Review Blog

Feb 29 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

cover image

Harper Collins, 2012. ISBN 9780732292614
(Age: 13+) Hallowed is the second in a series, following on from Unearthly and with a third to follow, possibly. The main character, Clara is part-angel, part-human; she and her brother, Jeffery, are learning what this means while they living as 'normal' students and dealing with more mundane and expected teenage problems. They each have a purpose, and varying superpowers. They can both fly, a useful trait, and Clara is very empathetic and can read some minds. They are also recovering from the trauma of the forest fire that concludes Unearthly. Has Clara failed to fulfill her purpose? Is she still in love with Tucker? Can Clara learn to control her 'glory', an ability to glow with power? Can Tucker cope with her angel-related relatives? To their surprise, they meet others in their area who are part-angel, part-human and have similar abilities, but learn that some, the 'Black-wings', use their power negatively. Sameeza, a Blackwing, continues to haunt Clara's life. They learn also that part-angels part-humans have long but limited lives, and Clara realizes that her own mother will die soon. In her final year at high school Clara must plan for her future while dealing with the death of her much loved mother. The device of the angelblood involves the writer in some clunky plotting. Heaven and Hell must be assumed to exist, and parts of the Old Testament are interpreted quite literally. The degree of angelblood has some tricky genetic implications, as 'angelblood' should be maintained through marriage. However, the writing, in teenspeak, is lively and engaging, and the characters are generally believable, despite the young men being quite stereotypical. The novel is a mixture of fantasy, romance and teen issues, and will be enjoyed by girls aged 13+.
Jenny Hamilton

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