“Unearthly” – Is It “Twilight” With Angels?

Book Review : Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Spoiler Alert!

unearthlyIn the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

There are some definite parallels in Unearthly to Twilight, however, it is not your typical copy cat. As I have stated before, I get irritated when a new novel will simply plagiarise another popular book. Unearthly does feature a love triangle, a boy who is beautiful enough to be a god and supernaturally powerful beings. Thankfully Cynthia Hand does distinguish Unearthly from Twilight because the main character, Clara, is not whinny and is driven to fulfill her purpose. Overlaying a species of angels with humanity was a fun mix because there was an element of mystery and discovery for the reader to learn about angels.

Hand references the Bible for her idea for Unearthly “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the angels went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were  the heroes of old, men of renown. – Genesis 6:4” However, it should be noted this reference is not even close to the KJV, but perhaps there is another version that more closely resembles her passage. That takes chutzpah to rewrite the Holy Bible.

Both of the leading men are charming. Tucker would get my vote because he is a really good guy and not supernatural! He also has flaws, like blowing up at Clara the first time they met. Mind you, she almost hit his beloved truck and so he had good reason to be annoyed with her. Christian is another good guy and he wants to do the right thing. He is the boy described as being as beautiful as a god and (spoiler alert) he is another angel. He is also flawed, which makes him more interesting than if he was perfect.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of the plot, but I will say that this book would be considered a guilty pleasure. There is not a lot of substance and it was great to read for something fun and light. The relationships are not overtly sexual which is refreshing and makes it fully appropriate for just about any teenage girl. I don’t believe it will appeal to young men.

3.5 out of 5 stars (literary value)
4.5 out of 5 stars (enjoyment value) When I went back and looked at this I think I would actually rank it lower since I don’t want to read any more.

– the Mother

The teen has not taken the opportunity to read this novel for review.


About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow cooked in a tagine. Weekly I get together with friends and go to yoga for a bit of mommy time. Some may find me quirky, I prefer to think I am one of a kind.
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5 Responses to “Unearthly” – Is It “Twilight” With Angels?

  1. Quinn says:

    I liked Unearthly (I read it at the end of last year), but I wasn’t madly in love with it either. I do like Tucker though. I didn’t enjoy the second one as much. It is quite sad. That said, I will definitely be reading book three sometime.

  2. I can hardly wait to hear if you liked it as much as my daughter, mother and I did!

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