Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Hanne Hemsted's special powers make her feel ashamed. When someone she loves is threatened, she becomes a cunning and brutal killer. Hanne's brother insists their powers are a gift from their gods. When her father's attacked and Hanne uses her powers in a futile attempt to save him, the family goes on the run.

To avoid a murder charge, the siblings head from Norway to the U.S. to start anew in the west. The government is practically giving away land to anyone willing to create a homestead. While they have a guide to help them navigate this unexplored land, Hanne hopes to find the one man who might be able to teach her how to control her skills as a Berserker and keep from killing others.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Berserker doesn't start out slow. It starts in a flurry of action that holds your attention. Even after discovering Hanne's powers, the sibling's quest to get out of Norway keeps you on the edge of your seat. It delves into the past, when settlers left their homeland for the chance to settle in territory west of the Mississippi River, and has you hooked with all they endure. From weather to the bounty hunters that want to claim the bounty, this story never slowed down.

RTR's Bottom Line

The writing is crisp and so vivid. I am not big into mythology and the likes, so I wasn't sure how well I'd like this story. I loved it. There are action and adventure, but there is a strong family bond and touches of romance that round out the teen fiction novel. If you're looking for something that hasn't been overdone in fiction, pick up Berserker.


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