It’s no secret that I love Kimberly Derting and have yet to read a book of hers that I haven’t liked. In fact, I love everything she has written, especially The Pledge. With its unique dystopian society, suspense, and romance, it’s definitely one of my favorite books. So, imagine my excitement when the time came for review copies of the sequel, The Essence, to make their way out into the world. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy and let me tell you, this book is spectacular!
Kimberly Derting has once again crafted an intriguing story that expands on the world she created with the first book. The writing is beautiful, concise, and fluid. It’s flawless, to be exact. The plot unravels at an even and engaging pace, the characters are further developed, and the romance is perfectly strained. What I love most about the book are the court politics Ms. Derting introduces. Each Queen has a specific greeting and I found this particular aspect to be hilarious and extremely clever.
Charlie continues to be a splendid narrator and character. Her struggles with being Queen and fighting to be herself are issues I found myself relating to despite the fantastical circumstances. All she’s trying to do is bring her people together, fight inequality, and keep her family safe, which are all admirable desires that make her even more likable.
Along with the stunning world, Max was another part of The Pledge that I loved. In this installment, he isn’t around as much, but he lights up the pages when he is. I love, love, love him. Enough said.
All in all, The Essence is a gem of a book. Kimberly Derting has taken her dystopian society, turned it on its head, and taken it in a new and darker direction. With fabulous writing, growing characters, and enough drama to satisfy any reader, this book will leave readers craving and desperate for more.