Continuing where Essence, Book 1, EVE series ended, 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.
In Enlightened, Book 2, 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 forgoes 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?
The Final Countdown
Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Waddington does a great job creating her characters and developes them well. There are quite a few names to keep track of, but the reader very quickly gets to know both eras of Jocelyn’s existence as her worlds begin to collide. Jocelyn is a complex character who is eager to learn and is filled with love. She’s stubborn and often times immature, but this is part of her growth. Jackson is endearing, though something about him frustrated me. Haha. Perhaps that’s the Victorian side of him that pops out every so often. I really liked reading about Jocelyn’s brothers in both time frames, they’re caring and honest, and they help keep the story grounded.
Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in this story was fun, though the longer monologues were a bit heavy. I found everything to be realistic, at least as much as it could be with this type of storyline. I like the back and forth between Jocelyn and Ethan.
Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
This is a very intriguing concept, though very hard to keep straight. There were moments in the Victorian era set scenes that I felt they weren’t as authentic time-wise, but that’s alright because the story was great overall. Waddington does a great job keeping all of the characters in order. I thoroughly enjoyed the themes of love, family, and time throughout this story and the first.
Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Some of my favorite moments in this book, as well as the first in the series Essence, were those that included descriptions of the Victorian era clothing. I definitely would have loved more description, though. A story like this could really thrive on the visuals, since there is so much going on. Where this story lacked visually, it definitely held the emotion.
Ending 2.5/5 Stars
The ending of this story was anti-climactic for me. I definitely want to read the next book, but was left feeling unfulfilled with the ending of this one.
Total: 16.5/25 Stars