Unlikely by Frances Pauli

PauliUnlikelyWhy I Read It: Quite frankly, it was the cover. I can be shallow like that. 🙂

Where I Got It: A review copy from the author via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Fantasy fans

Narrator: Lisa L. Wiley

Publisher: Self-published (2013)

Length: 6 hours 52 minutes

Series: Book 1 A Kingdoms Gone Story

Author’s Page

Satina spends her life on the move. In a world of violent-prone gangs, Satina can’t help but grant those who ask her help. She is a Granter, that is her special gift. So after helping someone flee a gang, she herself must move on, traveling from pocket to pocket (places only those in the know magically can access), she ends up in Westwood. This place is about to be torn apart by two rival gangs and the people of Westwood are caught in the middle. The leader of one gang seeks an edge, magic that will make him the ruler of this little town. Satina joins forces in a haphazard sort of way with an unlikely group.

This story was rich and magical. Frances Pauli created a world with its own lingo, a rich atmosphere that I sank into. I loved riding around in Satina’s head, figuring out her world and the mess she stepped into in Westwood. There’s history and lost knowledge to be considered, different cultures and peoples, and the broken down disarray that allows the gangs to rule. And of course, there are the other magical denizens keeping a low profile in Westwood.

Enter the imp Skinner, Marten. Is he a bit of a mischief maker? A little chaotic good? At first Satina isn’t sure. Marten runs a little store in Westwood and the bullying gangs aren’t above wrecking the place and roughing up Martin to force Satina into helping them with their plans for total local domination. Marten was an intriguing character since I was not sure where he stood at the beginning. Of course, I became quite fond of him by the end. And one gang, lead by Zane, became more of a pain in the ass than the others. While Zane threatens Marten’s health to get Satina to help him, he also lets Satina know that more of her is desired.

My favorite aspect of this story was the pockets, magical bubbles closed off from the real world unless you have the magic and can enter them. In these pockets, many of the remaining magical folks (faeries and such) choose to live. These pockets range in size from small grassy knolls perfect for a lovers’ tryst to small villages (where the magic folk can romp and play). Satina uses the pockets to travel safely, often setting up camp in one at night (provided she can find one). We learn a little about the magical denizens of these pockets, how they have chosen to shut out the real world and humanity. And because of this, much of humanity has forgotten how magic works.

All in all, a very good start to a fantasy series. There’s been great set up of Satina’s world, with plenty more left to discover.

Narration: Lisa L. Wiley was a good choice for the voice of Satina. She had a great mix of wonder, hesitancy, and resolve in her performance of Satina. Her male voices were also decent. On occasion, Wiley did narrate rather slowly and a few times there was some stilted speech patterns. These were not enough to make me put the book down.

What I Liked: The world building; the cover; Satina’s practical nature; Martin the imp; the magical pockets.

What I Disliked: The narration was sometimes stilted.

What Others Think:

Book Hostage

My World…in words and pages

OnceUponATime8Tis the season for fantasy in all forms. Join the reading challenge Once Upon A Time, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. You can catch my intro post to this year’s challenge over HERE. Anyone can join this event, which runs from March 21 – June 20, 2014.

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