Mini-Reviews: Radiant and Origins: The Fire

Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, #2.5
Release Date: December 4th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 94
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 stars

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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.
Admittedly, I probably should have read this before I started Boundless, considering the fact that the mystery behind Phen, what the visions represent, who the man is, etc, is all shattered, but even knowing those valuable pieces of information that practically ruined the mysterious aspect of Radiant for me, I still found this to be enjoyable.

Radiant takes place shortly after the events of Hallowed, with Angela and Clara in Italy for the summer. In Italy, Angela is reunited with a boyfriend of sorts from years earlier, and begins to spark her relationship with him once again. However, Clara feels that there is something off with Angela's boyfriend - Phen - and she may just be right in feeling that.

I find Angela to be one of the most fascinating characters in the Unearthly trilogy, so having an opportunity to get inside her head in Radiant was definitely an intriguing topic. While I am a bit dismayed to say that being in Angela's head for as such a short amount of pages was not as fascinating or interesting as I had expected it to be, I still had a fun time being in Angela's head, though I would have liked it to differ more drastically from being in Clara's, as the point of views changed every chapter.

There's not much more to say about Radiant that I haven't already said so far, so I'm going to leave this review short and sweet, just like the book. Highly recommended to be read before Boundless, or just not at all, I found Radiant to be a quick, somewhat entertaining yet overall enjoyable read, albeit a bit of a filler novella. Whether or not you'd like to read this is obviously up to you, and while I'd definitely recommend it, I wouldn't say it is in any way a necessity to understand any events in Boundless.

Origins: The Fire
Debra Driza
Series: MILA 2.0, #0.5
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 15
Source: Bought
Rating: 3.5 stars

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Heart-stopping and electric, MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire contains a short prequel story and an excerpt to MILA 2.0, the first book in a riveting Bourne Identity–style trilogy by Debra Driza.

Mila can't remember anything before the fire that took her father's life. It's normal to have some memory loss after traumatic events, but Mila doesn't remember if she's ever learned to ride a bike, or if she's ever been in love. Nothing.

What she doesn't know is that she isn't supposed to remember—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to forget. Because if she remembers, she might discover her true identity.

The question is: If she relived the fire, what would she see?

Huh! Well, color me surprised! I was expecting very little from this fifteen-page novella, but it was actually pretty impressive! This mini-review probably won't even be a paragraph, more like a mini-mini-review, but, once again, this was a very impressive novella considering its length. It showcased some strong writing, some near-nail-biting moments, and an interesting little twist that probably won't be a surprising one for you if you know the basic plot of MILA 2.0, but now I am going into MILA 2.0 with much higher expectations than before. I should be starting MILA soon, and I am definitely looking forward to it more, now. 


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