Boundless by Cynthia Hand

February 28, 2013 Reviews 0

  • Date published: 1st February 2013
  • Publisher: HarperCollins AU
  • Format: Paperback, 448 pages
  • Series: Unearthly, Book 3
  • ISBN 13: 9780732292621
  • Categories: YA Fantasy – Angels
  • Goodreads / Booktopia / Bookworld
  • Source: purchased

The past few years held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner ever could have anticipated. Yet through the dizzying high of first love to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she could no longer deny was that she was never meant to have 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 seemed 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.

The highly anticipated conclusion to Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series, Boundless offers a wonderful end to this epic series about the offspring of angels and their role in the battle between good and evil. Although mostly enjoyable, I feel the novel suffers because of its main character.

I was really afraid that this book would focus too much on the choice Clara has between Christian, an angel-blood like herself, or Tucker, the nice, normal boy she fell in love with in Unearthly.  I’m glad it isn’t – there is still too much agonising and pointless pining in this book for my liking, but there is a lot of action, emotion and growth that doesn’t have anything to do with either boy, which is wonderful. There was a moment where I thought Cynthia Hand was going to take the coward’s way out of the love triangle, but I am very glad she didn’t. I’m still not a hundred percent sure why Clara chose the way she did, and events right at the end seemed to be contrived solely to facilitate her choice. I am otherwise happy with here the author took this love triangle, one of the few love triangles in YA that I feel is legitimate.

However, Clara continues her trend of not thinking about anything but herself in this book – the refrain from previous books, Not everything is about you, Clara, is used in this book too. I wasn’t very impressed with Clara in this book – she’s indecisive, irresponsible, frustratingly short sighted and selfish. Christian’s continued support of her despite her behaviour only angered me further, because Clara didn’t do anything to deserve such a sweet boy’s loyalty. She continues seeing Tucker and hurts Christian in the worst ways. The idea that Tucker is her ‘home’ is weak and silly – I would have liked to see Clara face up to the consequences of her actions, but she instead finds her happily ever after relatively easily (emotionally and relationship-wise).

Another thing that really struck me is how horrible a friend Angela really is. I re-read Unearthly and Hallowed before starting Boundless, and all I could really think about is how controlling and manipulative she is. She basically runs around in this trilogy telling everyone else how to live their lives, what decisions they should make and who they should be dating, and then she goes and royally screws up her life. It was almost, almost hilarious, but mostly depressing. It does make the book more interesting though, and is a lot less superfluous than Clara’s ‘huge’ problems, which mostly revolve around her love life, but I still felt nastily vindicated when it all went down, because Angela had previously been such an insufferable control-freak.

I really liked the plot of the book, and would love a follow-up or spin-off series (I can hope, right?). Cynthia Hand writes an enthralling tale, blurring the lines between good and evil and forcing readers to re-examine their views on the issue. I think the book had just the right amount of mystery and action, and loved seeing Christian and Clara’s powers grow as they trained for battle. The story does sag in the middle – becoming depressing and excessively broody – but it’s generally relentless. Between fighting for their lives and keeping everyone around them safe, Christian and Clara underwent personal journeys to figure out who they are, what they believe in and what they want in life. I think it was great seeing them struggle with their place in the world because they had both been brought up with the idea that their purpose defines them, and now they have the power to choose how their lives play out.

In many ways Boundless is the perfect conclusion to this trilogy, which is honestly one of my favourite YA series of all time. But I can’t help feel a little disappointed in it, and wish the story was tighter, the characters a little better, the conclusion a little more realistic. But I still highly recommend the Unearthly trilogy to those who like to read fantasy or YA fantasy, it’s unlike any other YA series that I have read.

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