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.
Kera is killed after trying to stop an assault behind the coffee shop where she works. She takes a knife to the chest and can’t quite believe it when she wakes up naked, in a strange room filled with Giants who are trying to kill her. Once that dust settles, she learns that she’s now a Crow, part of a group of women, sister-Crows, who fight for their God, taking on battles when they’re called upon, and living (somewhat) normal lives when they’re not. The Crows, along with other clans “are the human representatives of the Viking Gods on this plane of existence.” And that’s the most simple/basic way to describe who these people are. The group of Crows is made of up all kinds of women, from Hollywood actresses, agents, business-women, a hypochondriac, a mute – you name it, this group has it. There are various other groups in this world, including the Raven’s, the group that Kera’s boyfriend, mate, sex partner – no label really fits him, Vig, belongs to. He helps Kera become familiar with her new life and also provides back up during a battle that gets this series off to a bloody start.
Vig first meets Kera when she’s fully human at the coffee shop she worked at. She’s a former marine and when she first sees Vig come in for coffee, she assumes he’s a former vet as well and judging by the crazy look in his eye, she also assumes he’s a PTSD sufferer and one step away from being committed. Vig is none of that and his friends and family find it hilarious that Kera assumed he was headed to the looney bin. Vig is one of the few people who actually helps Kera try to settle into her new life, and that includes learning to fly, learning to fight with her enhanced strength and learning to deal with her new “team” of Crows, woman who are as far from military/battle type people as Kera has ever known. They know nothing about training! Schedules! Combat planning and missions! Kera and her clipboard become feared among the group and Vig steps in to help ease the transition for Kera with her new crazy sister-crows.
If you’ve read Shelly Laurenston’s books, you have a great idea about the type of characters you’ll get in The Unleashing. Over the top, insane, crazy, hilarious, off the wall – you name it, this book has it. I love the level of complete insanity that Laurenston writes her characters with. Nothing is off limits or too much when it comes to the comments they make, the actions they take. It’s simply: crazy fun.
“I [Maeve] can feel the virus moving through me. I need to call my doctor. I need a course of amoxicillin. Or flucloxacillin. Or ticarcillin. Something with a ‘cillin’ attached to the end of it.”
“If you have a virus, an antibiotic will not help you,” Kera explained.
“So you’re a doctor?” Maeve snapped. “You know what I’m dying of?”
“Dying? Two seconds ago you had swollen glands.”
“Swollen glands today. Riddled with cancer tomorrow. Dead by Thursday.”
Kera glanced over at Amsel. “Wow.”
Kera and Vig are our romantic leads in The Unleashing and to say the book is filled with tender romantic scenes would be a complete lie. That’s one thing I really enjoy about Laurenston’s books, there’s really not “romance” per se. The couples have down and dirty sex, there’s no BS, they like each other, they want to be together and they are, simple as that. No long drawn out ‘should we or shouldn’t we’, no relationship drama, it’s refreshing in a way. And it’s necessary here as the world building took up so much of my mental power just trying to keep all the clans, characters, and who’s who straight, I wouldn’t have been able to deal with relationship drama on top of that.
As with any first book in any series, there’s a learning curve that goes along with being introduced to a new world and this world if very detailed, has A LOT of different players and will hopefully become more clear as more books come out. We do get a good introduction to Kera’s closest sister-Crows, women who I can’t wait to learn more about. They all have a little something…“special” about them, which will be fun to see play out on page.
I enjoyed the crazy ride that is The Unleashing. It’s pure fun in a pretty complex world, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Shelly Laurenston: Webpage
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*ARC provided by publisher for review*