Monday, December 10, 2012

Radiant (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand

Title: Radiant (Unearthly #2.5)
Author:  Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: December 4, 2012
Purchase:  Amazon Barnes & Noble

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a riveting original novella (available only as an ebook) set in the world of the Unearthly series.

Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn't ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .

For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.

Alternating between Angela and Clara's perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.



Even though Radiant is from both Angela’s and Clara’s POVs, this short story really belongs to Angela. We learn some of her back story (which includes an interesting incident involving Christian) and a bit about her insecurities, and we finally get some details about her secret summer boyfriend, the mysterious Phen. Her loud, boisterous family is hilarious, and her Nonna gives the best advice:

“‘You must beware the handsome ones,’ she says, and makes a tsking noise with her tongue. ‘Pretty face, rotten soul. Watch out for those. Those boys no good for you. Those boys will get you in plenty of trouble.’ Turns out, she’s not wrong.” 

Angela and I share a fascination with old churches, so I loved reading that she visited those that were filled with the corpses of the saints.  Her visit to the church in Milan was a favorite part of mine because of the vivid details she provided about the fresco on the ceiling and the man she saw standing under it.

“I had a thing for churches back then; I suppose I still do. They’re so quiet most of the time, a quiet that’s different from anyplace else, cool and peaceful and contemplative in their very nature.”

And while that visit was quite enjoyable, it was even more gratifying to read about her first meeting with Phen and all the rendezvous that followed in the museums, churches, cafes, the Coliseum, and of course …. his flat.

“‘Beautiful,’ he murmured, and I knew that he was talking about more than the song. He was gazing at me like I was a butterfly trapped in his net, like he was tempted to pin me up behind glass even though he knew he should let me fly away.” 

“‘Ti voglio baciare,’ I said. I want to kiss you.”

Though I was intrigued by Angela and Phen, I was also worried about poor Clara. With the ending of Hallowed, I’ve been nursing my broken heart, so it’s no surprise that she has been nursing hers, but Clara is tough and not without her humor:

“I’m the last person qualified to lecture someone else about affairs of the heart. I’m the poster girl for the it’s complicated relationship status on Facebook.”

I was more than ready for Boundless after I read Hallowed, but this novella -- along with the delicious sneak peek of Boundless at the end -- not only has me on the edge of my seat with anticipation, but also has left me with some suspicions and a couple of theories about the friendship between these two girls and, most importantly, Tucker and Christian.   January can’t come soon enough!

Note: I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t agree with some novellas (especially those that are only around 20 pages) being sold for $2.99 or more. I’m very pleased that the price for Radiant is $1.99 - very fair for a story that is roughly 76 pages, including the novella and the sneak peek of Boundless. 

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)Boundless (Unearthly, #3)Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)



  1. I still haven't started this series, but you & Jen have convinced me that I must start soon! Glad you liked Radiant.

    1. Yayyy! Hope you enjoy this series as much as I have, Andrea! <3

  2. I am planning on reading and reviewing this one for Saturday. I have never been a big fan of Angela there is just something about her so I am hopeful that I will like her better after reading this novella. Oh and you don't have to wait until March. Boundless releases on January 22nd. Watch for Cynthia Hand on my blog during Fire and Ice... I know so excited!

    1. I don't see you changing your opinion on Angela - she's a conundrum. D'oh - I knew that! Don't know where March came from. Too many books on my brain! Thanks for the catch!

  3. This is on my list and I am glad we learn more about Angela..i get the feeling she is misunderstood..but maybe not!

    1. I'll definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts! :)

  4. I want to get this read before the release of Boundless, but I'm not sure if I can squeeze it in. It sounds like one I will definitely have to try anyway maybe afterwards. I'm curious about Phen! Awesome review!

    1. Thank you, Sam! I hope you can squeeze it in; but if not, I don't *think* it's absolutely pertinent to read it before Boundless.

  5. I really need to read this series. I have the first book, and it sounds really good. Thanks for the great review.

  6. OOOOOOO I love all the quotes! I need to read this series. It is another that I have had on my TBR list for forever! love your review! I know you will be staying up all night when they next one comes out.


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