Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 22nd 2013
My rating: 3 stars
Finally, after days undergoing the five stages of loss and grief, (Uhmm, I think I still haven't gotten that close to the fifth step) I'm calm enough to form some coherent thoughts and explanations about what I think of this final book of the Unearthly series. This still has some major ranting but I really did try to be objective here. So here we go.
After reading this I have to say that this series will always be one of my most favorite angel books even if it cause quite a major heartache on me (later on that). Each aspects of the story - the character developments, the emotional depths, the plot line and the world-building were just fantastic! I finished this in one day, I couldn't really put it down. I adored almost every part of it. And Hand's writing is definitely exceptional especially since she never failed to reach me in an emotional level that mostly only contemporary books could do. I felt the hurt, the love, the regrets, the happiness, the loss, the acceptance in each of every characters. Despite its paranormal setting the emotional situations were very realistic. The development of the characters and their relationships (especially the parental love) was something I have to give Hand a very great credit for. It was wonderful and full of profound and poignant insights.
However as much I loved almost everything about it there is this one aspect, a pretty big aspect in this book that I think Hand wasn't able to completely handle very well: the romance. The reason that left me feeling conflicted, unsettled and hurt after finishing the story.
I am on the other team. Yes, the team whom Clara didn't choose. But I am not complaining because of her choice or more likely, Hand's choice. What made me disappointed and sad was the way it was handled. I have encountered countless stories with love-triangles, may it be a novel, a movie, a tv series, an anime or manga but never did I feel so bitter and broken than I had in Boundless. I could be really accepting and understanding if convinced, if it gave me reasons to believe that it has to be this guy and not the one I want. However that's where the problem in Boundless came. Hand failed to convince me and make me believe that Clara did the right decision by choosing Tucker but successfully and completely sold me to the idea of Clara and Christian together (and it isn't just me but a whole lot of readers too).
The first question that popped out on my mind after reading this was what was all that about then? Hand took a lot of time polishing, emphasizing and building up Clara and Christian's relationship in this novel. And that's what I wish she never did. 'Cause you see what was the point if in the end it they wouldn't be together? (Unless Hand plans to write something about them like 80 years later). What's worse was that she actually made a great job with it, it was very convincing that personally I think even the Tucker fans could accept the idea of Clara and Christian. And that if she went straight in that direction I can see that she'd be able to pull it off and make a really wonderful conclusion.
I wish she didn't make Christian a very great guy, always so supportive and understanding. I wish she didn't make Christian say all those wonderful words of adoration and love. I wish she didn't make him the perfect hero for Clara. Because seriously, all of it were pretty pointless when I reached the ending. I don't get why she has to do that. Look, I don't have a problem with Tucker. He was a great and wonderful character too, it was just that I wish Hand put a lot of more effort in him, in making me see that he had greater connection to Clara and that he was indeed her "home" so at least my heart, my poor, fragile heart wouldn't have been too hopeful and confident.
In the end, more questions just arose in me. More notably is What really is Christian to Clara? Her assistant? Her freaking sidekick? Someone who'd lend her power? Her personal body guard? Well, I sound bitter on that but I just can't help it. Clara and Christian had a really strong and firm connection. Putting everything together from the first book to Boundless, it just didn't make any sense. With the way everything turned out and with that convenient twist in the last part it seems really unfair for Christian. He went from being a very major character, a very essential one to someone who wasn't even present on the supposedly "happy" epilogue.
While I enjoyed most part of this book I can't say that I was satisfied with how things turned out. At some point, during those days I was processing what I really feel about this book I wanted to shout that this book is a freaking tease! Haha! Or maybe it really is. The ending did blow in my face like a sucker punch. I wish Hand could come up with another novel or even a novella just to explain everything and hopefully could give us our much needed closure.
*Initial Thoughts After Reading*
I wouldn't question the brilliant level of poignancy and profundity in this book. I was touched and moved in so many ways while reading this. The emotional depth of this story was just plain wonderful and downright amazing. However, I couldn't help feeling some qualms and apprehensiveness about the authenticity and the naturalness of the things that happened around the last parts of the book (yeah, I'm talking about the romance). It left me conflicted and had me questioning what were the purpose of some things. Like, what were all those build-up and convincing (from a lot of characters actually) for? It makes me think that they were pretty pointless with how things turned out. So you see, I really have this one big question popping out of my head after reading this book.
So what was all THAT for?
To those who've read this you know what I'm referring to. And I'm being pretty objective here. I really like this story and I consider this one of my most favorite angel-book. It's just hard not to wonder why the sudden left turn when more than half part of the book is pushing and taking us in a straight direction? And because of that the last part kinda felt a little forced for me. *sigh* I really don't know if I'm making sense. But yeah, I guess I need to process thoroughly everything out first.