Size Doesn’t Matter (120): Hallowed; Journey’s End; Boundless

Size Doesn’t Matter (120): Hallowed; Journey’s End; BoundlessHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on December 26, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 403
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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two-half-stars

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Second verse, same as the first. Like Unearthly, Hallowed is a surprisingly fun read, but it also has effectively reminded me why people are still really hesitant to touch anything paranormal.

The best parts of Hallowed are the moments that deal with Clara’s relationships with her mother and brother. Those are sad and hit the feels, though perhaps not quite as hard as intended. The revelation of Jeffrey’s purpose adds the slightest bit of complexity to a series that thus far has had very little plot, so that was nice.

However, the series really continues to be about the love triangle and very little else. The revelation that Clara’s mom’s purpose was apparently also to choose the right side of a love triangle doesn’t exactly make anything better. I guess this God’s just a big shipper.

Annoying as I find the love triangle in this series, it’s not a bad one actually. I mean, it totally sucks that it’s a three book love triangle, and I’m just never ever going to be about that. For all that, though, Christian’s proved to be mildly more interesting than he was in Unearthly, and the difficulties of dating a human boy are coming into stark relief. They’re both genuinely nice guys; either Tucker or Christian could make Clara happy. But oh my god THREE BOOKS all about which dude she’s going to choose whyyyyyy.

I judge myself a little bit for how entertained I am by these, but so far they’re not that great tbh.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (120): Hallowed; Journey’s End; BoundlessJourney's End by Rachel Hawkins
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 6 hrs 34 mins
Published by Listening Library on October 25, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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two-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings us a riveting middle grade fantasy-adventure, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff.

The town of Journey's End may notliterallybe at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick.

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family can t afford to consider it a threat. The McKissick s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back.

Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.

While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

As per usual, I picked Journey’s End on a whim from the review audiobook list, mostly because I’ve heard good stuff about Rachel Hawkins. Journey’s End is just to the positive side of okay, pleasant but not at all complex.

Plot-wise, you pretty much know what’s going on in Journey’s End from the very start and then just sit around and wait for the characters to catch on. In terms of world building, it’s thin. I’d say it’s almost more magical realism than paranormal or fantasy, were it not for the appearance of the ghost at the end. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of weird fog.

The characters are pretty good too, but they’re not amazing. I appreciate the addition of a little middle grade ship, but you don’t get a lot from that either. They blush at each other some and then Nolie leaves at the end of the summer. The whole book basically just feels like it could have been more, but it’s not.

Journey’s End was a nice enough way to spend a few hours while I drove around, but I wish there had been more depth to it across the board.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Size Doesn’t Matter (120): Hallowed; Journey’s End; BoundlessBoundless by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #3
Published by HarperTeen on January 22, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
one-half-stars

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 fulfill 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.

Holy shit. The first two books definitely weren’t good, but they were kinda cracktastic and had some elements to recommend them, but wow Boundless is a hot mess of wuuuuuuuut.

WARNING: UNTAGGED SPOILERS BC I DON’T GIVE A FUCK

Part of the problem here is that Boundless is trying to be more serious and actually have more plot and world building than just a love triangle with angel-bloods. Unfortunately, the attempt it at a real plot makes you long for the days when it was just about prom drama and one vague threat from a not scary Black Wing.

Basically every single thing that happens in Boundless can be seen coming from miles away, except for the baby drama, which admittedly took me by surprise. For example, Jeffrey has a mysterious older girlfriend and has been acting moodier; surely, she’s not an evil Triplare! Yes, she is. Obviously. And if you’ve read like any books ever, you will see that and many other twists coming.

The plot hinges heavily on Clara and Christian learning to wield “glory swords” (which sounds like something that would be involved in a gross anonymous bathroom sex ordeal but okay) through many boring, infodump-filled training sessions with her dad. Conveniently, glory swords can only hurt evil people, so, as happens, Christian can swing wildly, hitting Clara and a baby, but nbd they’re fine and evil is vanquished. Clara defeats the enemy BY ACCIDENT when she calls her glory sword without meaning to and stabs him in the heart. And that’s the kind of book this is.

The love triangle really isn’t even worthy of the name. I feel really bad for the Christian shippers because seriously ouch. She’s only ever been into Tucker, but Christian drags along for over two years (and apparently will love her forever from a distance um okay). Boundless is peak obnoxiousness love triangle-wise because Clara spends the whole damn book trying to protect Tucker by not being with him and completely ignoring his opinions. Their relationship problems are conveniently fixed by Clara literally bringing him back from Heaven which turned him into a prophet, so he has a longer lifespan and no longer wants to barf when she’s calling glory (which she does when she’s horny lolol).

This was such a mess. I can’t believe I paid full price for this book when it came out. Past me was an idiot.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (120): Hallowed; Journey’s End; Boundless”

  1. Shira says:

    I am really enjoying your Unearthly reviews! I read them all as they came out all those years ago. I remember enjoying the first one, not liking the second one, but still, of course, having to buy the third one. I’m pretty sure I hated the third one. Still with the love triangle?! Come on! And then the ridiculous way it ended! Ugh.
    I wasn’t sure at the time if I was just more discerning than I had been three years before when the first one came out or if it was just that much worse than the first book. I kinda want to do a reread just to see what I would think of them now, but I’m not sure I could even make it through any them!

  2. Christina Franke says:

    ABORT ABORT

    Do not reread them. It would be a waste of your time, because they’re crack amusing at best and, as stated above more coherently, the third book is a piece of shit.

    I remember when Boundless was one of the most coveted review copies. Ah, YA has gotten so much better. Thank goodness.

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