|Boundless by Cynthia Hand
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
Buy It: Amazon
|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 fulfil 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.
To say that I was excited about this book would be an understatement. I was literally counting down the hours on Monday until I could get my hands on my pre-ordered digital copy (along with my hard copy that didn’t get here until after I finished the book.) At the end of 2011, I was able to get an ARC of Hallowed so I’ve literally been waiting over a year for the last installment and some resolution! Luckily, last month, Hand released a novella – Radiant – that was fantastic and centered around Angela and Clara’s time in Italy. It did tide me over but it didn’t come close to being a full-fledged novel in the series, however, I definitely recommend reading it before starting Boundless. It explains a lot of what takes place in Boundless and it gives a good refresher from Hallowed.
Now to the meat of this review – there is a lot that happens in this book but I loved every single second of it. There was one single moment towards the end where I thought, “OH MY GOD WHAT HAS CYNTHIA DONE!?” (because I’m on a first name basis with authors in my head) otherwise it was absolute perfection. The book begins with Clara, Christian and Angela headed off to Stanford. Nothing too out of the ordinary going on at this point. Clara is still upset that her mother is gone and is still worried that her brother is missing in action but her father is back in the picture! It’s a double-edged sword of sorts. He’s not around full-time or anything, she is a college freshman after all, but she definitely has a family support system in place. Not only is he there for as her father, but he’s there to help mentor both her and Christian in an angel capacity. It’s an interesting contrast to the mentor that Clara’s mother, Maggie, was for the first two novels. I like Michael, her father, but Clara had such a connection with her mother that it’s just not the same, you know? Especially since her father was absent for so much of her life.
Moving on to the friends and boys part of the novel: I have soooooo many feelings about Tucker, Angela and Christian and their roles in Boundless. I had to wait to quite a while to write this part to make sure I didn’t accidentally spoil anyone because so much happens with all of these characters. Angela moves into the spotlight in a big way in this novel – her purpose comes to light now that they’re at Stanford – and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one blindsided by her purpose. Christian becomes Clara’s confidante and training partner as they prepare for their visions. They’re quite literally in the dark about what their visions mean but Clara just knows that they need to be ready, that their purpose will come sooner rather than later. All the while, Tucker is still in the picture, to an extent, even though he and Clara have broken up. I adore Hand’s writing but I think what sets her apart, for me at least, is her way of writing relationships. There wasn’t a moment that I doubted there she was taking these characters. I’m personally Team Tucker but I’ve never disliked Christian; that happens so often with love triangles – loving one and hating the other. I truly just preferred the cowboy over the angel blood. I won’t reveal anything about this love triangle but I think no one will put the book down feeling angry.
In the end, Hand did a wonderful job of weaving the plots from the first two novels into Boundless and rounding out the trilogy. We meet a few new characters, but the cast stays mostly the same as Clara tries to defeat the ever-present Black Wings that are trying to conquer the angel bloods. While the first two novels in the series were almost stand alone novels but with this last one, everything that happened in the first two wound back into this last novel. It all came together and made sense. When Clara has her “AHA!” moment in the book, I had mine as well. Hand definitely had a plan from the beginning. A good one. To sum up, this was a fantastic end to a fantastic series. I highly recommend every single book and I cannot wait until Cynthia Hand writes something else.
On a side note, she’s going to be in my neck of the woods in 3 weeks time (EEP!) so look out for a post about that afterwards