Audiobook Review: Hunting Season (The Gathering #1) by Shelly Laurenston

Hunting Season: Gathering Series, Book 1 - Alexandra Shawnee, Tantor Audio, Shelly Laurenston

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at


Hunting Season has been on my TBR list for a long time. Needless to say that books that aren’t on audio tend to take me longer to get to. I have so much more time to listen than read. So, when I saw that this was coming out on audio, I jumped at the chance to review it. This book was written in 2009 and there doesn’t appear to be any more book in this series coming. In my opinion, it is because she chose to take this world to Call of the Crows. Now, the author says this is not the case, you can check out her FAQ to read more.


This book is full of Norse mythology. It has a group of humans, who’ve died and been resurrected by Skuld. They become crows, and though they don’t completely shapeshift, they do have wings that they can use at will. All crows are women that Skuld deem worthy. Then there’s the ravens. They are all male. They are born ravens and are loyal to Odin. The crows are quite the party animals. The ravens being much more tame. They also look down on the crows because of their human side. Ravens also have their own wings that they can use when needed.


Neecy Lawrence is the second-in-command of the crows. She had a pretty hard life as a human. She grew up in foster homes, then she join a gang. Needless to say, she did some things she really isn’t proud of while in the gang. She was killed when she tried to leave and that is when Skuld came to her and offered her to be reborn of sorts as a crow. Neecy lives for being a crow. She is trying so hard to make up for past wrongs. She’s also a history professor with a PhD in history. Neecy also has the ability to call crows to her. That does have some funny moments.

Two more crows dived at Mike, freaking the poor kid out.
Then six more.
“Then what the…”
Tye sipped his coffee as Mike did his best to keep the birds away from him. “It’s not Neecy,” he offered casually. “It’s that meat and bird seed I put in his pockets.”
Delia covered her mouth in surprise, but she couldn’t stifle the laughter. Yager shook his head.
They watched as Mike ran to the doors, trying to get in. But, apparently, Tye locked them and seemed in no rush to unlock them.
“He knows why.”
Mike slammed his fist against the thick glass and pointed at Tye while the growing number of birds steadily attacked his coat and therefore him.
“You motherfucker!”
“See?” Tye took another sip of his coffee. “Told you he knows why.”

Wilhelm Yager is the leader of the New York-New Jersey Ravens. He’s also a computer geek (definitely can’t fault him for that. I love a computer geek.). He’s had a thing for Neecy for a while, but she doesn’t give him the time of day. That is until he convinces her to spend 24 hours with him.


While, I really enjoyed the characters in this book, I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot. I liked the crows and ravens. I wasn’t real big on the “hunting season” where a pack of wolf-shifters try to kill all the crows. It just wasn’t the best plot. They weren’t a good villain.


Trying to write the review for this book is difficult for me. Part of me is wanted to just compare it to the Call of the Crows books, but I know not everyone has read them. There is also part of me who is very disappointed in this book. I’ll admit that I went into this book without having read the blurb. I do that frequently with favorite authors. I like to go into books blind. I find that I enjoy them more most of the time because I’m surprised about everything. That was not the case here. I was very disappointed with this story being so similar to a series I’ve already two book in. It was a good book, just not up the standards that I’m used to by Shelly Laurenston (or her other pen name, G.A. Aiken).



I didn’t think I had listened to anything by Alexandra Shawnee before I started this book. It didn’t take 2 minutes in and I knew that I head listened to a book by her, just under a different name. She is a narrator that I’ve really enjoyed with those other books that I listened to. That being said, I don’t think she was the best choice for this book. She doesn’t bring out the humor that Shelly Laurenston has in her books. I just don’t think she brought out that snark that Laurenston is known for. I will say she does a great job with male and female voices. Not to mention the sex and fight scenes were wonderfully done. If you happen across something by her, I would recommend it.


**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.