The Unleashing (Call Of Crows # 1)

By Shelly Laurenston

BR The Unleashing


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.


I’m going to start off by saying that I love Shelly Laurenston’s work.  I’ve read her Magnus Pack and Pride series several times, so you’d think that when I heard about a new series she had coming out that I’d jump at the chance to read that sucker as soon as it was released.  But I didn’t; I read the synopsis and it just didn’t really grab my attention.  But other Shelly fans assured me THE UNLEASHING was a book I just had to read, so I finally gave it a go.  As it turns out, I should have gone with my initial instincts because I was really let down with this one.

Why didn’t I enjoy it?  Well, there are a few reasons really, but I’ll only talk about the main three.

1 – There are way too many characters introduced in this book, and most of them appear right from the start.  It was extremely difficult trying to keep track of who was who, what god they served, what their history was, who was at war with who, and so on and so forth.  The story is supposed to revolve around Kera and Vig, but there are so many characters involved, almost all of them getting their own POVs at some point, that Kera and Vig felt like nothing more than secondary characters.  You hear next to nothing about their relationship because the story is too focused on introducing all the characters, history and mythology instead.  Simply put, Kera and Vig were ripped off.

2 – What I love most about Shelly’s books is the laugh out loud humour.  While there were humorous scenes throughout the story, most of the good stuff didn’t appear until we got towards the end.  Prior to that, most of it fell flat or felt like it was trying too hard.

3 – It’s amazing how a story can have so much going on, and yet nothing happening, all at the same time.  And when you start reaching the end of the book, wondering how the story is going to conclude, just to have it…end???  Well, it left me confused and disappointed.  Technically the story ends on a cliffhanger, but even the cliffhanger is weak.

What did I like about THE UNLEASHING?  Kera’s dog, Brodie.  The dog’s personality and everyone’s interactions with her made up the best parts of this book.  It’s a sad day when a dog is the only good thing you remember.  Would I read the following books in the series?  To be honest, I’m not sure.  Maybe, only to see if the series can redeem itself.

The Unleashing (Call Of Crows # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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