I actually got an ARC of Shelly Laurenston‘s new offering, The Unleashing, almost a month back. But for some reason I have tried a few times and just can’t seem to get into it, and I have no clue why. Doug Meeks sent over his review, though, and hopefully it will prompt me to actually dive in.
Let me get this out of the way, I really liked this book, it sets up the background for the series while still getting a bit of action and the typical insanity we expect from Shelly Laurenston.
Now that is out of the way, lets talk. Compared to her other paranormal series book 1 this one probably comes in third behind DragonKin and The Pride while not being as totally insane as Magnus Pack BUT you are going to see a lot of things in this book that will remind you of those series.
Now let me say that the long term story for this series looks to be superior to those other series and I can’t wait to get to the next book. this one ends nicely with a decent conclusion while letting you kinda know where the next book will be going and leaving you gasping for more but this story has so many threads that she could have written 1000 pages and it would still leave you that way. There is just a LOT to be told and a host of barely sane characters to match up :)
Interestingly, the author made a point in her forward to let anyone know that this is NOT a rewrite or revision of The Gathering (which I gleamed will likely never see another sequel), that this is an original series that The Gathering just gave her the basis to write. I gather this is a touchy subject but if you think this is some kind of sequel to that book, forget it.
Less I forget to mention it, the romance between Kera and Vig was more like watching professional wrestling to see how they would ever get from point A to point B and it was entertaining in the same vein that the romances in DragonKin and Pride books are, kinda a ultra-violent love affair. You got to love Shelly Laurenston or none of these books will appeal to you. What I am not sure about is how large a part Kera /Vig will play in the next book, there are things that have to include them yet to be solved and yet she seems to be pushing a few of the characters in the direction of becoming couples.
Bottom Line: I liked it but I did not love it. It shows a ton of promise for future exceptional books but she had to do the requisite world building and introduce a cast of about a dozen people or more so I think a 4 Star rating for this novel is ultimately fair. Still highly recommended but while she gives good closure to most of the actions in this book you will be left wanting more.
Who else has or will be picking up this new series from Shelly? I did enjoy Hunting Season, the original book set in this world, so I have hopes that I can finally get off my butt and get through this one.