This is my discussion post for chapters 5-9 of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. WARNING: There are spoilers for the first nine chapters, and only those chapters (because that’s all I’ve read!) in this post.
As Clara gets settled into the routine of school, she observes Christian and Christian with Kay. In British history class, she prays to be assigned to Christian for a project, but she’s paired with the mysterious Angela instead. At their first project meeting, Angela shares some surprising information with Clara: she’s an angel-blood too! Her dad was a Black Wing, a fallen angel, who raped her mom. In Rome, Angela met a full-blood angel who told her that the Black Wings might come for her someday. They’re building an army.
Clara questions her mom about Black Wings. Her mom says that there are White Wings and Black Wings, but that most angels are in the middle and have wings in varying shades of gray. She’s very interested in Angela and the color of her wings. Clara says Angela’s wings are whiter than her own.
Clara, her mom, and Jeffrey go to a ski resort to learn to ski. They slide off the road on ice and when the next truck to come along stops to help, it’s Tucker. Tucker is also Clara’s ski instructor. Angel-bloods are stronger and faster than humans, so she’s much better than she should be on her first lesson. After the lesson, she rides the chairlift up the mountain with Christian. She falls getting off, causing him to fall too. As he leans over her, she wonders what it would be like to kiss him.
As Wyoming inches into spring, Wendy teaches Clara to ride a horse. At her first lesson she can’t resist showing off for Tucker, getting her old, slow horse to jump a fence. Later Wendy asks if Clara likes Tucker, and says that he likes her.
Angela shares more of her angel-blood research with Clara. Full-blood angels are all male. She has a theory that angels can change form like shapeshifters, so a male angel could appear to be female if he wanted to. She also believes that all supernatural creatures (vampires, ghosts, mermaids, aliens, everything) are angels taking other forms.
Clara shares the concept of purpose with Angela, and then reluctantly tells Angela her purpose. Purpose is new to Angela, but she’s been having the same daydream for the past three years. Clara’s mom doesn’t really like Angela. She warns Clara that you don’t know what an angel-blood’s true intentions are. Clara notices that her mom looks older and more tired than she has.
During the British history presentation, Clara has another vision. This time she sees herself and Christian holding hands. After class, Angela questions Clara about the vision and presses for details.
This section ends with Clara and Wendy having a fight. Wendy is jealous of the time Clara’s been spending with Angela, and she also tells Clara to give up on Christian; he has a girlfriend.
Angela is an angel-blood! I considered yesterday that she might be, after a comment Jeffrey made about Christian’s name, but I thought that was too obvious. Guess not! I hadn’t accounted for her being named by her human parent. Is anyone else suspicious of Angela? Anyone besides Clara’s mom, that is? If Angela’s correct that angels can change their form, couldn’t they change their wing color too? Like, maybe make them whiter than they really are?
I am really loving the Wyoming setting. I have a friend who just visited Jackson Hole last week. Obviously it’s not winter like it is in the book, but the pictures she posted on Facebook were so beautiful.
I got some of my questions from last time answered. Visions usually start between 13 and 20, after powers start to manifest.
I’m worried about Clara’s mom. I hope she makes it through the end of the series.
I love the ongoing game they have in British history, with everyone being a serf or lord/lady or whatever, and that Clara and Angela were even able to weave it into their presentation. Ha, Christian has “died” four times as a serf.
Tucker witnessed Clara learning to ski and riding a horse much faster than she should. I wonder what he’s thinking about that!
I open my eyes. He’s leaning over me, his face close to mine. I can smell the cherry candy on his breath. Behind him a cloud shifts from in front of the sun, the sky brightening in that way it has of opening up. I suddenly feel aware of everything: my heart pumping blood through my veins, the snow slowly beginning to melt under my body, the needles on the trees shifting in the breeze, the mixed smell of pine and Christian’s cologne and something that could be ski wax, the rattling of the chairs as they pass over the poles of the ski lift.
I can’t stop staring at her wings. It’s such a shock for me to see them on someone I don’t know, a crazy juxtaposition: Angela with her glossy black hair sweeping over one side of her face, black tank top, gray jeans with holes in the knees, dark eyeliner and lips, purple fingernails, and then these blindingly white wings stretched out behind her, reflecting the stage lights so she’s lit with a radiance that is positively celestial.
In late March we hit a warm spell, and the snow in the valley melts in the space of about two days. Our woods fill up with clusters of red and purple wildflowers. Bright green leaves pop up on the aspens. The land, which has been so quietly pristine all winter, fills with color and noise. I like to stand on our back porch and listen as the breeze stirs the trees into a rhythmic whispering, the creek that cuts across the corner of our land gurgling happily, birds singing (and occasionally dive-bombing me), chipmunks chattering. The air smells like flowers and sun-warmed pine. The mountains behind the house are still white with snow, but spring has definitely sprung.
So very descriptive.
Here are my picks for the Dream Casting Challenge. This is hard for me because I don’t have a clear image of any of these characters, or any book characters, in my head. I’m just not visual that way. I skip over physical descriptions of people. I did take notes on a few of them, but I missed others.
Bonus: I found Cynthia Hand’s picks! Looks like I was way off on most of them. She picked Emma Roberts for Wendy!
So what did you think?
Link up your discussion post below and head on over to Downright Dystopia for the Dream Cast and to enter the giveaway for an e-copy of Hallowed, the second book in this series.
Don’t forget to read chapters 10-13 today and come back tomorrow for another discussion post!