Friday, February 8, 2013

The Essence by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 

Pages: 352pgs

The Story

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

The Review

After falling in love with one of the most captivating reads from 2011, The Pledge, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel, especially after yet another clever cliffhanger coming from the author, Kimberly Derting, whom wrote it splendidly  So while THE ESSENCE was an interesting read for the most part and continues quite an adventure with the character, much like what I had experienced from the first book, but I was still quite disappointed with this sequel as it did not - by any means - live up to my very high expectations as sad as it is to say so.

Don't get me wrong here, I still found THE ESSENCE being a great continuation of the series and it definitely offered plenty of unexpected twists and turns here and there, which I still happened to really enjoy. But what I found lacking in this particular sequel was the events that occurred throughout it, how unnecessary and completely random they seemed to have become, and how dis-interesting the characters seemed to be as they lost themselves in those particular events. Even the added perspectives from the other supporting characters just couldn't quite cut it for me and in the end there just wasn't that same old spark - at least not the one I had with the first book, The Pledge. Plus it didn't help having less appearances from the main character's love interest, Max, which increased my disappointment even more. I really missed Max even though there was this slight awkwardness going on between him and Charlie at times.

Out of everything I guess, the only redeeming and interesting factor for me in this book was how the main character, Charlie, was struggling against her Queen-ly duties, her own kingdom and those who plan to destroy it and her along with it. Even her internal struggle with keeping Queen Sabara (Max's Grandmother) at bay was interesting enough, the Queen whom she killed and whom now resides distant in her very own body. It had this super cool The Host feeling to it and it was something that made me keep on reading to see what was going to happen next for Charlie, so I'm glad that part of the book had worked out well for me.

Overall, while it was unfortunate for me, THE ESSENCE was quite a disappointment. Regardless, the sequel was still a great read and it'll be interesting where the author takes this series to next! But let's hope the third book regains the spark that I so desperately needed from this sequel as I loved, loved, loved the first book so much!

The Rating
3/5 stars


  1. aww i hoped you had enjoyed this one more! I had the Pledge as an audio, and i liked it, but i dont think ill be picking up the 2nd one ANY time soon... Thanks for your honest review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    1. I know . . . I thought the first book was brilliant but sadly . . . I didn't enjoy this one as much. It's such a pity too.

      Anyway, thanks Farah! :)

  2. Skimmed the review because I haven't read the first book, but disappointing to hear that you didn't enjoy this one as much! I've put off reading The Pledge because of mixed reviews...and now I'm sort of leaning towards giving it a miss :S Hope the third is better for you! :)


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