THE UNLEASHING (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 31, 2015
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.
REVIEW: THE UNLEASHING is the first installment in Shelly Laurenston’s new fantasy/paranormal romance Call of Crows series loosely based on Norse mythology. As per the author’s introductory comments Laurenston has taken some liberties with the gods and their backstories, adding her own twist to the stories. This is Viking descendant and Raven Clan member Vig Rundstrom, and former marine and the newest Crow Clan member Kera Watson’s storyline. The Clans are the present day human representatives of the Viking gods on Earth and do battle each evening with the enemies of the gods.
The storyline follows Kera’s murder and admittance into the Clan of the Crows-a women-only mythological Clan whose membership initiation results from a violent death or murder. Too late to save the woman with whom he had fallen in love, Vig Rundstrom called upon the god Odin to give Kera a second chance at life. What ensues is Kera’s immediate introduction into a world she knew nothing about-not only will Kera be the recipient of special powers and wings-but her rescue dog pit bull Brodie will be bequeathed some skill and talent of her own.
THE UNLEASHING introduces a large ensemble cast of characters from several mythological Clans which may seem overwhelming in the initial stages of the series but as per Laurenston’s style of writing, all of the characters will, most likely, have some role in future storylines. The focus of THE UNLEASHING follows the Crow and Raven Clans and I hope to see some future relationship developments. The Raven Clan is an all male Clan descended from the Vikings-big, bearded and tough. The romance in the storyline is not particularly strong as the author focuses more on the mythology and character introduction.
The first half of the storyline acquaints the reader with the characters, the set up and some of the background of Norse mythology and the development of the Clans. In the second half of the story, there is more action as the Clans must join together in battle-someone or something is trying to release a dangerous power.
If you are a fan of the author’s paranormal, shifter PRIDE series, you will recognize many similarities between character nuances and personality traits especially with the females of the Crow Clan. I recognize similarities of Dee, Blayne, Jessica, Sissy Mae, Gwen, Ronnie Lee, and even a little bit of Hannah (Beast Behaving Badly) who comes through with the introduction of Jace. The females of Laurenston’s SMITH PACK from her Pride series are well represented by the Crow Clan.
Shelly Laurenston’s trademark wit, humor and snarky one-liners are present as the character personalities begin to develop and come through as the storyline builds. All of the females are warriors; fighters in their own right; kick a$$ heroines who defend, protect and, in the case of the Crow Clan, bringers of death. THE UNLEASHING is a wonderful introduction to a new series.
Copy supplied by Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy