Review: The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston

March 30, 2015 Review 0

Review: The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston


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.

Title: The Unleashing
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Wolf With Benefits, Bite Me, Bite Me, Pack Challenge
Series: Call of Crows #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: The Unleashing, The Undoing, The Unyielding
Published by Kensington
Source: Publisher
Published: March 31, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-flames

I have been wanting something different.  Something to challenge and inspire.  I think I may have found it here.  This was a fun and entertaining look at one person’s interpretation of Norse Mythology.

I have read a little by this author, but only enough to wet my appetite.  She has long been on my tbr list, so when I saw this new series come up, well, now seemed as good a time as any.   I am very glad I chose to read this.

I was a bit hesitant.  I am not always a fan of Norse Mythology.  It can be hit or miss for me.   I was so pleased that this was actually contemporary and that the Norse Mythos had made it alive and well to the modern world and seemed to be thriving in the wilds of LA and Hollywood.   Exactly how they managed to remain such a secret in tinsel town, has to be magic.

I did have a bit of an issue in the beginning of this story though.  Many characters were introduced rather quickly.  Each, of course, has more than one name – you know like Kera Watson and Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom.  Pretty common really, but . . . the author couldn’t decide what name to use.  All were used at one point or another and it was a bit confusing keeping characters straight at first until I figured out who was who in the zoo.

Zoo is kind of an appropriate analogy, but Aviary is a better one.  Kera becomes a Crow.  Vig is a Raven.  There are owls/protectors.  All the main characters seem be from some kind of bird clan.  Well, except for Brodie Hawaii.  She is a lovely pit bull who seems to like birds.  Like everyone else in the story, I fell in love with Brodie Hawaii.  She was just so sweet and lovable, well most of the time anyway.

I rather liked the idea of bringing Norse Mythology to the modern world.  It is a bit different.  Not the usual vampire/shape shifter/demon urban fantasy.  But, still filled with magic and mythical creatures.  Gods and goddesses with their various followers and/or armies that are usually more than human.  The author explains at the beginning: “The other thing I wanted to point out was that I have taken some liberties with these gods and their histories. As I did my research, I found multiple interpretations of individual gods and their backstories, so I really had no choice. I would pick the one I liked best and then put my own twist on it. But I think you guys will be up for the ride as you always seem to be—and I thank you for that.”  Ah yes, Ms Laurenston, it was a delightful ride.

A wonderful first book in a new series.  A fascinating world was introduced.  A cast of characters that any Hollywood blockbuster would envy, all with their individual quirks and idiosyncrasies – some sweet, some . . . not so sweet. *grin* I think all of them have a dark side, which frankly is often what makes them heroes.  I found most of the good guys (?) interesting and likable.  The villains are surprising really.  Some are obvious, but then the magic appears and really stirs things up.  I thought the author did a good job developing many of these characters while at the same time creating an entertaining story that was gripping and enjoyable.  There was much exciting action.  Some mystery and suspense.  Of course a sizzling romance.  Everything needed for a good urban fantasy.

The ending?  I did know going in it was a first book.  It did give me pause.  Thankfully, there wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger.  The featured couple of this book decide to be together and the book ends, leaving some manger dangling threads.  Oh my.  I can just imagine the beginning of the next book and really can’t wait to read it.  And yes, I will be looking forward to reading it.

So you fans of urban fantasy in general, and Shelly Laurenston in particular, limber up that one click finger.  You won’t want to miss this one.

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