Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

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.

Title: Boundless (Unearthly #3)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Source: Purchased
Publication date: January 22, 2013

This review may contain spoilers for Unearthly and Hallowed, the first two books in the series. There are also spoilers for the love triangles in Twilight and The Hunger Games. Radiant takes place before this book but I haven’t read past the first page yet, so any Radiant spoilers are inadvertent. If you haven’t read them yet, I would advise you to read Radiant before Boundless. There are some things mentioned in Boundless that I’m pretty sure took place during Radiant and for me, it’s just better to read them in order. I don’t know why I didn’t.

High school graduates now, Clara, Angela, and Christian all start college Stanford. At first there are a lot of details about college life, which is always interesting to me, but that quickly ends when the real plot begins. There are still mentions of classes and other things around campus, but I was a little sorry to see the college aspect of the book end for the most part. I kind of liked seeing Clara and the others in that bubble. Clara picks a major that I wouldn’t have expected for her, but when you think about it, it’s the perfect major for someone with Clara’s abilities.

I was surprised by where some of the storylines went. Angela’s, in particular, would not have been the story I wanted for her and I’m still not sure I’m comfortable with it. I miss the closeness she and Clara had in high school. It’s not there once they start Stanford. It later becomes clear why that is, and I think reading Radiant first would have helped as well, but I wish they could go back to the friendship they had in high school and Angel Club. Angela spends a lot of time walking circles in the labyrinth at Memorial Church and keeping secrets from — and lying to — Clara. Again, the reasons become clear, but I just didn’t like her as much in Boundless.

(I have to say, when I looked up the labyrinth to see if it’s real, it was a lot smaller than I expected. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it wasn’t some cheap-looking vinyl carpet that can be rolled up for portability. I was under the impression that there were a lot of people walking it at once, but looking at the picture of the real thing, the numbers I was imagining would be very crowded.)

I wanted more Jeffrey. I always want more Jeffrey! I’m afraid I have a crush on that boy angel-blood. His role in Boundless is important, but as far as actually showing up in the book, he isn’t present very much. Thinking back to the first two books, though, he didn’t play a major role in them either. He was always there, but in the background. It’s just my luck that I fell for the little brother with a smaller part.

The love triangle in this series is different from others I’ve read in that there are two viable choices. Did people really think Jacob stood a chance in Twilight? It was obvious to me from the start that Bella was always going to end up with Edward, so I never even entertained the idea of her and Jacob. In the Hunger Games, I was already on Team Gale by the time we met Peeta, but even though I never bought the relationship, I could see where things were going to end. In Unearthly, I was solidly Team Tucker. In Hallowed, I opened up to Team Christian. I honestly could have been happy with either one “winning,” but in the end, I’m glad Clara makes the choice she does.

Boundless wraps up the series in a satisfying way, and the epilogue provides even more closure to most of the storylines. Epilogues are tricky; sometimes they seem a little too perfect. Characters A and B are married and have three perfect kids! Characters C and D are married and have two perfect kids! Both families live next door to each other on a perfect street andthe kids are best friend and happily ever after. There’s an element of that here, too, and I’m definitely all for the happily ever after, but… While it’s nice to know what the characters are up to, sometimes the specifics are best left to the imagination. If I can imagine the characters are out there, going about their lives and building familes, that’s enough.

On the other hand, I do wish there was more information on the guy Clara doesn’t choose. One person still in her life is in contact with him and is able to keep her updated on him. His job is mentioned, but I want to know that he’s happy like everyone else is. And there’s not enough on future Jeffrey. I need a Jeffrey book — or at least a novella.

4 stars



  1. I want to read this trilogy so badly but my TBR list is just so long that I can’t see myself doing that in the near future! I’ve heard such amazing things. Great review!
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