cover image The Unleashing

The Unleashing

Shelly Laurenston. Kensington, $15 ISBN 978-1-61773-505-9

Laurenston (Bite Me) launches a series in an alternate contemporary setting populated by the Norse gods (with which she takes some liberties) and their mortal agents. Former Marine Kera Watson is stabbed in an alley and left for dead. To her shock, the Norse deity Skuld revives her and transforms her into one of the Crows, empowered to fight and kill as needed for her new mistress. As the disciplined, orderly Kera acclimates to her new role, she clashes with the laid-back, chaotic nature of her fellow Crows. She also falls for Ludvig “Vig” Rundstom, a warrior of the rival Ravens. Their cross-clan romance surprises and amuses everyone, especially those familiar with Vig’s stoic nature. But soon they all have something more to worry about: cultists are using blood magic and stolen treasures to try to bring a long-forgotten goddess to the mortal plane. If they succeed, it could rekindle an ancient war. Laurenston’s trademark blend of action, earthy humor, magic, and romance is on full display. Her characters enjoy profane language, screwball comedy, and lusty bedroom antics at every opportunity, while advancing a fast-paced, satisfying, and often deadly serious story. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Apr.)