Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I can’t believe I’m about to walk a goat. Is this my life now? Goat walking?”
The Unyielding opens up in the past, giving readers an unfiltered history lesson on the sheer hatred the Crows have for all the other clans. We then flash forward into the present and learn that the world is still coming to an end if all the clans don’t start working together and stop Loki from getting free and therefore starting Ragnarök. And it all rests on the back of a single Crow. The most annoying, irritating, pain the arse woman to ever be brought back to life to walk the earth as a Crow.
Helping her is the most unlikely of people-Stieg Engstrom. Steig is a Viking and part of the Raven clan. He’s also an exceptionally angry, anti-social man who avoids most people because they annoy him. And Erin REALLY annoys him.
When Steig happens upon Erin getting shot in the head yet again, he takes her home to recover and ends up getting caught up in the never-ending circus that is Erin’s life.
“You need to tell me what you did,” Stieg ordered.
“And you’ll need to be way more specific than that.”
“You’ve got the Vatican keeping an eye on you. The priests don’t normally do that because they know better. So you need to talk to me.”
“Actually,” Erin said, “I don’t. That is the beauty of being me.”
“You’re hiding something.”
Stieg leaned in closer, their faces nearly touching. “Tell me,” he ordered.
Erin couldn’t help but smirk a little. “Make me.”
Stieg’s frown deepened and she thought for sure that he was going to kiss her.
“Come on, Amsel,” he abruptly whined, eyes rolling in his head. “I don’t want to fight you.” He glanced at Hilda. “Not in front of the goat.”
“Not in front of the…”
As Erin and Stieg fight, fuss, and eventually snuggle their way towards their destiny, the rest of the world waits in awe and horror. Because if this odd couple fails…everyone’s a goner.
Shelly Laurenston is once again leading her readers happily back into the fray of gods, goddesses, warriors, and the occasional pet with the latest installment in her Call of Crows series. Jam-packed with humor, sex, action, snark, outrageous characters, and sheer insanity, Laurenston has created another paranormal world that just screams F.U.N.
Set in present day L.A., this rather complex world is easy to navigate once you learn the basics. Almost every mythology and religion is represented in here, each with its own group of obnoxious, arrogant, loud, petty, narcissistic, men and women who like to bash, stab, beat, and smash their way to victory against their enemies. And none of them get along. Especially with the Crows. The Crows dislike just about everyone and with good reason. Hundreds of years ago the other nine Norse clans kept them enslaved and they haven’t gotten over it yet.
“We don’t forget, Raven. We never forget.”
Erin Amsel is probably one of Laurenston’s best characters to date. She is a delightful combination of every strong, loyal, intelligent, rude, and annoying female Laurenston has ever written. She was killed by an ex and offered a second life by Skuld. In return, all she has to do is fight with the Crows in Skuld’s honor. No problem. Her general unapologetic attitude towards everyone keeps you in stitches. There is a delightful sense of truthfulness and honor in her as she plows through the world, leaving chaos and mayhem in her wake. And the beauty of it is…she knows how annoying she is. She just doesn’t care. Yet for all her issues, you will never have to fear anything when she has your back. She will fight to the death beside you and die to protect you. And she has a very special gift that can do just that.
“You could, however, be a little less cheery. You did just disfigure a man.”
“He started it. “
I loved Erin and Steig. From Steig’s general grumpiness to Erin’s constant irritation of…well everyone, these two will keep you howling as Steig is co-opted into the partnership from hell to help Erin with her mission while trying not to kill her or fall too hard for her. All the while they are both trying to avoid their fellow clan members who attempt to interfere with unwanted advice and their normal general craziness. Watching Steig and Erin try to understand each other is like piecing together a 5000 piece puzzle while blindfolded. They are so obviously wrong for one another that they’re perfect together.
What I truly enjoy about this series and Laurenston’s writing is her skills in creating unforgettable characters and such incredibly off the wall plotlines that you can’t help but get sucked into whatever she has in store for her readers. I love the strong inclusion of multiple personalities who merge seamlessly into the storyline with fantastic results. I’ve noticed and appreciated that each new installment seems to be getting stronger in detail; with more humor, deeper elements, and a better balance between the arc and the subplots.
All the clans are featured heavily in here and are as unpredictable as usual. The snippets of violence between the various clans and each other only add to the overall appeal. They are predestined to mess with each other and it only continues to get worse the more they interact.
“I hate you.”
“Calm. Down. Think of Texas.”
“Texas? The line is ‘think of England,’”
“Why would I think of England?”
“Why would you think of Texas?”
Some may complain that the romance isn’t as prevalent as in most PNRs but I find it balances perfectly with the characterization in general. We get some delightful smexy times but aren’t forced to deal with any heavy emotional angst or work through past traumas. That alone keeps this series delightfully fresh in a sub-genre that tends to take itself a little too seriously at times.
The ending is an explosive finale that shows us Laurenston always has a few tricks up her sleeve. The main conflict is resolved while advancing the arc in a way that guarantees no one will want to miss book four. Some loose ends are tied up, new characters are introduced, and we are given a few clues to who may be the next heroine and hero of the series. The shifter storyline is an interesting development and I look forward to seeing where that goes.
If you enjoy outrageous storylines, no holds barred characters, and comedic narrative then Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows series is definitely for you. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Word of warning, the series is ongoing arc wise and not meant to read out-of-order.