My Rating: 4 / 5
Author: Frances Pauli
Title: Unlikely: A Kingdoms Gone Story (Volume 1)
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Background: Satine knows more than anyone that gangs are bad news. As a Granter, she uses her magic to help people escape them. So far, her sole reward has been a life on the run, dodging from pocket to pocket and only landing in the ordinary world long enough to put her special skills to use. When the goodmother arrives in Westwood, however, a magic-hungry gang is just one step behind her, and their leader wants more than just the town. He wants Satina, and he’ll do anything, use anyone, to get to her. Though Satina finds an unlikely ally in Marten, the imp Skinner who manages to help more people than he hurts, it will take all the power they can summon to keep Westwood’s secrets from falling into the wrong hands, to keep one wide-eyed girl from following the wrong man, and to keep Satina herself from falling in love with the only person in the world who knows how much of a fraud she really is.
The story was written in third person following Satina, a Granter. Therefore, the reader followed her throughout the whole story. Satina was a great character. She was strong but not unrealistically so. She was caring and wanted to do what was best for those around her. Marten and Hadja were also interesting characters with mystery and a deeper past that the reader was left wondering about the finer details (perhaps in the next book?). The villain in the story, Zane, was fairly one dimensional in that he was bad—magic/power hungry and that’s about it.
The plot grew more adventurous as the story progressed and led to a good climax. There were a few twists within the story that left the reader wondering, “What will they do now?” The ending left leeway for the next book but settled the current troubles. One thing that I would have liked to have seen was a little more explanation of the terms for this particular fantasy (such as Granter, Shades, etc.) I got a rough idea but did not completely understand it, especially at the beginning of the story. Also a little more background on the Final War would have been great (however, the reader was at the mercy of Satina’s limited knowledge of these things.)
The bottom line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book and finished it within two days. The story kept me interested, and it flowed throughout the whole book. If you like fantasy novels and adventure, then you might want to give this book a try.