Esme's Gift is the second book in the middle grade fantasy series that was sent to me by the author. Fifteen-year-old Esme Silver has saved Aeolia by protecting the pearl. However, rescuing her mother is not as simple as she had hoped, as her Gift is trapping her in the past. With the help of a new mentor, Esme must learn to control her time-traveling powers to find the ingredients of a powerful elixir that can awaken her. But this adventure also uncovers a shocking secret in Aeolia's history and puts her directly in the path of Nathan Mare.
Suspenseful and magical, Esme's Gift is even better than the first book! The sequel increases the intensity and delves further into the people and relationships that exist in Aeolia. The twists of new, astonishing revelations kept me hooked and fascinated. What we thought we knew about the motives behind the main villains, like Nathan Mare and Alexander Mann. Almost every character in this book has a dark side, as well, providing a mystery and an intriguing premise. Esme's Gift has a significant number of new characters, and I enjoyed that each one was distinctive in their own personality.
I enjoyed watching Esme make friends and start school as an "otherworlder". It reminded me of Keeper of the Lost Cities, especially when it came to Esme's power. I loved Esme's internal struggle on how to control her Gift and deal with the fact that it was experimented upon. In the beginning, her Gift has almost total control over Esme, and she worries about facing the same fate as her mother. But over time, her Gift becomes a true gift rather than a burden, and I loved watching Esme grow to become stronger. Esme's ability to travel back in time through the water was vividly descriptive, as was the personification of the water embracing her, controlling her, and helping her.
I highly recommend this book!
See my review of the first book in this series, Esme's Wish, here!
Title: Esme's Gift (Esme Series Book 2)
Author: Elizabeth Foster
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars