Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: RADIANT and BOUNDLESS by Cynthia Hand

*WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS for Books 1 and 2.*
Proceed at your own peril. 

Titles: Radiant and Boundless
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2.5 and #3

Why I read it: To finish the trilogy and find out what happens!

Thoughts: I liked Radiant, but Boundless was my favorite book in the trilogy.

First of all, I'll briefly discuss Radiant. This novella is the bridge between books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, and it follows the POVs of both Clara and Angela as they spend their summer between high school and college in Italy with Angela's family. I really enjoy Angela as a character, but I didn't like being in her head. For most of the series, I questioned her intentions, but this glimpse into her mind doesn't really lend itself to continue that speculation. \

In my opinion, the best novellas for series change your perspective on something, whether that be a plot point or character. Take for instance Destroy Me, the first novella from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. Since Destroy Me is written in Warner's POV, we see a completely different side of him than we saw in the first book, and it changed how I reacted to him in the second book. We also got to see events in Destroy Me that are important to the plot, but would have been impossible to learn about in the main trilogy since Juliet wasn't there to witness them.

With that in mind, I don't think Radiant is a successful novella. The Angela and Phen plotline is essentially summarized in book three, so I don't think this novella offers anything new or important. It also didn't really change my opinion on Angela very much; if anything, it made me like her a little less, but I don't think that's what Cynthia Hand set out to do; I just didn't like being in her head at all.

My official recommendation would be to skip this one and save your two dollars.

Boundless, on the other hand, I absolutely loved. I loved seeing Clara's relationships with Angela, Tucker and Christian, and how they all developed in different ways. One of the things I love the most about this series is the way it deals with morality, and good vs. evil. For a book about angels, there are few characters who are entirely good or entirely bad. Sometimes good people make bad decisions, and sometimes bad people can be influenced by love and sympathy. I loved it. I also loved the way the angel-bloods mythology is even further developed and utilized within the story.

This book, more than the first two, really twisted in unexpected ways, especially toward the end. I was not expecting that ending at all, but I think it fits the story beautifully. And I am more than pleased with how it ended. I think I even cried there in the last few chapters.

I admit that I had been hesitant to read this for a while, but I am so glad I decided to pick it up. For anyone who is wary of angel books, I would recommend giving this series a try!

Radiant: 3/5 stars
Boundless: 5/5 stars

Tell me: have YOU read this book yet? What was your opinion? Let me know in the comments below!

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