Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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

I’ll start by saying that never have I enjoyed Norse and Viking lore more than I have while reading The Unleashing. As Ms. Laurenston states in her opening letter to the readers:
"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."
And I am sooooooo glad she did because the world she’s created is an exciting, sexy, entertaining place to be!


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.

My thoughts...

While reading The Unleashing I was, at times, reminded of Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chicks – that crazy group of women who love and support one another despite their differences – or maybe because those differences are quirky in a ‘can’t help but love you, bless your heart’ kind of way. I was also reminded of Sandra Hill’s Vangel world, loaded with humor and sexy men and women who are more than they appear. But that said, Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows is like nothing I’ve ever read.

Witches and demons and gods and goddesses - and humans who want to be any or all of those things – and the grab for power that’s to be expected when you put them all together are what make up this story. But fear not! There are also beings amongst us who are in place to keep the balance and make sure no one has more of that power than they can be trusted with, and they are who made this such an entertaining story! It’s is sexy and funny and has so many twists and turns that I was constantly wondering what might happen next.

Worth mentioning…

Because there has been some misinformation floating about regarding this series, Ms. Laurenston also shared this in her note to her readers:
"Well, this is it. The first book in my new series, Call of the Crows, and right off the bat, I want you to understand this is not a rewrite of an old book nor is it a fleshing out of an old book. The Unleashing is a brand-new book and series, with brand-new characters, brand-new locale, and brand-new trouble. Although my book Hunting Season, which has been out since 2005, was the start of this idea (introducing the two main Viking Clans at the heart of this series, the Crows and the Ravens), The Unleashing is me taking the whole thing to the next level, and it’s a definite stand-alone."
The bottom line…

The Unleashing is just fun reading, no question about it. Kera and Vig are all kinds of awesome and make a perfect couple. The entire cast of characters is made up of great people who have stories of their own needing to be told, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next in the Call of Crows world!

An ARC was generously provided by Kensington Publishing Corp via Netgalley. To show my appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.


  1. I'm excited to read this book. Great review :)