Author: A. L. Waddington
Page count: 250
My rating: 3 TURTLES: An enjoyable read, but I suggest check out if you like the topic before adding it to your to-read list.
The barrier between Jocelyn Timmons consciousness continues to dissolve as she better understands the two lives she lives and enormity of her newly discovered inherited gift of EVE (Essence Voyager Era) which allows her to fall asleep on one plane of existence and awaken on another as her soul travels nightly.
Present-day Jocelyn uncovers the vast wonderment of the Victorian era but soon learns that life then was not as grand for women as she has read in the classics. Still, she finds comfort in the support of family and friends; a bolstering contrast to her overly hectic, career-oriented family in the twenty-first century. Her love for Jackson Chandler strengthens across time and becomes the light she so desperately needs as the world she has always known no longer makes sense. Yet, the closer she is drawn to Jackson by their mutual ability, the more strain develops amongst those she loves in 2009.
On the other side of Jocelyn’s consciousness in 1878, she remains ignorant of EVE. Her life is crumbling around her, yet she finds herself anxiously awaiting the images that invade her dreams. Jocelyn longs to be the woman she portrays in that world yet her jealousy is unbearable. Miscommunication, betrayal and hidden agendas make trust near impossible. The clearer the visions become the more she questions motives of her closest confidants and foregoes revealing the images that plague her perception. As her life seems to unravel, Jocelyn’s two worlds collide, and she is enlightened as the pieces start to fall into place. But is she strong enough to survive the truth? Is Jackson really her destiny? And can their love transcend time? Find out in Essence’s highly anticipated sequel, Enlightened, Book 2, EVE series.
When I finished Essence, the first in the series, I was very excited when I heard that Enlightened was already out. I loved the premise of the book and was excited to find out where Waddington would take it next. Enlightened picks up right where Essence ends as Jocelyn struggles to deal with the barrier between her two worlds coming down. There was a real opportunity for there to be an expansion in the story, and I was really excited for that, but unfortunately, Enlightened falls prey to the ever dreaded Sequel Slump and didn't deliver the goods for me.
The main reason thing that was the problem for me that made me give it a 3 instead of a 3.5 like I did Essence was because what I thought would be a minor trial in the story arc ended up being the main conflict. It felt blown way of proportion to me. I won't give that much away, but it involves an argument between the two main lovers, and while there was a valid reason for them to get into a fight about it, Jocelyn dealt with it very immaturely - she even knows she's being immature - but she's too proud to apologize until it's almost too late. Instead of being very romantic and keeping the reader in anticipation like I think this conflict was supposed to, it made Jocelyn lose heroine points in my book and had me reading to see when the main conflict was coming. When it turned out this was the main conflict for the book I was disappointed, because I didn't feel like the plot developed a whole lot overall.
I will keep reading this series, because I really do love the premise for this story and want to know what happens next. I don't want this review to discourage people from reading the sequel because there are some interesting developments that I think set up some interesting things for future installments. (plus, the book's a quick read). If you haven't checked out Essence yet I definitely recommend you do so, Enlightened won't make a lick of sense if you haven't read the first one!
Check out Enlightened on Amazon