Boundless by Cynthia Hand (Review)

“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.”

Boundless will take your heart and rake it through the mud. While not as depressing as Hallowed, it is still emotionally intense (especially that climax. It’s a tear-jerker). I love how Hand allows her characters to mess up, grieve, and feel broken and lost. All of the characters’ arcs are realistic and true to them.

Clara’s journey is by far the best and comes full circle. At the beginning of the series, she’s a naïve and slightly self-centered girl, but by the end she became a strong, selfless warrior who’s willing to give her life to save those she loves including Tucker, Jeffrey, Angela, Christian, etc. As Jeffrey told her in the first book, she does realize that it’s not all about her.

There’s more action in Boundless than in the previous two books, which is a nice change of pace, but the main focus remains on the characters and the battle between love and lost. How Clara navigates those two realms is handled beautifully.

The series continues to surprise with how the visions come about. Just when you think they’re going to be one way, they occur in a completely different and new way.

Samjeeza turns into a sympathetic character. His inclusion helps paint a more complete view of Clara’s mother, showing how she made mistakes and also had doubts and difficult decisions to make. It makes her more relatable to not only Clara but to the readers. One of the most difficult parts of growing up is realizing that your parents aren’t perfect but that you can love them anyway.

Christian is a nice guy and a likeable character. I honestly like him but at the same time some of his actions strike me as a little manipulative. All the times he makes a move on Clara are around when someone has died or is going to die. He kissed her in Hallowed when her mother was on her deathbed, and then when a character Christian cares about dies in Boundless, he asks her out on their first date WHILE they’re at the graveside. That is messed up. By asking her then, he makes it so she can’t refuse because he just lost someone he cares about, but Clara never admits to feeling that way and it’s never addressed. At the beginning of the school year, he also told Clara that he was more than willing to give her space and wait for her, but then when she’s not ready to date him once he asks, he has the gall to get mad at her. He’s too selfishly motivated to support Clara how she needs to be. I honestly can’t decide whether I think Hand wanted Christian’s action to be a little manipulative or not. I don’t think Clara ever loved him romantically. After the ordeal she went through in Hallowed, it was the easy thing for her to give in to what she thought her purpose was telling her and to be with Christian instead, but she never seemed to truly want to be with him like she did with Tucker.

Though I love Tucker, I wish he had appeared more in the series and was given more development. He’s kind of dropped by the wayside since half-way through Hallowed. Missing those lovely moments between him and Clara and then having to read so much of Clara and Christian made me forget a little why I loved Clara and Tucker as a couple in the first place. Tucker is also one of the least developed characters in the series which is sad and does him and Clara a disservice.

Anyway, I love this series. It’s a  great series full of laughter, lost, growth, love, and pain, and Boundless left me feeling satisfied.

Rating 4/5

SPOILER CORNER

  • I don’t see the need in making Christian and Angela related. It was a soapy operay twist.
  • I like the ending. I’m glad Tucker was brought back from the dead. After everything Clara had went through, she deserved a happy ending so I don’t think the ending was too neat. She followed her purpose even when it forced her to sacrifice what she loved, and she was rewarded for doing so.
  • I would have been fine if Tucker hadn’t been given a longer life span and thus Clara had to deal with Tucker growing old and her staying young, but I don’t mind that he’s going to live long.
  • I love that vision Clara had of being married to Tucker in Hallowed came true.
  • There was no explanation as to why it was Jeffrey’s purpose to start the fire. I thought that maybe the reason for him to save Tucker was so that Tucker and Clara could eventually be together even if she had gone to meet with Christian instead, but I still don’t know why Jeffrey had to start the fire in the first place.
  • The tattoo parlor in hell was a cool idea.
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