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The Unlikely Ones by Mary Brown

Review by Caleyna

The Unlikely Ones is a stand alone novel that is very orginal. It is a quest, but the fate of the world is not in the hands of the adventurers, just their own happiness. It is mostly written in first person, though a few chapters are third person. The chapters are follow a rather specific pattern, which I really liked because it gave a limited preview of what would happen--once you figured it out.

The Characters
There are seven "creatures" on a quest to rid themselves of painful burdens. There are five animals (including a Unicorn), and two humans. Thing is a sweet little 12 year old. She narrates most of the story, and is highly likeable. I just loved her. She was very realistic to me. I liked her much better than another young lady most of us met recently (Lyra of His Dark Materials). Conn, the knight, is not the best character in the world, but he is more realistic than most knights. He has needs, and he's not afraid to give in to those needs. Need I say more? There is also a very sad dragon and a very confusing wizard. The villian, an evil witch, is just disgusting. Definetly not one of those characters that you waffle on.

Overall I really loved the characters. Thing is now officially one of my favorite characters of all times. She is just so good. I have no idea why I felt so related to her.

The World
The world was earth, medival I'd say, though it is never specific. England and France exist. But so do dragons, witches and unicorns. It never gives a specific time or place. There are lots of monks, and the knight believes in Jesus and God, so the history is not confusing at all. Normally I like different worlds, but this really works well for the novel. By basing the whole thing in a familiar world, Brown can spend her time on plot and character development instead of world building.

The Plot
I loved the plot. You have seven creatures all bound together by a strong force who must save themselves. Like I said before, they aren't out to save the world. No one else in the world cares about their plight. It will affect no one else if they fail or succeed. There is no "god" or whatnot looking out for them to ensure they win. Even if they fail nothing that horrible will happen. They will just be unhappy. I loved it. It was very different from other fantasy books.

The ending is the only drawback. It is very drawn out, and could have been condensed somewhat. Maybe I just didn't like it b/c I was so upset. Brown certainlly doesn't mind breaking the reader's heart. Very emotional stuff. Good stuff.

The Grade
I'm terrible at rating books, but this one has to be a four I think. It was good, but it could have been a little better with some adjustments. Some of the scenes just didn't ring true with me, especially with Conn.

Other comments: The cover is fairly terrible, but don't let that put you off from reading the book. Really, you can't judge a book by its cover. Also, this is NOT a kid's book. There are many, many references to sex, some subtle, some not. At first I was a little bothered by it, but then I realized that it made the whole book more realistic. After all, what man doesn't want some? *l*


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