Essence by Hayley Gabrielle is a young adult fantasy book and the first of The Essence Chronicles. This is Hayley’s debut-novel – and a good one at that. The story follows the journey of Abbey Shader, a high school teenager living a pretty ordinary life before stumbling upon the world of Ethra. It is a place far removed from her own where everyday life is different and human qualities (known as essences) roam free.
“Intelligence isn’t a result of knowledge. Intelligence is how you act upon what you know.”
The reader follows Abbey’s journey from the very first moment she enters Ethra, thus creating a wonderful utopian feel throughout the novel. The characters are multi-faceted and engage with Abbey in a variety of ways. Hayley’s writing style is captivating – illustrating a playful balance between poetic and witty – depending on what character you are reading. She creates a balanced suspense for the reader where you’re never quite sure what happens next and it’s what makes for her brilliant writing.
“He takes my face in his hands as our lips meet, fingers strong against my cheeks. For what could never possibly be long enough we stand, kissing, wrapped in each other’s arms under the golden rain. Something is happening inside me. A click. Or maybe a break. I’m not sure which, but it’s unfamiliar. Wonderfully unfamiliar.”
I highly recommend this novel and cannot wait to read the next instalment of what I know will be a fantastic trilogy.