Book Review: "The Unleashing" by Shelly Laurenston

The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1)The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The Unleashing" begins a new series by Shelly Laurenston. Set in the same universe as "Hunting Season", this story follows Kera Watson from when she first awake as a Crow to when she finally gets the hang of her second life.

A little background for those who haven't read "Hunting Season". In this universe, the Norse gods, goddesses, and other divine entities are alive and kicking. These beings recruit humans to belong to the Clans and work for the Gods. Odin recruits pure-blood Norse women as Valkyries and pure-blood Norse men as Ravens, his current day warriors. One of the Norns (Norse fates), Skuld, offers murdered women of any heritage a chance for a second life, provided she pledges her loyalty to Skuld. Skuld is a derivative of the Old Norse verb skulla, which means "that which should become or needs to be". The women are known as the Crows, and they fly around collecting Norse artifacts that have fallen into human hands, killing evil people, and generally causing chaos and destruction.

Back to "The Unleashing"... this novel begins at the end of Kera Watson's life. You learn that she was interrupting a mugging and/or rape behind the coffee shop where she works when the assailant stabs her in the heart, leaving her for dead. A nearby Raven witnesses the murder and asks Skuld to intervene. Skuld does her thing and viola! Kera's second life begins.

I truly enjoyed watching Kera come to terms with her new reality, learning how to fly, learning how to land, but mostly learning how to deal with her sister Crows. Ms. Laurenston creates believable and likable characters, and I found myself rooting for various people throughout the story. There is an overarching story line, but I don't want to mention more than that.

I love Ms. Laurenston's writing style, because I get so involved in the story I lose track of time.

I hope those who like urban fantasies will give this book a chance.

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