the fact that I wasn’t really into Hallowed, the previous book. Luckily, after crazily Googling on the events of the past books, I finally remembered. One thing about this trilogy I’ve always marveled at is Cynthia Hand’s ability to squeeze a whole year of events into 400+ pages. Thus, the novels were definitely fast-paced and Boundless was no exception.
A very fascinating fact about Boundless that set it apart from other YA paranormal books is the emphasis on family. Although Clara’s mom died back in Hallowed, her influence still played a big role in Clara’s life. Moreover, Clara’s worry for Jeffrey was extremely realistic. Being an elder sibling myself, I understand her frustration at Jeffrey for being so stubborn and her hurt at how strained their relationship have become. If my brother and I went through what they did… I definitely would do everything I could to make sure he made it out alive, just like what Clara did.
Another great and different aspect of Boundless was the fact that in the love angle, both guys were likable and generally decent guys with their own differences. Neither Tucker nor Christian had any trait that screamed trouble or bad-news which is usually the case in young-adult love angles these days. Have I ever mentioned how much bad-boys who are only attractive because they are well, bad, annoys me? I don’t see why there should be a love angle when one of the contenders are clearly unfit for the protagonist.
Okay, moving on from my love angle rant, the decency of both guys made it hard for even me to decide who to ship. Therefore, I was actually fine with Clara ending up with any of them, at least at first. After truly getting into the book, I realised what Tucker and Clara had was special. The love-conquers-all sort of love! What’s crazy was that though Tucker was not present in most parts of the book, his presence in his scenes was so strong, Clara and his love so blatant, even when unspoken. That was something no one, not even Christian, who seem to always be part of Clara’s purpose, could come between. At least in my opinion.
The plot of Boundless had countless twists that will leave you stunned and wanting more. The adventure, emotions and characters were absolutely stunning and original. If you strip away all the angelic stuff and boy problems, the story at it’s core, is nonetheless still extremely relatable to teenagers – finding the purpose in one’s life. I laughed, I cried (especially when Tucker or Clara’s mom is concerned), I sympathized, I held my breath and felt so mad I constantly snapped at people around me (unintentionally) at different points of this book. Simply put, it turned me into a raging ball of emotions, when I’m already an extremely emotional person to begin with.
Boundless is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year, with a perfect ending to the trilogy. It was just sweet enough not to go over the line of ruination. We all know the vertical drop from a flawless ending to overkill too well. As expected, this would be yet another read that needs to be accompanied by tissues and a private place to sweat through your eyes. Having loved Boundless as much as I did, I sure would recommend the Unearthly trilogy to all angel lovers out there!