Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

2 February, 2013 Reviews 12 comments

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.

Review: Boundless by Cynthia HandBoundless by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #3
Published by HarperTeen on January 22 2013
Pages: 438
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-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.

It’s always a sad day when I must say goodbye to a series that I’ve come to love over the years. You feel so invested in the characters that you just don’t want it to be over. But what’s really the nail biter is the concern of the final book ending on a high note. Will it meet your expectations? Will it be just a satisfying conclusion? Will it completely suck? I mean, who wants to remember a series thinking, “Awww, man! This series was great… until the author blew it in the final book. Such a shame really.” Fortunately, I think Boundless was great for most of the novel, but did let me down a bit with the very last chapters. And as you probably guessed, it would be very spoiler-y of me to go into detail of what bothered me and I’m trying very hard to keep this spoiler free. No promises though. But it will contain spoilers for both Unearthly and Hallowed. And no, I will not tell you who Clara ends up with. 😛

Boundless picks up right where Hallowed left off. Clara is getting ready to go to college, Jeffery is still missing and Clara and Tucker’s future is unknown. There is a bit of a recap over the first few chapters for those of us that possess a leaky brain, which was nice. And if you didn’t read the novella Radiant, it is later revealed what Angela was up to in Italy. While Unearthly held a mysterious air and Hallowed‘s more depressing, Boundless felt much more grim and hopeless. There were quite a few times where I was unsure if Clara could overcome her difficulties and even when she did, there was always something else. Cynthia Hand really showed little mercy for most of the book with her plot twists, which always seemed to bring Clara nothing but grief.

Things I liked:

-As usual, I love Hand’s writing style. There are some authors that just get a great feel for how teens talk and Hand is one of them. Also, Clara is a smartass and I love it.

-I think this book has the best plot out of the series. There is a lot more suspense going on because Clara has not one, but two visions. She’s also on a time crunch, lives are on the line. You, know. Important things of that nature.

-Samjeeza’s role. I have to admit, I kinda like the guy. His story is very sad and I felt for him.

-Tucker: HKFHJDNHFJBFKHJFB!!!! I loved how Clara just couldn’t seem to stay away from him. His scenes gave me SERIOUS FEELS like this one:

fictional-character

I received very strange looks from Mr. Sinclair while reading Boundless.

Things I’m not too sure about:

I was really hoping that Boundless would tie up a bunch of loose threads, but it seemed to just leave more questions than answers.

-I was surprised to find out how big of a part Angela had in the storyline. Throughout the series I had my suspicions that she was evil, but she was cleverly left ambiguous until now. However, I’m not sure I like where her story arc went. Was Angela’s purpose really to throw her future away?

-What in the world was Jeffery’s purpose? Why did God want him to start the forest fire?

Boundless is a lot more “preachy” than the first two. And when I say preachy, I mean it has a lot more religious references, including a few bible quotes and everything. I suppose some of that can’t be avoided since it is an angel book, but it is there. I did find it kind of ironic that Tucker would bust out his bible on Clara. It was a human preaching to an angel. Lol.

-Tucker vs. Christian. I was not happy with their endings. It’s not that I’m disappointed with who Clara ends up because I honestly would be fine with either choice. But it’s how each of their story arcs ends. One just disappears from Clara’s life, which is messed up because he doesn’t get a decent ending. And the other experiences a big change in their life that I thought was convenient and a little too “happily-ever-after” for my liking.

The biggest issue for me had been with the ending because it felt like Clara got everything so conveniently handed to her. Don’t get me wrong, Clara did go through hell in the book (quite literally actually), but when the consequences and life catches up to her, everything magically becomes alright. Somehow Clara has this power and that power. Oh and she can magically do this, but you didn’t know about it till now, because secretly she’s been slightly Mary Sue-ish all along. Surprise! Everyone’s purpose in the series has revolved around Clara’s. And these people have suffered badly, especially Angela, Christian and Tucker, the poor, little mortal.

