Review: The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston


Source: Purchased
Publisher: Kensington
 Paperback, 373 Pages
 Paranormal Romance 
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 3/5


Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstöm has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

The Unleashing is the first in the paranormal romance series, Call of Crows. It centers on a group of women that have undertaken the job as deadly assassins for the Norse god Skuld, and with it’s delightful mix of humor and action The Unleashing turned out to be a pretty fun escape.

I love when books pull in mythology especially those that rarely seemed to be used like the Norse, so without really even hesitating I purchased this and immediately dug in. The story and world building is quite interesting, and has a sort of Percy Jackson-like feel to the way the gods operate. We have different groups of humans who serve under different gods, and though we only see the Norse in this one it’s eluded that the other theologies have their own groups as well. The Crows are basically the ultimate hunters of the Norse groups, they take care of the messes most don’t want to touch and they do it quickly, efficiently, and with little mercy. I liked the way the story progressed, but there were times when it felt odd or rushed a bit..and I would have liked to see more about the upcoming danger before the last 20% of the book.  While it is suggested that this can serve as a standalone I don’t know many people who would be satisfied  enough with the conclusion that they wouldn’t want to read the next one in the series.

We focus mostly on Kera, a former Marine who finds herself with the Crows after a near fatal incident. I mostly liked Kera. She’s a well organized mind placed into a house full of women who thrive on chaos, and I liked that despite her combat experience she still had to adapt to both the chaotic women and the new found life within the Crows. I think my favorite character is Erin. She’s…a bit off. Before being a Crow she was a medically diagnosed sociopath, and emotions were not something she was accustomed to living with. So every now and then she’ll do something and just not understand why everyone is so horrified with her, but I like her style because even though she has a bit of an issue ‘getting’ the normal way to do things she puts her fellow Crows first.

I did have some issues with this one though. The conversations had a tendency to dissolve into screaming matches…a lot. When I saw these women fight through most of the book I really mean it, they are either fighting other people or freaking out on each other and after a while it started feeling juvenile. The humor is there, but some of it was definitely hit or miss and I got tired of the ill fitting quips that seemed to pop up in every situations, good or bad. And there was a lot of plot stalling towards the middle.

While the Call of the Crows probably won’t be on my to-buy list in the future I did enjoy the break in seriousness that The Unleashing provided.

3 star



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1 Response to Review: The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

  1. Bound to Be Me says:

    I didn’t read the first book in this series but I read the second and really enjoyed it. The focus changes a bit. There’s still fighting but there is more literature.. It’s hard to explain but I think you might like it. I reviewed the book on my blog if you want to check it out.

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