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Monday, July 25, 2016

REVIEW: "The Unleashing" by Shelly Laurenston


The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1)
(Call of Crows #1)

Paranormal Romance
Kensington -- March 31, 2015
eARC, 373 pages
Read in July 2016
Netgalley

Goodreads -- Author Website

RATING: 4.25 STARS

SUMMARY
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.


THEMES & TROPES
Kickass Heroine, Mythology

MY THOUGHTS 
I received an eARC of this book from Kensington via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Unleashing is the first book in Shelly Laurenston's new paranormal series which focuses on the Crows, a group of women who are saved from death by the Norse goddess Skuld and tasked with doing her biding.  The heroine, Kera, is killed in the alley behind a coffee shop and given the chance at a Second Life by Skuld.  She accepts the offer and begins to adjust to her new life as a Crow.

I had such a good time with this book!  Kera is a killer heroine who is not afraid to get her hands dirty, but also has a strict moral code that eventually becomes a benefit to the Crows.  I found her obsession with organization to be very endearing and especially loved her devotion to her dog.  She even convinced Skuld to give sweet Brodie Hawaii a Second Life!  Vig is an intriguing hero due to the fact that he is considered to be one of the most deadly of the Raven Clan, but is also a sweet introvert when he isn't in battle.  I also loved that he had been harboring a crush on Kera since he first saw her in a coffee shop and wanted to help guide her into her life.

For me, the real star of this book was the depiction of female friendship. The romance was sweet and easy to root for, but I spent much of the book looking forward to any of the scenes featuring the Crows.  These are amazing ladies who come from all corners of the globe and, despite their differences, are completely devoted to one another.  They fight like any other group of friends, but they always have each other's back.  I also adored the scenes with them just joking around and hanging out.  My particular favorite Crows to read about were Erin, the redhead who loves to cause chaos, Jace, the quiet one who has berserker tendencies, and Tessa, the steady one with the happy family.

The mythology of this series does take some time to get used to.  The author mentions at the beginning that she has taken liberties with various aspects of Nordi mythology so I was able to just sit back and enjoy the ride.  I love the idea of the different Clans and how their association with the various gods/goddesses define their missions.  I know that this series focuses primarily on the Crows, but I would love to see the author do a few spin-off stories with the other Clans especially the followers of Ran.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a violent adventure filled with powerful women and detailed mythological details.  The Unleashing provided a great introduction to this series and I am excited to learn about this world.

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge
2016 Blogger Shame Reading Challenge
2016 Spooks, Howls, and Fangs Reading Challenge

BOOKS IN THE SERIES


The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1) The Undoing (Call of Crows, #2) The Unyielding (Call of Crows, #3)

1 comment:

  1. Paranormal romance isn't a genre I'm normally drawn too, but I've heard such amazing things about Shelley Laurenston. I've also heard that she's just amazing with adding great female friendships into her books. So glad you loved this. I so need to give them a try.

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