The Unleashing Audiobook by Shelly Laurenston (review)

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Reviews | 38 comments

Review of: The Unleashing Audiobook

Reviewed by:
On March 30, 2015
Last modified:April 11, 2016


The Unleashing Audiobook

By: Shelly Laurenston

Narrated by: Johanna Parker

Published by Tantor Media 03/31/2015

The Unleashing Audiobook


4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Call of Crows Series #1

11 hrs and 28 mins

Genre: Paranormal Romance

The Unleashing Audiobook Sample

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 have seen 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 LA, 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.

©2015 Shelly Laurenston (P)2015 Tantor


The Unleashing

4.0 Hearts
Melanie S.

The Unleashing is a the first book in a brand new series by Shelly Laurenston. I’ve been listening and reading Shelly Laurenston shifter books for a while now. I’ve always found her work very funny. This series is based loosely on Norse mythology.

Our heroine, Kera, is a former marine who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is stabbed while trying to protect an innocent person. One of her customers from the coffee shop she works at finds her. He calls on Skuld, one of the Norns, to save her. Skuld has the ability to give her a second life as a Crow. Kera refuses the second life if she can’t bring her dog, a battered pit bull stray named Brody Hawaii. Kera has a tough time with her second life.

Our hero in this story, Vig, is a Raven. He was born a Raven and his sister is a Valkyrie. He is a bit of a recluse and also makes weapons for the different clans. He really takes Kera under his wing (no pun intended) to help her through her new life. Crows are a sink or swim group, they aren’t great at helping ease people into their new lives, even though they all went through the same thing. Kera has a hard time with her transition and Vig makes it his mission to make it easier for her.

The story was fun and full of chaos. The crows are hilarious. I love the dog, Brody. If you want a story that falls in line with true mythology, I don’t know that this is the story for you. I’m not real familiar with the mythologies of the Norse, but I know enough to know that liberties are taken with the story. That didn’t make the story any less entertaining. I just took it all with a grain of salt and enjoyed the story that was being told. I’m excited to see who will be the next story told in this series.

There is a serious part to this story. It talks about war veterans and their struggle with PTSD. I love how this story brings this to life without making these former soldiers looks like broken individuals. Kera finds that she needs a new job to go with her new life and finds it in starting a charity that brings homeless dogs with veterans who need a companion. There are several of these charities around the states now. I’ve been supporting one in Florida for a few years.

I love that you are saving two lives in the dog and the soldier.

The Unleashing Audiobook Narration

4.5 Hearts
Grey earphones

Johanna Parker has quickly become one of my favorite narrators, especially for stories with a lot of humor. She has to do a ton of different accents in this book. Some of the crows are pretty ditsy sounding in the fact that they play dumber than they actually are. The Ravens have some pretty strong accents too. For me, she adds a lot to the story. I’m always excited to see her listed as a narrator, especially for a series that is high in humor.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Shelly Laurenston has resigned herself to West Coast living which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Shelly Laurenston is also The New York Times Bestselling author G.A. Aiken, creator of the Dragon Kin series. For more info on G.A.’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, check out her website at


Narrator Johanna ParkerJohanna Parker is an Audie Award Winning, Earphone Award Winning actress living and working in San Francisco. Since narrating her first audiobook for Recorded Books in 2002, Johanna has received high praise for her work in all genres, including the young adult Mediator series by Meg Cabot, Earlene Fowler’s Bennie Harper Mysteries, and her portrayal of Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire books of which Audiofile has said, “Parker personifies Harris’s perky Southern heroine, Sookie Stackhouse. Her splendid pacing allows listeners time to absorb the action and emotions…listeners will be enthralled.”

Tantor Audiobooks


I like to thank Tantor Media for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. I love the humor in her books. I’ve never read anything under this name, but I’m huge fan of her Dragon series by G. A. I waited forever for the audios, but they didn’t pick the right narrator, and they haven’t publish them all either 🙁

    • I’ve been reading the G.A. books because I think you told me the narrator wasn’t great on those. I’ve been very happy with the narrator for the Laurenston books.

  2. Everything you said x2 🙂 🙂 🙂 I really need to try her Aiken books. I don’t think I realized they were the same person. Granted this is only the 2nd SL book I have read.

    • You should try her Pride series. It has the same narrator as this one. Lup said she didn’t like the narrator, so I’ve been reading them. They are a lot of fun, too. I’ve read the first three, but still have a lot to catch up.

  3. Crows and dogs you say? I love it when animals make cameos in books. Sometimes I look forward to their scenes more than their master’s. Another cool series that’s new to me. Thanks for the introduction, Mel!

