Book Review: Essence

Title: Essence

Author: Hayley Gabrielle

Series: The Essence Chronicles #1

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

My rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

When Abbey Shader is summoned to Ethra, a land where human qualities roam free in flesh known as Essences, her life and the universe as she knows it splits open before her.

With the expansive secrets of humanity at her fingertips, Abbey’s strength of will and heart are put to a test no amount of time or meticulous study could have prepared her for.

Left to decide between the comfort of the familiar and the potential enlightenment of the strange, Abbey is thrust into a journey that demands more of her at every turn. She must learn to trust what she sees, and trust what she can’t.


The author gave me a free ebook in exchange for an honest review! The synopsis was intriguing, and the story was just enough to keep me on my toes.

The writing

The writing style was okay for me. There were some parts that did not entice me enough, but there were also scenes and lines that made me think about humanity and the world, and I really liked that.

The characters

The characters were really interesting, especially the Essences. The author truly captured their personalities and showed their “Essences” well. I also liked the fact that the Essence of Good was a man, and the Essence of Evil was a woman. In a way, it defies the norm/trope that women are the innocent ones, and men are the malicious ones. It was a nice change in the story. I would love to know how the author is going to continue that arc, and that story.

I liked the protagonist enough. Although, there was little that made me feel for her or connect with her. When I read, I try to relate myself to the narrator of the story but with Abbey Shader, I feel like I didn’t get much feel of her personality. I saw her emotions, that was for sure, but her personality was a miss for me.

Zac, the other protagonist, was okay for me as well. There’s a lot of story in his past, but I feel like it wasn’t explored enough. Maybe the author will revisit that in the future installments of the series, and give it more significance, who knows?

The plot

The plot was interesting enough, although I found it a bit lacking. It was intriguing and fascinating, but I needed more. I needed something that will truly get me hooked and leave me craving for more.

It was simple, and that’s good, there is nothing wrong about that. But it didn’t captivate me enough like I thought it would. Maybe they will be more action and plot in the second book once we dive in deeper to their world.

The world-building

The world-building was also good. I liked the concept of the erodosphere and how the Essences move and exist and function in these different worlds and in different people. I would really love to know more about them and their system. And I’d also love to meet other Essences!

Quotes from the book

“Laughter is a form of agreement,” says Zac, lifting his oar from the water and resting it on his knees. “The cruelest and most passive kind.”

“Age equates to experience,” he says. “Experience is knowledge. Knowledge is intelligence. Something you’d do well to uphold, dear heart.”

“Okay,” I say, a rush of boldness overcoming me. “Experience is knowledge, yeah, but intelligence isn’t a result of knowledge. Intelligence is how you act upon what you know.”

“…sleep isn’t intended to drag you toward your fears. More, to draw you away from them.”

“It takes faith to believe there’s no purpose to things, just as it takes faith to believe there is.”

“You mustn’t fear what you don’t know, Abbey. There will always be things you won’t understand, things beyond your comprehension, and even mine. But the process of discovery can be very exciting if you let it be.”


Now let’s appreciate that wonderful cover! Check out Hayley Gabrielle’s Instagram (@hayleygabriellewriter) for more updates!


This is my first September read y’all! How about you guys? What are you reading right now? Have you read this book yet? Comment down below!


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