KatieV's Reviews > The Unleashing

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
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liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, locale-america, pnr, urban-fantasy

It kept me interested, so I'm giving it a 3, but I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book. The world is interesting, I'm just torn on the delivery.

For one thing, I wasn't too thrilled with the narrator. Others seemed to enjoy her, but I felt like her speech was odd. It seemed forced. There was an over emphasis on the last word of each sentence and some of the voices grated on me. YMMV. As always, I'm left wondering how many stars were added/deducted due to delivery. In my case, I always assume a +- one star difference versus reading a book the traditional way.

This story is more UF than PNR. There was a primary relationship, but it was VERY low/no conflict. Most of the story focused on the heroine's relationship with her fellow Crows and how she was going to fit into that world. I'd classify it as urban fantasy with a romance rather than the other way around.

In this universe all of the ancient gods exist, however, this is focused on the Old Norse gods (Odin, Thor, Freya, etc.) They naturally want to avoid ragnarok, which is the Norse equivalent of the end of the world which results in the death of the gods.

The Norse gods have created their own human clans to aid them in preparing for and preventing ragnarok. Most of these clans are populated by descendants of the Nordic peoples. The Raven's and the Valkyrie, for example are all descendants of the Vikings. The Fate, Skuld, populates her clan - the Crows - with females of any descent. This book focuses on the Crows.

Skuld picks her recruits from women who are dying, often by violent means. She gives them a chance at a second life and an afterlife in Valhalla if they will agree to serve her. They are given special powers and strength, but aren't immortal. They can withstand a lot more than your average human and heal faster, but they do age and can be killed. The Crows can do whatever they want in their second life - have kids, marry, start a new career... but they do have to go out and kill whenever Skuld puts in the call. Essentially, the Crows are assassins.

Kera is the heroine of this story. She is a former Marine working in a coffee shop in Los Angeles. She intervenes when she sees a teen girl being abused by a man. The man stabs her and thus begins her life as a Crow.

The Crows are a rowdy bunch of mostly actresses and other Hollywood types. They don't ask many questions when told to go and kill whoever Skuld wants killed. Kera is not the type to blindly follow though and she has trouble fitting in because of that and the fact that she is ex-military and the Crows are highly unorganized.

Kera needed to know that she was killing for a reason and what that reason was. There is a scene where she sees a seer in order to understand her purpose, but I didn't quite think it was sufficient to explain why *she* in her present life should be so ready to ruthlessly kill. It's apparently all about rage :-/ I dunno, feel like I kind of missed something. Not saying there wasn't a compelling reason to fight, but not sure it was put across in a way that satisfied me or should have satisfied the heroine.

Re: the love story. Vig was adorable. He was from the Raven clan and a big, scary looking Viking type who is actually super sweet when he's not on the battlefield. Like I said before, no big drama there.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 3, 2016 – Shelved
October 3, 2016 – Shelved as: audiobook
October 3, 2016 – Shelved as: locale-america
October 3, 2016 – Shelved as: pnr
October 3, 2016 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy

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