As with my review of Priscilla the Great, my son (the-more-than-reluctant-reader) had an input. He read the story before I did and liked it. His comments are in blue.
STORYLINE: When the President can find no evidence that Colonel Selliwood’s institute is providing added value to the country’s defense, he withdraws financial support. Selliwood hatches a plot to kidnap the President’s daughter and blame Priscilla (the Great) Sumner. The Sumners have been a thorn in Selliwood’s side – Quindolyn (Priss’ mother) was his first successful super human specimen. She escaped and continues to help other specimens - who are trained assassins – to get away from the institute and lead normal lives.
PLAYERS: Priscilla Sumner – quirky thirteen-year-old supergirl who now has several successful missions to her credit and has much better control of her special powers, chief of which is shooting fire out of her fingertips.
Tai – Priscilla’s super smart best friend, who is inadvertently drawn in as a sidekick.
Kyle – boyfriend to Priscilla, keeps having his memory erased when he visits as it’s too risky to her safety if he knows her family’s location.
Marco – Another super teen who’s attracted to Priscilla.
An assortment of lively characters – In my review of Priscilla the Great, I mentioned Priscilla’s zany family members, who possess their own special quirks. Her older brother, Josh has matured somewhat, and is no longer hung up on Christina Aguilera. In the Kiss of Life, he works at getting a better grip of his psychic powers.
I LIKED: the fact that this second book went along at a brisk clip. It wasn’t bogged down with back story, although it was necessary to fill in the gaps from the first book. The characters stayed true to form and the young people showed signs of maturity. They twins were pretty much themselves, except for a sweet caper they performed just for Tai.
This book also ended on a cliffhanger. There was an unresolved plot point with that necklace Priss received, but I suspect it might have something to do with their mother’s strange behaviour before she disappears at the end of the book.
My son liked Specimen Zero, who can change into anything he pleases and Specimen Xi (one of the villains who battles Priscilla). He thought her ability to regenerate her body parts was beyond awesome. He also liked the invisible jet, the fight scenes and Marco, who turns into metal when he’s in battle mode.
I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: the little niggle that followed me to the end of the book. Priscilla, Tai and Marco rescued the President’s daughter. Xi insulted Specimen Zero previously by calling it an ‘evolutionary missing link’ because of its ineptitude. Given what she thinks of ‘it’, I wondered at the rationale behind leaving him alone to guard as important a kidnapee as the president’s daughter.
OVERALL COMMENTS: Again, if you have a reluctant reader, this is the kind of story that will quickly absorb and keep him reading. Priscilla’s voice has much to do with why I find the series entertaining. She’s plucky, funny and feisty. Add the fact that she’s a creative thinker and you have a recipe for a dynamic story.
This time around, Priss did a fair amount of reflecting on her relationship with Kyle and how conflicted she was over her attraction to Marco. It didn’t get over-complex, but showed one of the issues that sometimes affect people her age.
Her mother’s unpredictable behaviour also added depth to the novel and did well as a sub-plot, considering that it exploded into something deeper at the end of this story.
I’m looking forward to Priss’ third adventure and to finding out what’s ailing Quindolyn Sumner, apart from pregnancy and the seeming return of her super powers.
SOURCE: I bought Priscilla the Great: The Kiss of Life through the Amazon Kindle store.
RATING: I listed the ratings and asked my son to tell me which one he’d give the book. Like me, he preferred the first story. He said that to him it had more action and did not end as abruptly as book two. I’m not sure yet why I also prefer book one. Anyway, he said The Kiss of LIfe was Mind-blowingly Awesome.