Title: Boundless (Unearthly #3)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban-Fantasy
Rating: 3 / 5
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In the final book of the Unearthly trilogy, all of Clara’s visions have lead up to this moment. Clara, Angela, and Christian have all moved to California to attend Stanford, so that Angela may fulfil her purpose. Clara’s newest vision of a pitch black room leaves her terrified for her future, and together they must all prepare for a battle that they may not survive. Meanwhile, the constant presence of the black wing, Samjeeza, makes Clara uneasy about his motives. Does he know the truth about her parentage? Has he informed the Watchers about her? In the conclusion of this series, Clara will discover who and what is her true destiny.
I had high expectations for this final novel in the Unearthly series, but unfortunately for me it didn’t deliver. The first two thirds of it were amazing and very much like its predecessors, but then the last third came, and I really wish it didn’t exist. It just felt like this novel was supposed to be over two books, and therefore so much action was jam-packed into it that it was exhausting to read. There were also plenty of eye-rolling, predictable moments, as well as ridiculous and unrealistic outcomes.
There is a big deal made about the choice between free-will and destiny throughout this series, yet it seems to have been completely disregarded in this concluding novel. Clara’s mother said that their purpose was something they could not hide from, and that even if you tried to escape it, it would still come about from essentially their own choice. The reveal of Clara’s overall true purpose was a bit of a let-down though, especially considering she just ignores most of it anyway. Then the ending has such a contradictory message about the idea of purpose to what we have come to know it as throughout the series.
Unfortunately, the female characters in this final book are not as independent and intelligent as we’ve previously come to see them. I was so frustrated over Clara constantly pining for Tucker throughout. Months have passed since their break up and she is still not over him. If you can’t be yourself around a person because your supernatural qualities terrify and make that person sick, then it’s definitely time to move on. She even makes stupid choices that put others in danger because of her inability to get over him and see clearly. Even Angela’s attitude in this book is pathetic, and gone is her usual independent and sassy self, replaced by a lovesick, foolish girl.
In my opinion, how this novel finishes was like a backflip to where we began this series. Clara hasn’t grown, as she’s the same person she was when it started. All this growth Clara experiences throughout the series, as she comes to accept this newer version of herself seems to have been completely forgotten in this last novel. Her development in the previous novels leads one to believe that there is only one right choice between the two boys, yet a deus ex machina comes along and the solution is so cheaply resolved. The person she ends up with doesn’t make any sense at all. Plus, the rejected boy does not get any kind of happy ending.
There are so many elements that were left unanswered at the end of this book. What was Jeffrey’s purpose? Why was his vision to light the fire back in the first book? Why is Angela’s wings snow white? It was also frustrating how Clara believes she can now live a normal life even though all the black wings now know her secret. She even rejects her biggest form of protection against them.
Aside from my many irritations with this book, it was still an entertaining read. This series is a lot better than many other YA angel books out there, which is perhaps why I had such high expectations for this final book in the series. Overall the book had really sweet moments with each of the love interests, as well as hilarious scenes between Clara and her brother. I particularly enjoyed the parts with Samjeeza, plus the concept of Heaven and Hell. The author again has tapped into and conveyed emotion well throughout, and incorporated many interesting religious, literary, and mythological references into the plot. If you have not read this series as yet, I would definitely recommend reading it.