I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Unleashing by Shelly LaurenstonSeries: Call of Crows #1
Published by Kensington on March 31, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Also in this series: The Undoing, The Undoing
PJV Quickie: I am a huge fan of Shelly Laurenston’s shifter books, so when I saw she was starting a new series, I jumped on it. I wasn’t too thrilled about a series centered around Norse and Viking mythology, but figured if anyone could pull it off, it would be Shelly Laurenston. And guess what? She totally did.
Kera Watson is an ex marine who was managing a coffee house when she was killed trying to help someone else. She’s just woken up naked in a strange house – she doesn’t remember how she got there or why she’s naked. Then she remembers she was killed – she can still feel where the blade entered her chest. As she was dying, a strange woman offered her a second chance at life and she took it.
Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom is a Raven, his clan serves Odin, and his sister is a Valkyrie. He’s been trying to work up the courage to ask out the manager at a local coffee house. When he finds her dying in the alley behind the coffee house, he calls on Skuld to save her.
Now, Kera is a member of the Crows, a large clan of women in service to Skuld. There are other clans in service to other gods, but the crows are the only group where the members are not born with a Norse/Viking heritage. Sometimes the clans get along, and sometimes they don’t, but each person is fiercely loyal to the other members of their own clan.
When the Crows are sent on a series of missions that point to a larger problem, the Crows and the Ravens must work together to defeat a common enemy.
I have two words for you: Brodie Hawaii!!! I really liked the story and the characters, but I have to be honest, Kera’s dog, Brodie Hawaii, stole the show!
Because The Unleashing is the first book in the series, it sets up for the rest of the books in the series and there are a lot of characters to keep track of at first. I don’t know if it was because I had an e-arc or if the book will have the same issue, but sometimes I had a hard time figuring out who was speaking to whom or how relationships between some of the characters worked. I do like the mythology and the way the world is set up.
I really liked Kera; she has a hard time letting go of her old life as a marine and when she tries to organize the Crows, it’s not pretty. The other Crows are wild and wacky and over the top like the characters in her other series. And Brodie Hawaii – oh how I love that dog! Brodie had me cheering several times throughout the book.
Vig was a great hero – he was big, strong, smart, grumpy, and cared deeply about Kera. I wish that we could have gotten more back story on Vig though, we got that he was ‘feared by all’ but I didn’t really get that feeling about him from the story. I loved how he was with Kera though – her sister Crows kind of just threw her into the lifestyle without much instruction, and Vig was there to teach her and offer advice.
I am assuming future books will focus on different couples and I am totally down for that! The end is not a cliffhanger per se, but the main story arc is not complete at the end of The Unleashing. I didn’t want the story to end where it did.
If you already read and enjoy Shelly Laurenston books, I definitely recommend The Unleashing. If you enjoy over-the-top, quirky characters or paranormal romance and Viking mythology, I would suggest giving The Unleashing a read.