The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston
Series: Call of Crows #2
Also in this series: The Unleashing, The Unyielding
Published by Kensington on March 29th 2016
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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 voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
The Undoing is what all books with a mythological basis should strive to be. Big words, yes, but I freaking adored this book. It had everything I look for in a series based on Norse Gods and their utter ridiculousness….It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s entertaining, it has action, and it is FUN!
To me, this series is all about one great big family. It seems a lot of the Norse Gods (who if you study these things are all related) have created clans to represent their interests on earth. And like the Gods who created them, they fight amongst themselves, but they are truly one great big family. They get their jollies by screwing with the other clans and stirring up as much crap as they possibly can. There are some intense family feuds going on but when the world might come to an end, after much bickering, of course, they unite to kick ass and take names.
The series is based on The Crows, the Clan created by Skuld to bring back items stolen from the god’s that could have major consequences when used by humans. The Crows are pretty much the crazy ones of the family. To become a Crow, they have to die first and be handpicked by Skuld, usually because of their need for revenge against those who killed them plus any gifts they happen to bring to the table. They will say and do anything. Extremely volatile, never doing what’s expected, and very, very rough.
Jace Belisha was a Berserker Crow. Crows are crazy to start with, but a berserker crow is a special kind of rage-filled crazy. This would usually make me think twice about liking her, but Jace actually ended up being probably one of my favorite h’s of all time. Misunderstood by almost everyone, thought of as shy, she was anything but. She actually just didn’t like idle chit-chat, and she didn’t need people to keep herself entertained. More often than not, people kept her from her enjoyment. This and her love of books (almost worshipping them) elevated Jace to being a woman after my own heart. Jace could take care of business, especially when she was in berserker mode, but truly she had other gifts that would end up being just as important.
Dans “Ski” Eriksen is part of the Protectors, a clan full of badass men who embrace their inner geek to the extent they literally live for books. This meant it was a clan full of almost perfect heroes. Sure they could be incredibly focused on one thing, but I can look past that if it means they can hold an intelligent conversation and know when to shut up so I can read. Seriously, it just doesn’t get any better than that. Anyway, what I loved about Ski was he actively tried to figure out what made Jace tick, what worked for her and what didn’t, and then he made it his goal in life to make life easier for her. He didn’t try to make her slot into his life, he figured out how to slot himself into hers.
When it comes to romance, Ms. Laurenston’s books are not of the paranormal insta-love variety. Action packed, yes, but a slow burn in the romance department. The MC’s learn about each other, slowly falling, most of the time despite themselves. The Undoing was no exception. Ski knew what he wanted but Jace was clueless having been raised in a religious cult. It had to be spelled out to her that Ski was even interested. This aspect is a love/hate thing for me. Love to read about MC’s slowly falling for each other, hate waiting so long for the real action to get started. Jace and Ski don’t even kiss until 63%!! (but they go for the whole shebang all at once thank goodness). It was worth the wait but still, that was a looooong time coming. The good news is I laughed a whole lot while I was waiting for the sexy times to commence which made up for a lot.
Ms. Laurenston’s take on the Nordic god’s had this history buff cracking up while the absolutely hilarious characters kept me smiling in between all the laughing. The first book in this series suffered a bit from first-book-in-a-series-itis (even if I did really like it), but this second installment was near perfect. I can see myself reading this one over and over again. I can’t wait until the next one comes out.
Spice’s Rating: 5 Hot, Badass, Book Loving Hero Stars
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