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Fire & Ice

Tales of Priscilla

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

“Is the outcome all that matters? Isn’t there a time when there are other things to consider?” Priscilla ponders this as she witnesses lost souls that she is unable to save. Unfortunately, in her journey she is often left to face hard and ugly truths about life, and she must simply learn to accept them.

Priscilla is a young girl with supernatural powers and a greater purpose in life. She has been chosen by God to help rescue abducted women from Hell. In her mission she is aided by a Catholic priest from an earlier era, a wizard, and an angel.

The book has plenty of adventure and plot points, but the author frequently uses exposition, rather than explanation, to showcase the action. One example of this takes place when Priscilla and the priest are actually in Hell to rescue the missing women: “Following Satan’s directions to the tee, our weary rescuers grew more tired with each passing minute in the harsh, ever changing climate of the Icy Hell of the South.”

At times, the book also speaks to readers rather than weaving needed information into the text more discretely. The technique serves to pull the attention away from the plot, creating a disconnect in the flow of events. For example, early in the novel Priscilla is explaining her powers: “‘Are there any other gifts I should be aware of for this mission?’ ‘Yes, my child. You have far more abilities than you may ever know…From the time you were born you had an invisible shield around your entire body.’”

Fortunately, the story is filled with interesting concepts and characters, which are the highlights of the novel. Priscilla meets ice demons, the Cerberus, and powerful mages. These characters are sprinkled throughout her adventures, providing Priscilla with excitement and challenges.

Overall, the novel disappoints due to the author’s overuse of exposition, and lack of depth in the characters. This is Wilson’s first novel and there is no doubt that she has the vision and creativity to write compelling fiction.

Young adult readers who enjoy fantasy and religious fiction are the target market of this professional-looking book.

In the end, although Priscilla often struggles to deal with the harshness of reality, she is able to come through with a positive message, including the fact that successful endeavors aren’t always measured by the outcome.

Laura Munion