Review: The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

Format: Trade paperback
Pub Date: March 2015
Publisher: Kensington
Length: 400 pages
FTC: Purchased myself

Shelly Laurenston's books are always a bit weird. She has a very unique sense of humor that is the only truly constant thing about her books. You can find it in her GA Aiken dragon books and her shapeshifter books as Laurenston. And it is very present here, too.  The very premise of the Unleashing is weird. You have Norse mythology combined with trademark over-the-top badass women in a way no one else but Laurenston could come close to pulling off. She just writes the craziest thing imaginable, then expects you to just roll with it. And for the most part, it works.

It took me a bit to get over the initial weirdness, but I really ended up liking the book. It wasn't as good as some of the shapeshifter books (I have a soft spot for a few of those), but it was definitely something I'd read again. Placing Kera, the uptight Marine, into the middle of chaos made for some entertaining drama. The romantic element is not the main part of the story, so definitely don't expect most of the tension to be the relationship. Far more time is spent watching Kera acclimate to her new life and abilities. Despite the battle scenes, the conflict is almost entirely between Kera and her fellow Crows. It's essentially a fish out of water story with some weirdness for garnish.  The romance is a distant second, which is the main thing I found disappointing here.

My Grade: B

The Blurb:

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.


Review: Cursed Moon (Prospero's War Book 2) by Jaye Wells

Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: August 2014
Length: 370 pages
FTC: Borrowed from the library

I read the first book in this series shortly after sitting next to the author in the audience of an RT panel back in May. I really liked it. It's a smooth blend of mystery, police procedural, and urban fantasy. It's very light on the "woo woo" for those who are paranormal-ed out. There's a gritty, noir feel to the whole world which I adored. And I really liked the main character, Kate Prospero, a detective with the Babylon PD, a recovering potion addict, and a struggling guardian to a teenage brother. I finished book 1, and immediately went to download book 2...only to discover that it was a Hachette book and therefore way too pricey for me to buy in e (10!). So I set it aside and moved onto the next book in my list.

Fast forward a few months. I have discovered a nifty program at the library that is grant funded and allows patrons to order books available on Amazon. They ship the book directly to you. When you're finished, you bring it back to the library where they can add it to the collection. Far more cost effective than paying $3-4 in postage for every library loan, and unlike ILL, patrons don't have to front that cost. So, I decided to Zip Books this one and hopefully get it added to our library (which is sorely lacking in UF and romance).

This one was just as good as the first, although I did have a few minor issues with it. It's the Blue Moon, and the city of Babylon is going nuts. To make matters exponentially worse, a criminal "Raven" named Dionysus has stolen a large amount of potion from one of the criminals in the city. The potion makes people sexually aggressive, and leads to numerous incidents of rape and sexual assault. Tied into the thefts are a couple of murders. Kate's two bosses (one from the police department, one from the task force to which she's assigned) spend much of the book jockeying over turf, with Kate and her colleagues caught in the middle.