Review: The Undoing (Call of Crows #2) by Shelly Laurenston

May 16, 2016 2016 Review Challenge, Book Review, Demons, paperback, prickly pear heroine, series, woman warrior 0 ★★★★★

Review: The Undoing (Call of Crows #2) by Shelly Laurenston five-stars
The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston
Series: Call of Crows #2
Published by Kensington on March 29, 2016
Genres: Erotic, Fantasy Romance, PNR, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
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No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

Note: This review has spoilers for The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1). Please read The Unleashing prior to reading this review…or don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Another winner!! Shelly Laurenston has really reeled me back in with The Undoing.

The Undoing is book two in the Call of Crows series which starts with The Unleashing. I read The Unleashing due to a previously written book Hunting Season (The Gathering #1) (set in the same universe) that I adored. I enjoyed The Unleashing but…in comparison to Hunting Season it was a little lacking. I can NOT say the same for The Undoing. The Undoing…has just about everything I look for in an PNR (except for gratuitous sex, lol).

The Undoing starts up shortly after the ending of The Unleashing: Gullveig is freely walking around LA in Brianna’s skin, weird sacrifices are multiplying exponentially and Betty is still in a coma. In order to stop Gullveig and Ragnarök, the Crows begin to work with the Protectors.

So far, I’m loving the Protectors. They are…extremely badass warrior geeks. The Protectors are winged warriors like the Crows and the Ravens but they are also keepers of knowledge and libraries. That is so incredibly sexy. A hot guy who can discuss the finer points of literature while still kicking major ass??! I’ll just be over here in the corner drooling, lol. The Protectors are owls instead of the typical Raven/Crow mix. At first, I was a little surprised: owls? But when you think about it, owls are the apex nocturnal avian predator. Owls are strong, swift, silent and deadly.

I sorta adored the MCs as well: Jace, an antisocial introvert Crow with major anger issues, is paired with Protector Ski. Jace fits in with the quiet, studious Protectors perfectly: she’s a multi-lingual bibliophile (I love that. LOVE. THAT.) who hates small talk with the passion of a billion fiery suns. Ski is perfect for Jace: he’s intelligent, avoids small talk unless necessary, he’s an excellent warrior and as the second in command of the Protectors, he’s great with people who need to be managed. Like Jace who will sit down with a book and not get up (to eat, drink, etc) until finished. O_O I know nothing about sitting around hungry or thirsty because books! at all… Don’t judge me! lol

When Shelly Laurenston re-booted this universe with The Unleashing, she diverged from the initial direction that she took in Hunting Season. Ms Laurenston changed locations, she tweaked the Universe, she toned down the vulgarity (*sad face*) and changed the series plot arc. As a series, Call of Crows is rather different from The Gathering. In The Undoing, Ms Laurenston is allowing the twain to meet: Neecy from Hunting Season makes a small cameo and a potential antagonist from The Gathering has become a potential antagonist in Call of Crows. This makes me all types of giddy inside, lol.

As I was reading The Undoing, I realized that this series is about more than just warriors and viking gods/goddesses: Call of Crows is about sisterhood. The Crows are sisters – like sisters they often dislike each other and fight with each other incessantly – and like sisters they viciously protect their own. Only Crows get to fight Crows…the rest are just “bird feed.”

“Don’t look at me,” Ski told them. “It was Bear who insisted we needed a translator for these books.”

“I didn’t know she’d bring her insane friends!” Bear feebly argued, because of course Jace had brought her insane friends. Crows never went into another Clan’s territory without at least one of their own.
-pages 69-70

And then, Bystrom looked behind Jace and she knew, without looking, that her sisters now stood behind her. They stood outside the glass doors. They sat on the chairs. They crouched on the staircase banisters.

Like a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds, they had appeared in order to protect one of their own. And they’d done it without Jace saying a word because they just knew. They knew something was really wrong.
-page 134

[Redacted] lifted her gaze. First to Jace’s face and then above her.

Her eyes widened and Jace new her sister-Crows were perched on the roof, watching out for Jace. Protecting her.
-page 368

Gaaaah! I LOVE this series so. flipping. much! If you like intelligent PNR, I can’t recommend Call of Crows enough. Ms Laurenston stuck her big toe in this one for sure. The way Ms Laurenston displays her research in this series much like a male peacock presents: with a sick strut in her walk.


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