Review: Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

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

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: January 22, 2013


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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.

Okay. I really don’t know how I’ll review this masterpiece, but I’ll try. I have a lot of positive feels, and equally negative ones, because F YOU CLARA, YOU PLAYER.

Anyway, *ahem*.

Let me start off by saying that Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series is one of my favorites out there, second only to Beth Ravis’ Across The Universe. I’m not really into the Paranormal genre as I am into Dystopians, but the books of this series were just so good and so well written that it changed my view of everything PNR, and of angels, in particular. The fact that its love triangle was excellently developed and intricately weaved only made my love and adoration for it grow even more. Needless to say, I love both the love interests – they have their own charms, and didn’t fall under the usual tropes and trends most love triangles follow. It came to the point where I wished there would be two alternative endings so that both teams would be satisfied (and their fans, of course!). Because the romance was handled so well in both Unearthly and Hallowed, I expected it would be the same here in Boundless as well.

Unfortunately, it sucked. And for that, I cry buckets of tears.

Disclaimer: Potential Clara bashing may ensue. If you do not want to read such, please skip. If you are sensitive to possible swearing, please skip. If you haven’t read the book and you don’t want to read spoilers, cause there will be spoilers, please skip.

Okay, when I said it sucked, I didn’t mean it was because Clara ended up with Tucker, the blonde boy with the cowboy hat (despite the bitterness apparent here, I loved the jolly dude. He was awesome, so don’t get me wrong!). It didn’t suck because I liked Christian more. It sucked because I HATED and I LOATHED the fact Clara was so fucking indecisive.

It was pretty much emphasized that our angel heroine loved Tucker, and it killed her to break up with him at the end of Book 2, Hallowed. Despite the glaring fact that the caring, selfless, honest-to-goodness handsome Christian was beside her every time she needed him (and she needed him ALL THE TIME), she still couldn’t get Tucker out of her head. Ok, we got that. I got that. And I respect that, even with my continuous hoping she’ll see the light and realize what she was missing. But instead of being true to herself, and to these two boys who are so hopelessly in love with her, she decided to become one mega player.

By this, I mean her constant back and forth between the two. Why, Clara? Why must you do this to both of them – to US?! In many instances throughout the book, it can be seen that Clara does see Christian’s care and adoration for her, and that to a certain extent, she feels the same way towards him, too. She also recognizes how Christian has been helpful to her, especially in her battle against strong, intimidating forces her kind has been going against for milleniums. But she loved Tucker still. Her home is in the Lazy Dog. SO WHY LEAD CHRISTIAN ON, BITCH.

I hate it that Clara just had to go on dates with Christian, have a good time, and then ruin everything by thinking of Tucker in the end, thereby hurting Christian’s feelings. Why is it that she has to make things so painful? Like I said in a status update somewhere out there (or in a reply in Wendy Darling’s review), if you’re going to friendzone him anyway, FRIENDZONE HIM ALREADY! Don’t lead the poor boy on and then ultimately break his heart to tiny little pieces! He deserves so much better than that. He loved you, protected you, tended to your needs, and risked his life for you – don’t you think that you owe him at least a little bit of respect and whole ton of honesty? A simple, “I’m sorry, I really like Tucker, and I can’t go on a date with you when he’s the one who’s always in my mind.” That simple! And in the end, you’re honest with him, and with yourself, and the damage? MINIMAL.

I liked Clara – she was awesome in the first two books, so that’s why I was so flabbergasted she acted this way in Boundless. That’s not the Clara I knew and loved! She had common sense, she empathized with people, she did NOT play with their feelings. Bitch. It also doesn’t help my growing anger that Tucker was almost non-existent in the last 2 books (and by that, I mean he doesn’t have anything to do with the moving of the story) making him look like more of a side character than anything. I thought to myself, if he was going to be chosen anyway, I wish he was given more exposure than this – doesn’t feel right to Christian who was there for Clara every step of the way :|


Ok, that wasn’t fun. I hate bashing a character, but I think Clara deserved that whack on the head.

Don’t let this discourage you, though. Boundless was amazing. If you remove the romance aspect, the book was phenomenal, in terms of monologue, tension, plot twists and turns, and even drama! I kid you not that my eyes went teary in several instances throughout the book. Clara’s moment with her mom was exceptional and very heart-touching, and heart-breaking at the same time. It gave me a feeling that despite all the negative shiz going on, everything was falling into place, that it will make sense in the end, that there were reasons why all the good as well as all the bad were happening. I don’t think a lot of books made me feel that way or gave me a sense of knowing.

And yes, if you remove the romance aspect, you can see how much Clara grew – braver and more courageous, willing to take risks (and some of them stupid…), and ready to put others before herself. This can already be seen at the beginning where she realized she wanted to become a doctor and put her healing skills to use, and this gallantry sustained ’til the end. I also appreciated the fact that we see more of Angela here. She has always been an interesting character, and to finally see a storyline where she has more influence and holds more impact is really refreshing. Sure, she is a bit self-centered still, and can be a pain and a jerk sometimes, but that’s not really the point of the story. It’s about transcending yourself, going beyond your limits to help someone in need, and humbling yourself to ask for help from people you least expect will help you.

All of these you will see in Hand’s amazing writing prowess, where she intricately weaves and meticulously writes the story in utter creativity. The way Clara and us, readers, unfold the mysteries in the book was excellently formulated, in which each twist was like a punch to the gut, and we can’t help but gasp for air. There are many, “Holy shit, I totally didn’t see that coming!” There is never a boring page in the book, and needless to say, one will probably consume it as fast as they can simply because they can’t get enough. To sum it all up, the trilogy is nothing short of a masterpiece.

But I have to admit though that while the book ended in a good note, there are still some closures that remain to be seen. What will happen to Jeffrey? What happened to Jeffrey? How about Christian? What will become of the other Black Wing forces? Will Tucker live as long as Clara now? I ask all of these questions, and I sincerely hope that this isn’t the last time we will see this dynamic cast of characters. There are simply more stories that need to be told.

Overall, an amazing finish to an amazing series. Sure, I wasn’t happy with the choice Clara made when it came to the two boys, but fortunately, Hand made sure the books weren’t all about that, and that it is only a detail in a greater picture. Thank you Ms. Hand for the job well done! I look forward to your next books :)

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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    It never ceases to amaze me how you can give a book to two people and odds are, they will both react to it in entirely different ways.

    For instance, I didn’t see her actions as indecision. I saw them as trying to do the right thing. Fighting her heart to follow her head. (Add to that we both saw Christian totally different.)

    I’m glad you were happy with the book overall, though. I think Ms Hand did an incredible job of wrapping the overall series at the same time as wrapping the conflict that was the main plot of *this* story.

    • says

      Indeed, that’s the beauty of opinions~

      I think that’s where Hand excels a lot. There is romance, and it is a big part, but it’s part of an even bigger story. Most writers nowadays tend to do it different by making everything revolve around the romance :/

      Cynthia Hand definitely is one of my favorite authors now! <3

    • says

      I knooow!! :( I’m really hoping for a spinoff series, or at least a novella showing what happened after. There are still, I think, many loose ends >_<

  2. Thomas says

    I love both Unearthly and Hallowed. Cynthia did really well on her writing as well as the main plot of the stories but still haven’t read yet this final book of the series. Been looking for a paperback version of this but can’t find one only HB. I’m quite pissed off but oh well need to finish this SO DAMN GOOD SERIES. :D