    • Crow and Raven shifters. Valkyries with winged horses. A very cut pit bull. What’s not to love? It is hilarious. I hope you enjoy.

  4. I haven’t read any of her books but I”m always hearing good things. Love the whole norse mythology take as well…sounds like you have a good time with this one 😉

    • It was a lot of fun. I’m not extremely familiar with Norse mythology, but from some other people’s comments, I think it was very loosely based. I still enjoyed a lot, even if the mythology wasn’t entirely accurate.

  5. I loved this one too! I didn’t review the audio version though, just the book version. I love the in depth look inside the Crow world and just how dysfunctional but loyal they are to one another! The set up for the entire series was there, but my favorite character is definitely the pooch. I LOVED her!

    • This is a great series on audio. The narrator does a great job bringing out the humor in the series. I loved Brody.

    • I really enjoyed this one. The narrator was great and the story was funny. I really loved the dog. She was a character all on her own.

  6. How can this narrator get such high reviews when she is a heavy breather and does not know the difference between an exclamation point and a period? She breaks and exclaims in the middle of a sentence where there is no punctuation breaking the flow of the story. Am i the only one who hears this? I hate to see she has narrated one of my favorite authors.

    • I really enjoyed this narration. I felt she really brought out the humor of the story. I know that there are other narrators that I disagree with that others love, so I know how you feel.

  7. Shelly Laurenston is my favourite author and THE PRIDE SERIES is auto-buys for me. I was afraid to start the new series but am glad that I did. Loved it.

    • I love the Pride series, though I still have a few more books to listen to.

  8. I don’t think I’ve read any of her books before, I do love aspects of mythology thrown in though and humor is always a plus. Will have to check it out. Yall have me addicted to audiobooks, and since you enjoyed it via audio I’ll probably go that route lol

    • Shelly Laurenston is a lot of fun. She also writes a dragon series as G.A. Aiken, which is good too, but I’ve been told that narration isn’t great, so I’m reading them. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

  9. Sounds like I need to add this to my TBR. I’ve never read any Shelly Laurenston books, but most of my friends love her so I’m sure this one will be a great listen, thanks for sharing Melanie! Raven, crow shifters and Valkyrie…yeah, I’m sold!

    • This is a great way to start a new author, when she starts a new series. You won’t feel like you have to catch up. Then if you like these, you can try some of her others. I hope you enjoy.

  10. Ah, yet another author I must try. Thanks for sharing and for the great review.

    • We all need more time in the day for reading, don’t we? 🙂

  11. Ahh I love that this book has a purpose to save dogs and soliders. It also sounds sexy and hilarious, which I can’t resist either. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

    • I hope you enjoy. It was a lot of fun for me.

  12. I don’t know this author, but this one sounds really good. That’s awesome you loved it so much – nice start to a new series!!


    • This is an author that I found last year. I’ve really enjoyed her work. She also writes as G.A. Aiken, who I like as well.

  13. Sadly, I have yet to read one of her books. I know, throw tomatoes at me now. Haha! This sounds very original and something I want to try plus its the beginning of a series. I like the idea of dogs for vets too. I read a story recently about that and loved it.

    • Sophia, I’m disappointed in you. JK 🙂

      You would love Shelly Laurenston. Her humor is right up your alley. I hope that you will give this new series a try. Maybe it will convince you to go back and try her shifter series too.

      • The sad part is that I’m pretty sure I’d have a good time too. I’m reading through another humorous UF series right now from Gerry Bartlett, but maybe I’ll line up Shelly’s after that.

        • I’ll have to check out your comments of this series. Not that I need another series. I’m already over booked. 🙂

  14. I love her Pride series- they are so fun, probably one of the funniest books I read together with Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones.
    Can’t wait to try this book too, great review!

    • This is one of the authors that I go to for when I’m in a bad mood and need a pick-me-up.

  15. Raven? Valkyrie? Oh I’m intrigued now! I haven’t read any books by the author but I heard great things about her. This one sounds really good and I didn’t know it was a book 1 so even better. Plus great cover! So now I need to try!

    • I hope you enjoy as much as I have.

  16. This book was a ton of fun, and Brodie Hawaii is quite possibly the best plot pet ever.

  17. Oh I think I would like this one! I like mythology themes, but don’t know Norse mythology well enough to be bothered by loose interpretations. And any main character that would refuse saving if she can’t bring her dog is alright in my book! I love that the animal theme is so strong – adding this to my tbr!

    • I know. I loved that Kera loved her dog so much. Everyone loved Brody. She was a very neat pit bull. I hope you enjoy.


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