Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Essenced opened with a less then climatic or action packed sequence, and definitely picks up on a slow build. This is a multiple character book and at the start keeping all the names straight was a bit of challenge, yet in most fantasy books a reader should be prepared for a plethora of characters.
The story is in a third person POV, which at times read a bit omniscient, but the blend between the two worked for me. If you’re a stickler for POV’s staying consistent through a story this may not be a book you want to pick up. The narratives and action keep things from wandering too far into internal, and I didn’t find an issue with this either. The main character the story focuses on, AJ, a sixteen year-old suddenly imbued with the power of a supernatural creature. She is the only one, besides her trainer Julius, who we get to dive into internal thought with. There are additional secondary character’s who get a little bit of time, but mainly it’s AJ.
The variety of supernatural creatures, personalities and funny moments made this book a delight to read. My favorite moment was when AJ and her fellow soldiers are gathered around the dinner table after a long day of training. Hijinks, confessions, sharing weaknesses, and a bunch of hilarious conversation ensues. I laughed out loud and even took a moment to pause and enjoy. It’s not often I read a book that makes me laugh or express a ton of a emotion. This book did.
For readers who love action, weapons, and the supernatural this book opens the doors to all three. Smith did a good job of showing plenty of action without losing my attention and seemed to be well versed on the types of training exercises and fighting equipment the characters experienced.
Of course nothing is tidy in the world of YA, and the story leaves off at a cliff hanger. I also ended the story with lots of questions, and I can only hope all of them get answered in the next story. The real action is coming in book 2, but when the lovely Connie L. Smith plans to release the next story is anyone’s guess.
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Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to
music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.