This is a review of two extras to the book series Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: Lost Scene from Hallowed (Unearthly #2.1) and Radiant (Unearthly #2.5).
Lost Scene from Hallowed (Unearthly #2.1) (2.3 Stars)
Having read the entire official book series already, I found it hard to find my way back into this stage of Clara and Christian’s relationship. They are so awkward and uncomfortable with one another. I suppose this must be close to the beginning of the second book, when they are just getting to know each other after finding out they might have a combined destiny.
Except for the scene in book three when Christian is drunk and Clara takes him back to his dorm room, where she sees the picture which is described in this last paragraph, this is the only time we get a glimpse into Christian’s private life at all. This lost scene is the trigger in my thinking that the reader doesn’t actually know very much about him. From Angela and Tucker both there are glimpses into their private life, introduction of parents and family home. Christian only gets that in this scene, and it has been deleted. This shows that Christian is kept much more distanced, more secretive than the other characters, except for his overwhelming protective streak for Clara. So, coming from this point of view and to keep his detachment up, it makes sense to delete this scene from the book.
Generally, I was not surprised that the house Christian grew up in is rather cold and little decorated. I find that it makes sense from everything else that is said about him and his uncle.
I don’t want to say that the scene was pointless, but it was so little informative that even if it had been added to the book, it wouldn’t have given it much, and quite honestly I found it a bit boring and lifeless (like the house). So I don’t mind missing it in the book. Unfortunately, it also makes me a little less Team Christian than I was before, as it confirms my thoughts that he is rather an emotionally detached character.
This one is only for the fans who need to read all about it.
Idea: 2 Stars
Characters: 3 Stars
Realization: 2 Stars
Writing Style: 3 Stars
General Rating: 3 Stars
Personal Rating: 1 Star
Radiant (Unearthly #2.5) (4.3 Stars)
This middle piece between the second and the third book is probably the best thing of the entire series!
Alternating perspectives between Clara and Angela tell of their holiday in Rome over the summer. Clara experiences her darkness vision for the first time. But that isn’t the best by far. This little piece allows the reader to finally get to know Angela. All her secrets are laid bare, as she roams through Rome.
So far, everything the reader knew from Angela was from Clara’s perspective, and Angela has always rather studied and talked about other things and people than herself. There has been a hint at a love interest in Italy. There has been knowledge about an angel answering all her questions. Even reading the third book, there isn’t much more light shed on the secret life of Angela when she has been to Italy – and that I can say, knowing what comes from this visit to Italy with Clara, between high school and college.
I didn’t quite like the frequent changes of perspective, thinking that mostly Clara’s perspectives weren’t necessary. Clara only became really interesting when she met Phen, when he let her into his emotion – I’d like to think that he was hoping she would convince Angela to stay away –; and her (stupid) resolve to not tell her friend about his greyness.
Angela, on the other hand, had real stories to tell: About her visits in Rome, travelling Italy, and finally meeting and seducing Phen. Her perspectives were usually a little longer and involved more news for the reader.
I am really glad for the insight, as I thought from the beginning that Angela was an interesting character. And while it fit that she wouldn’t tell much about herself, I kept wanting more.
Radiant is a wonderful addition to the series. Possibly not entirely needed, but funny and interesting to the (obsessed fan-girl) reader.
Idea: 4 Stars
Characters: 5 Stars
Realization: 4 Stars
Writing Style: 4 Stars
General Rating: 4 Stars
Personal Rating: 5 Stars