Book Review: Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

Boundless (Unearthly, #3)

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Publishing Date:  February 1st 2013
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Format: Paperback
Page count: 448

My rating:

5 of 5 hearts

Clara is off to college with her friends Angela and Christian because Angela’s vision has told them that’s where they need to be. Tucker is left behind, heartbroken after the events in Hallowed. Clara gets another vision, and this time it looks like she might not make it out alive; and what’s worse, neither may Christian.

Hand is adept at managing characters. All of them are realistic and none of them are caricatures. Even the minor characters, the characters it would be easy to slut-shame or make bimbos because they are blonde – nope. Even her villains have depth and layers. That’s the hand of a master, you know. And I doubt I have ever seen a more even divide on the Pro-Christian/Pro-Tucker ‘teams’. Either boy would be an adept partner for Clara, and I’ve often heard it said that it’s hard to choose between both of them. I’ve always been Team Tucker, because in Unearthly he was the one that developed a real relationship with Clara whereas Christian was pushed towards her as ‘fate’.

Hand manages to make Clara incredibly realistic – for an angel – with depth and interests that extend beyond which boy she’s infatuated with. The romances between the two boys is also handled very delicately, with plenty of respect between the three corner of our little love triangle. Of course some people will be upset at the ending, and yes perhaps in my opinion it is all wrapped up a little too neatly with a bow, but after what Clara went through I couldn’t ask for anything other than a happy ending.

What exactly is a purpose? I’m not sure anyone ever figures it out. That’s the beautiful thing about this series – it’s not preachy, even when it’s about angels. There’s never any definite answers given to God’s existence or the exact purpose of angels – even they have the free will to follow their visions or not. As for the plot – well, the novel is slow. It’s true, these books are more character studies and mysteries than action-filled adventures, and while I was completely interested and engrossed in Clara’s life and experiences, there wasn’t much actual action until the middle of the book. But wowee, when the climax came! Clara proves that she is just about the most capable and heroic of any young adult heroine I’ve ever read. She’s not fearless, but she doesn’t think twice about leaping in feet-first to rescue those she loves. She’s grown so tough that you don’t even notice until another character gives a basic summary of exactly what Clara’s done (all at once!). It was at that point that I sat back and said, “Damn, that Clara kicks so much ass!”

Because of course, Clara’s not exactly a bow-wielding Katniss or a stake-wielding Rose. But she has strength in her own way, and although it’s not the strength to sacrifice oneself (Bella) or just be oneself to win the day (Kate), it’s beautiful in its own unique way.

Hand has a way with words that engrossed me in this novel. I didn’t want to put it down. Her writing is elegant and lyrical. It’s hard to me to describe why I like it so much. I just like it, OK? Hand is one of those authors I don’t re-write in my head as I’m reading along. I don’t stop and think “WTF just happened?” Hand guides me through the novel and makes me forget she’s there. I’m experiencing Clara’s life through her eyes, and even if I don’t like first person present tense narration, I think in this case it works.

Overall, Boundless is a fitting end to a beautiful trilogy.

View all my reviews


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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