Also, let’s discuss purposes for a minute. Slight spoiler: Clara was always told by her mother that her goal in life is to always fulfill her purpose. So when she has these visions, she goes out of her way to make sure it happens. In fact, her mother was even disappointed in Clara for ignoring her visions for the better part of Unearthly. But later we find out that the visions are just glimpses of a possible future. So basically: You don’t have to do what the vision says, but you’d better anyway because it’s also your purpose? HUH? But furthermore, if all this time the angels were just seeing possible futures, why weren’t any other possibilities shown?

Overall, I did enjoy Boundless. Sure, there were a few instances that I wasn’t exactly thrilled about. And yeah, the ending did leave me a bit frustrated. But this book also made me laugh, cry and was never boring. It may not be the perfect ending I thought it’d be, but I certainly had fun reading it. A series has come and gone. I’m sad to see it go, but I am very excited to see what Cynthia Hand comes up with next.

ARC was received from the publisher. Thank you, HaperTeen!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
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12 Responses to “Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand”

  1. bpress15

    Great review! I also hate it when I have fallen in love with a series or a trilogy and the last book really just doesn’t meet the standards of the books previous to it.

  2. Lilysbookblog

    I can honestly say everything you said I completely agree with. As much as I really loved this one I felt that somethings like Angela’s purpose and the ending overall just couldn’t sit right with me. I didn’t like where each indivudal character’s arc left off especially Angela’s ending! And then there’s Christian and Tucker, one of them just up and leaves Clara’s life and you can tell it effects her BIG TIME and then one of them oh so convenitly works everything out and can now be with Clara, the whole ending just felt like it was to neat and tidy for Clara and perfect! And then there’s Jeremy, honestly nothing ended up being settled with his storline either!

  3. elena

    AHH I’m kind of reading this review peeking through my hands because I still haven’t read this one yet. I am SO EXCITED to read it soon though, it seems to make a lot of people emotional. I’m happy to read that Cynthia’s writing stays strong. 😀

  4. perpetualpageturner

    You pretty much know all my thoughts on this one and that I agree completely with you about the ending. The book was everything I wanted it to be as a whole and then the end was SO SAD. Christian was too important to get shoved off to the side like that! And, like I told you, I didn’t even really think about Jeremy and Angela’s purpose until you brought up that it was really left dangling there..unknown. SO TRUE. And then the prophet thing.
    Great review! Agree with so much of this!!

  5. SOLYAHU

    You’re basically the only reviewer around who dared to be critical about the ending. In the first book I was definitely team Tucker, from the second I changed corner and became a supporter of Christian. I think I could have been O.K. with either of them ending happily with Clara. But not like this. It was the most infuriating book ending of all time for me. I would appreciate if I could have a discussion with you girls because I’m put out by the end and I cannot work.

  6. SOLYAHU

    SPOILER_SPOILER_SPOILER_SPOILER
    Am I the only one that expected Christian and Clara end up together because this is their purpose? Romance put aside, there are 2 evil Triplare down and they could have two Triplare kids. Not necessarily right now, I’m O.K. with them having kids when Tucker is dead in 70 years. Basically this is how it worked out for Clara’s mother. I’m so not O.K. with both Christian and Clara living a normal human life when they are capable of so much good and divine together. I’d be so much happier if I knew that they work on getting this world better for us. Either as soul mates but not lovers or as a couple destined to one another, like Maggie and Micheal. I’m seriously displeased because I feel that because of Clara’s choice, Christian also gave up his angel vocation and we are left without angel bloods on duty on this Earth.
    Is it childish of me?
    SPOILER_OFF

  7. Lisa FicTalk

    Great review, Steph. I have to say that Cynthia Hand doesn’t really make anything easy for us as readers when it comes to her books. Such is expected since she based them on religion, I guess. Nothing is ever straight forward and one is often left a little bereft and not quite happy or the complete opposite really. She really does make me think about things when I read Unearthly.

  8. Lisa FicTalk

    Great review, Steph. I have to say that Cynthia Hand doesn’t really make anything easy for us as readers when it comes to her books. Such is expected since she based them on religion, I guess. Nothing is ever straight forward and one is often left a little bereft and not quite happy or the complete opposite really. She really does make me think about things when I read Unearthly.

  9. Lexxie
    Twitter:

    Oh, I so agree with the fact that the ending was not what I had hoped for! It felt a little too tidy to me – after all that – <b>this</b> is how it ends?
    Great review as always 🙂

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