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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: Priscilla the Great

Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson
Publisher: WorldMaker Media
Pub. Date: December 15th, 2010
Pages: 276
Series: #1 in 'Priscilla the Great' Series
Age Level: 12+ (Upper MG)
Source: For review from author.

Synopsis via Goodreads

Meet Priscilla Sumner, an ordinary seventh grader with extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, an organization dead set on turning children into killing machines.

Add an older brother annoyingly obsessed with Christina Aguilera, mischievous baby twin brothers who could scare the sin off of Satan, and parents more puzzling than a Rubik’s cube in the Bermuda triangle and expect a smoking page-turner!

Fun and fresh, Priscilla the Great is the promising start of what is sure to be an exciting and hilarious series from talented author, Sybil Nelson.

Priscilla was a strong, sassy, and riot of a heroine. From the very first page, I knew I was going to enjoy her character. Her reactions to her various circumstances were appropriate and believable and she was, in general, very realistic as a twelve-year-old girl. Now, I do feel I should point out that a couple of things involving her and a certain boy seemed, at times, too mature for kids their age. Especially when Priscilla develops what is supposedly 'love sickness', a small aspect I felt could have been exempted. Or maybe I'm just forgetting what it was like to be that age. Other than that though, Nelson did not try to give Priscilla some kind of sophisticated personality, which I admired. She, instead, allowed Priscilla her pre-teen right to being immature when the situation called for it. There were also some well-crafted, dynamic supporting characters as well. The one that probably surprised me the most was Priscilla's older brother, Josh. The synopsis does not do him justice and I found I actually ended up loving him. And I gotta say, I would have never guessed his reasoning behind singing Christina Aguilera. Though I thought the dad was a bit drastic, I was glad to see Priscilla's parents play such important roles and they really added to the plot. Tai was Priscilla's smart and awesome best friend, someone I could have easily seen myself hanging out with at that age. I saw where things were headed with both Kyle and Spencer very early on but still thought they were good characters. Priscilla's younger twin brothers were little monsters but proved to have their uses at times and were often comical. The villains were also well done.

Priscilla the Great is a delightful combination of both contemporary and sci-fi elements. The story really kept me guessing and wanting to know more about what was going on with Priscilla's abilities and how she got them. There were a couple of things unrelated to Priscilla's new powers that were a bit predictable but I didn't mind much. There was plenty of action, even the occasional twist, and I loved how closely involved Priscilla's family and friends were in her life.

The writing style was simple and fast paced. There wasn't anything really standout-ish about the writing in general but nothing was done poorly either. Though I do feel Nelson did a nice job on the dialogue, keeping it witty and humorous, something I believe will greatly appeal to the younger, upper middle grade audiences as well as us older folks. ;)

I really liked how Nelson ended Priscilla the Great. Everything was pulled together nicely and then she made sure she had me wanting the next book with those last two lines. Honestly, I didn't see that coming.

All in all, Priscilla the Great is an impressive start to what I believe has the potential to become a popular series among middle graders. I'm really looking forward to the next books being released so I can find out what happens next. If you enjoy reading MG books then I definitely suggest you pick this one up.

Characters: B-
Writing: C+
Plot: B
Ending: B+
1st in Series: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B

Overall: B

Cover: C

Buy it now: Paperback / Kindle


Readaholics said...

Hey Pixie,
I liked your review of Pricilla the Great. I need a book for someone and this may be the perfect choice.
See ya!
Readaholics Anonymous

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Great review, as always, Briana! I've read one other review of this book and, oddly enough, the other reviewer pointed out the more mature moment(s) as well. So you are not alone in thinking it was a bit out of place.

That being said, Priscilla really sounds like a great read for middle-graders, as well as people like me who love a great story with a younger narrator. My heart will always have a place for adventurous youngsters and I Priscilla is going on my wishlist :D

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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