Monday, March 28, 2016

ARC Review: The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston

The Undoing 
by Shelly Laurenston
Series:  Call of Crows #2
Pub. Date:  March 29, 2016
Publisher:  Kensington
Pages:  400
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

A risk worth taking… 

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! 

I don't want to say that this book was much better than The Unleashing, but I will say that it was much less confusing. I enjoyed both books, but I listened to The Unleashing in audio, and there were so many POVs that it was hard to tell who was who, and who was doing what. This installment had less POVs and it was much easier to figure out who was who when I was reading instead of listening. I also felt like there was a bit more world building in this story, particularly with regard to the explanation of who each clan was and how they came to be.

The Undoing gives us the story of sister/crow, Jace Berisha. Jace is a Russian-Albanian berserker crow with an extensive knowledge of languages and an extreme amount of rage. I found her to be fascinating in the last book, but even more so now that we get her back story and inner thought process. Once we learned that
I understood her rage and solitary behavior. I really liked Jace as a heroine. She was intelligent and introverted, and I could relate to her not liking when things get to peopley. I am the same way.

A new clan is introduced in this book, that of the Protectors. Danski "Ski" Eriksen is Protector of the Word for the Protectors, which means he is in charge of their extensive library. The Protectors hire Jace to assist them with translations, and she finds that this particular clan does not offend her introvert sensibilities. I loved loved loved this group of guys. They were all about books, knowledge and people watching! Jace integrated into their group so nicely and I loved seeing them all interact as a group, particularly when Bear was taking care of the puppy or Haldor was braiding Jace's hair. I liked the hero, Ski, but felt he was overshadowed by the rest of the Protectors who were just so dang endearing. I really hope there will be stories for Gundo, Bear and Haldor.

You have a double storyline happening in this plot. In one vein, the book picks up where The Unleashing left off with Gullveig inhabiting Brianna's body and making mischief in her bid to do what? Take over the world? I am still not quite sure of her motivations, other than she wanted vengeance for being locked away for a long time. We haven't seen the last of her, that's for sure. The other storyline involves Jace's past, particularly the ex-husband who killed her. This was a minor plot conflict but it was interesting and was folded into the main plot nicely.

I do not recommend that you read these books out of order as the series has a continuing story arc. I do feel that this is a superficial story, if that makes sense. There is a lot of action, fighting, and interaction between the characters - so you are not delving deeply into anyone's psyche here. I feel like this series would translate well to film or television... and often I felt like I was reading a screenplay.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Kensington Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars / 3 flames. 

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Call of Crows