Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mini-Review: The Unleashing

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.
Themes: magick, paranormal
Rating: 3.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Wow.  So let's be honest here as we begin a foray into an all new world of crazy, slightly unstable, and freaking gorgeous men and women, created by none other that the insidious mind of Shelly Laurenston.  Shelly is one of my favorite authors, really she is, but the woman is nuts, in only the best ways, and can make you wonder just where these insane plots, offbeat characters, and just plain weird worlds come from.   This new series revolves around a group of Norse (Viking) gods and goddesses and the champions they have picked for their individuals causes and teams.  The Crows are of course the lowest of the low; women of mixed blood that really have no understanding of what they are getting themselves into when they trade their service for another chance to live a full life.   The counterpart of this group, not really friends, but tense allies, are the Ravens, which are a group of sexy as hell men that are descended directly from the old Norse people.   And in this first story of the series it has pretty much become the Crows and Ravens against the world, and by that I mean all the other factions that serve their respective gods.  The characters are full of sarcasm, sass, and really just plain insanity, but they are so hilarious in their interactions and the way they handle day to day challenges, there's no way I couldn't like them.  But then again I’m a bit twisted myself. So if you are looking for a very mainstream and respectable group of people working together in harmony to save the world... yeah not the story for you.  But if you love crazy as hell, smart-asses, with wicked skills for killing enemies, and the sensual games that arise when they group up--jump aboard this crazy train and ride that baby into the station!
I loved the way Laurenston had Kera and Vig come together, starting with a little crush which ultimately pulled Kera into her new crazy world.  Being able to relate to Kera as she deals with all the changes in her new life, watching her come into her own, and even seeing how she interacts with her new compatriots, remind us that maintaining a sense of humor can make any situation seem bearable.  Vig was the strong and sturdy influence that Kera needed in her new world of insanity, being there to offer her comfort in all moments, no matter what she needed and standing by her side as she fought her way through the enemies that surrounded them.  I especially loved the changes that Laurenston created in Kera's dog, because seriously?... who the hell comes up with these things? In the end it was a usual Laurenston tale, with a fun spin, but I will remind readers that Laurenston's characters are in no way mainstream and can be an acquired taste.  If you are a fan of any of her other work as either herself or G.A. Aiken, I believe you will enjoy  The Unleashing as much as I did.  I am looking forward to seeing what is coming next and what trouble this new group of crazy bitches and sexy men can get into.  
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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