Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Radiant by Cynthia Hand

Title: Radiant
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarpetTeen Impulse
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Pages: ebook exclusive
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Radiant (Unearthly, #2.5)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.


When given the choice between studying for a math final I'm eighty percent sure I'll bomb (which I define here as getting a B on it; girl's gotta keep an A- average to keep her scholarship) and reading Radiant, the first thing I did upon getting up this morning was boot up my Kindle and start reading this novella set in Hand's Unearthly universe. No regrets! Not yet, at least; the final is Thursday.

Radiant is wholly Angela's story. Her insecurities, her life, her love, the petty jealousies she had in her friendship with Clara and gets over for the most part--we may get a taste of Clara's grief over everything that happened toward the end of Hallowed, but we're taken away from the Clara-centric world of the full novels to see Angela's personal nuances. Hints of all this that were present in Unearthly and Hallowed are fully explored here. If only she was allowed to carry full narration duties instead of sharing them with Clara... I understand the decision to have them share it, though. Clara, despite most of her POV adding little, does see one thing Angela doesn't and that readers need to. I'm looking forward to Boundless so I can see how the events of the novella affect their friendship in the long run!

This might have been a five-star had Angela not referred to a powerful woman trying to seduce the guy she has a crush on as a "jewel-bedecked Italian broad running her slutty hands all over him". Policy is policy and subtracting "slutty" halves the offensiveness without doing anything to the effect the line gives, so off goes a star.

The novella also has the prologue and first chapter of Boundless attached to it and though they aren't intriguing on their own, I'm not bothered by it; the first chapters of the previous two book weren't terribly grabbing either, but I still fell for them. Who do I have to kill around here to get a copy of that book for review? I'll do it. I've got my weapons, burial spot, and getaway car ready. Just tell me who and I'll do it. For serious. (No, not really.) Still, Radiant is everything a reader can ask of a novella: a work that gives us a new point of view entirely instead of restating what we already know.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson