Title: The Unleashing
Author: Shelley Laurenston
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Call of Crows (Book #1)
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Format: Paperback, 373 Pages
ISBN-10: 1617735051 (Kensington)
ISBN-13: 978-1617735059 (Kensington)
Reviewed by: Roxanne
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” Rundstrom 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.
Quick & Dirty: A marine turned Crow, and Viking Raven and darkness that is coming to devour them all.
Opening Sentence: She didn’t know what woke her up.
Kera is a former Marine who is killed and offered a second chance at life. She is then dropped into a house with new sisters, which are a Viking clan called Crows. For the most part they are the complete opposite of Kera and at least one spectacular fight breaks out from Kera’s organizational skills. There are multiple clans serving all of the different Norse gods. The only thing any of the Crows have in common is that they are known for their rage, their hatred and their loyalty to each other.
Kera finds out Vig is a Raven, another Viking Clan that serves Odin. Vig was a repeat customer at the coffee shop Kera worked at before her life so drastically changed. Kera also makes the Skuld bring her dog with her, although at the time she doesn’t realize that Brodie has to die too. Brodie quickly becomes the new mascot at the sorority type house Kera finds herself living in, in her new life.
There are several POV’s in this book including Chloe and Erin (who is Kera’s new mentor and the Crow she gets into an epic fist fight with.) Chloe is the leader of this particular chapter, apparently there are many all over the world. The first half of the book is really getting to sort of know Kera and her new sisters and her developing relationship with Vig (the blacksmith for the Ravens or weapons master). The second half brings to light that something dark and dangerous is attacking the clans and that one clan alone probably won’t make it against this darkness.
I enjoyed the book, although it did drag a little in the beginning. Sometimes it was a little confusing whose point of view it was at the time, but for the most part the author was on it. I feel like I have read a lot of books lately with gods, or Norse gods in them. This one didn’t have them active as of yet but definitely their presence was felt. I did really like the fact that Kera was a former Marine and that she ends up deciding to run a non-profit for rescue dogs that pairs them with veterans.
As a former Marine myself there were several parts of the book that made me laugh out loud and I appreciated the author really portraying her in such a positive manner. Overall, I liked it, didn’t quite love or really like it but I enjoyed it and thought it had a lot of interesting concepts and characters. My only issue is that it could be confusing and some of the world building really needed to be fleshed out.
“He was just an introvert with an aversion to shaving.”
“A whistle caught their attention and the Silent looked up… to see the trees filled with Chloe’s sister-Crows.”
“They stood straight and ready for battle.”
Call of Crows Series:
2. The Undoing
FTC Advisory: Kensington provided me with a copy of The Unleashing. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.