AUTHOR(S): Shelly Laurenston
SERIES: Call of Crows #2
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
PUBLICATION DATE: March 29, 2016
LENGTH: 400 pages
DATE READ: July 2016
READING CHALLENGES: 2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge; 2016 Spooks, Howls, and Fangs Reading Challenge
THEMES/TROPES: Mythology, Geek Hero, Tormented Heroine
RATING: 4 STARS
A risk worth taking…
No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.
But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.
Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!
Shelly Laurenston continues her hilarious and action-packed Call of Crows series with The Undoing which is just as entertaining as its prequel. These books are violent, but so much fun. They feature the Crows, a mythological group of women who gain supernatural abilities after accepting assistance from the Norse goddess, Skuld, after their death. Now they live together in various compounds throughout the world and perform missions for various deities.
The series's focus shifts to Jace, a Crow who earned her new life after being murdered by her cult leader husband. Jace was a quiet, but powerful side character in The Unleashing and I was excited to see more of her. I really appreciated the way that the author developed our understanding of Jace and showed that she was pretty kick-ass even when she was stuck in the cult. I also thought the juxtaposition of this quiet young woman turning into a violent berserker to be interesting. She really is the star of this book and I loved every minute I got to spend with her.
Ski was an interesting character in his own right. He is second in command of the Protectors, a group of warriors who have unwavering loyalty to the Nordic god of law and strive to keep order amongst the clans. His main purpose in The Undoing is to provide balance to the chaos of the Crows and, of course, fall head over heels for Jace. I did find myself wishing that there was more revealed about his background and how he became the awesome guy that he is, but I was still able to enjoy the book.
Their romance was slow-burning, but very satisfying. It was obvious from the beginning that Ski was attracted to Jace and he wasn't afraid of showing it. Jace was, understandably, more hesitant about jumping into a relationship after the way her ex-husband treated her, but she didn't spend most of the book bemoaning her situation. Once she made the decision to go for it, she went full-force and never looked back which I enjoyed.
The action plot of this book revolved around the clans trying to prevent the gold-obsessed goddess Gullveig from bringing forth Ragnarok. The cast of the series gets even bigger as the Crows, Ravens, and Protectors are joined by the Giant-Killers, Valkyries, Claws of Ran, etc. Each of these groups has their own distinct characteristics and I am really hoping that Shelly Laurenston will do some stories about them as well. As I expected from this series, the action scenes are plentiful and bloody. The suspense is easy to feel and I found myself racing through the pages especially towards the end.
I can't wait for the release of The Unyielding next year which will showcase the fire-wielding, smack-talking Erin and the stoic Stieg. I just have so much fun reading about these characters and continue to be impressed with the way that the author plays around with the mythology. Jace and Ski's romance is a super entertaining story that will grab readers and not let go until the final, bloody battle.
BOOKS IN THE SERIES: