Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why Cynthia Hand's UNEARTHLY trilogy made a liar out of me.

Most of us have, at one time, said:  "I'm not really a fan of __[insert genre/plot here]__ books."

I should know better, but I'm definitely guilty of this on occasion. And then I always prove myself to be a liar.

Inevitably, I find a book of that variety that I love, and I eat my words. Because the truth is, in the hands of a skilled author, any book can overcome your reading aversions.

Cynthia Hand's UNEARTHLY trilogy did this for me with angel books.

Originally, I didn't pick up UNEARTHLY — a book about a girl who's part angel-blood who struggles to discover and fulfill her purpose — because "Angel books don't really interest me." But enough bloggers and writers I trust sang the novel's praises (yay, word of mouth!), and I finally picked up the first one in December. And the next day, I devoured HALLOWED, the sequel.

It's no secret that I'm a huge critic of the middle books of trilogies, since that's where so many series falter. To me, they must live up to the standard set by the first book and promised in the third, and be more than a bridge to the final book. If they don't, I feel cheated. If they do, I'll pretty much follow an author wherever she/he goes.*

HALLOWED was ... awesome.

Of course, I then picked up the final book, BOUNDLESS, with high expectations — which of course made me nervous. Would the ending of this excellent series be a disappointment? But my anxiety was for nothing, because I loved it. Start to finish, the UNEARTHLY trilogy has that magical mix of a compelling plot, skilled writing, unique worldbuilding, and multi-layered, relatable characters.

And now I'm passing on the recommendation. So if you're not usually inclined to pick up angel books, if you're tired of paranormal romances, or if you haven't tried these simply because they weren't on your TBR radar, you should definitely put aside your reservations and give UNEARTHLY a try.

The best part? BOUNDLESS released in January, so the entire trilogy is available now. Happy reading!


*Some other trilogies with exceptional middle books:
Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy: THE CROWN OF EMBERS
Holly Black's Curse Workers trilogy: RED GLOVE
Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy: SHIFT
Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy: THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT
Marie Lu's Legend trilogy: PRODIGY
Janice Hardy's Healing Wars trilogy: BLUE FIRE


  1. I hear ya, Donna! I adored UNEARTHLY! (And I would never normally pick up an angel story). I wanted to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming after reading that book.

    However (and this often happens to me), I never got around to reading book two or three. This is always the problem with a trilogy or series. I get all excited by book one, then a year goes by before the next book comes out and my enthusiasm peters out. Now that I've read your enthusiastic recommendation, I'm going to have to buy Hallowed and Boundless!

  2. Yes, the setting! It really does make Wyoming sound like the most gorgeous place on earth.

    I tend to like waiting for at least the first two books to come out in a trilogy before starting.... this way, there's less waiting, and I can see from reviewers if it's worth it. This trilogy definitely is!

  3. I totally thought Unearthly wouldn't be "my kind of book" and then it SO WAS. And then Hallowed was awesome too. I'm really glad Boundless continued to exceed expectations - can't wait to curl up with it!

    1. Exactly! But Cynthia Hand is an excellent writer, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next. BOUNDLESS was a totally satisfying ending, so enjoy!


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