2013

Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

handThis month I finished one of the best series that I have ever read. A series that I think everyone — fantasy lover or not — should read if they want to learn a little about love, friendship and life. Boundless by Cynthia Hand, the third of the Unearthly series, took my breath away in ways that I really can’t explain. All I know is that Cynthia Hand is awesome and I’m so glad I had the chance to meet her a year ago. She’s truly my favorite and I know for a fact that the Unearthly series will remain one of the most touching and beautifully written books of all time on my shelf.

Prepare yourself because seriously, I can go forever when it comes to this series.

BoundlessBoundless Summary

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.

Unearthly showed us the innocence of falling in love for the first time. How it can creep up unexpectedly and take you on a journey like no other. How deep and long lasting and beautiful it can be with just one nickname, one summer and one kiss.

Hallowed showed us grief and sacrifice. How life can change in just one moment and how important it is to cherish every moment that you have with your loved ones. That life is bigger than just the boy or girl you sneak off to kiss in the middle of the night — no matter how wonderful it may be. And that no one — angel or not — can escape the reality of life and death.

So what did Boundless bring to the table? What was it about this book that makes it the perfect end to the perfect story?

Boundless, to me, really emphasized the importance of love and friendship. Yeah, it seems like that would be a given in most books, but Hand does such a wonderful job shaping Clara’s story to highlight her relationships with the people in her life. It’s very refreshing. The two boys she loves, her friends, her brother, her parents — it’s Clara’s relationships that make her life significant. Not her purpose or the fact that she’s there to save the world. I loved how Hand was able to subtly weave that in.

Clara’s story picks off after the summer following her mother’s passing. She heads off to college in California to experience life as a college student, away from Jackson Hole and away from the boy that stole her heart in book one, Tucker Avery. She is accompanied by her best friend Angela and her other and more suitable love interest, Christian Prescott.

I was so convinced that with Clara away for college, we wouldn’t be able to witness any Clara-Tucker action…but I was oh-so-wrong. I laughed every single time Clara crossed over to his barn, no matter how short it may have lasted. My love for Tucker Avery is heavily due to the fact that I felt their love in Unearthly was too beautiful to be labeled as just a stepping stone in life. To see Clara fall in love over time with our favorite farm boy was so real that I couldn’t get over it. Plus, Hand had done such a good job convincing me in Unearthly that Christian was nothing more than a handsome boy in Clara’s vision and that Tucker was the real thing.

Boy was I wrong. So very very wrong.

Because…well…I’m also in love with Christian Prescott. Now that I’ve had time to process the book and the entire series, I realize that Hand did the same thing to Christian that she did with Clara and Tucker. She gave them time. She gave us time — time to fall in love with him over the course of three books. It’s genius I tell you. Christian went into this thing as an ordinary jock and emerged as the hero of the series in unimaginable ways. I’m still shaking my head at how seamlessly Hand was about to do it without Tucker fans realizing it. But I’m grateful that she did. It makes the ending — though bittersweet — not entirely terrible. Because truthfully, Christian wasn’t just the other boy in this perfect love triangle. He played an incredibly large role in Clara’s life and I don’t think even Tucker can take that away. So to answer Tucker’s question: “What do you see in a guy like Christian Prescott?”

The answer: everything.

I love Tucker and will always root for him, but Christian…Christian was the hero. Clara’s relationship with Christian was the core of Boundless and I think the perfect touch to this story. Clara wouldn’t have succeeded without the support she received from Christian and vice versa. The genuine love that Christian had for Clara was real and I loved seeing how the pair relied on one another through difficult times.

But aside from the romance, I found myself loving how much Clara grew as a character. I could hardly believe that it had actually been almost three years since the beginning of the first book to the end of the third. Even I grew to appreciate Angela, whose own story totally caught me completely off guard. Talk about having a purpose! A brilliant idea that — while not developed completely (and maybe because I haven’t read the novella) — made perfect sense about a book of angels. There’s so much I want to say about this book. So many things from Clara’s father, Jeffrey and even Samjeeza. And of course, a touching scene that takes place between a mother and daughter that had me smiling from ear to ear.

Hand never misses a beat — she wraps everything up the way it should. The song I chose for the Boundless, the final book of the Unearthy series, is Give me Love by Ed Sheeran. I dedicate this song wholeheartedly to Christian Prescott (and a little bit of Samjeeza) because he deserves it. I envision him in this song loving and fighting for Clara’s heart despite her love for Tucker. And my heart goes out to him. I may be a Tucker fan but I appreciate a man who can respectfully bow out with his head held high. The Unearthly series is awesome and if you haven’t read it, you’re missing out! Thank you Cynthia Hand for giving us such a wonderful series.

Rating: 5/5

Theme Song: Give me Love by Ed Sheeran

Photo Credit: Photo as seen on VisualizeUs

Click here for my review on Unearthly (Unearthly #1) and Hallowed (Unearthly #2)

Click here to read the Love Triangle Smack Down #2: Unearthly Series – Tucker vs. Christian

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