I received this book at no cost from the publisherBerserker (Berserker #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Are Hanne’s powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?
Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”–she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.
Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.
Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.
Praise for BERSERKER
“Emmy Labourne deftly melds Viking lore with the American West and creates something wholly new, a journey filled with heart-pounding suspense and surprising tenderness. Loved!”―Danielle Paige New York Times-bestselling author the Dorothy Must Die series
“Berserker combines the magic of Norse mythology with the thrill of the American West with staggering results. Startlingly original, unputdownable, and electrifying.” ―Kass Morgan, author of New York Times bestseller The 100
“A completely winning, romantic, and heart-wrenching historical fantasy. Your pulse will race from page one of this rich, rugged adventure of a book.”―Alyson Noel, New York Times-bestselling author of The Immortals series
“Berserker embraces the beautiful brutality of both Viking lore and Frontier tales, and it does so without resorting to tired tropes or toxic masculinity. This is a brilliantly unexpected fusion of cowboys and old gods―intense and gritty and yet surprisingly tender―but the real strength of Emmy Laybourne’s writing is that, for all their superhuman abilities, her characters are so very human.”―William Ritter, author of the New York Times-bestselling Jackaby series
Praise for EMMY LAYBOURNE
“Simultaneously terrifying, hilarious, and action-packed, Sweet is a wild ride that holds up a warped mirror to our society. I loved it from the first line to the last.” ―Marie Lu, author of Legend and The Young Elites on Sweet
“Frighteningly real . . . Riveting.” ―The New York Times Book Review on Monument 14
“A tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review of Monument 14
“Pretty darn breathless.” ―Booklist on Sky on Fire
MY THOUGHTS (mni review)
Hanne is unsure of herself, especially her gifts. Her brother, Stieg, thinks his are a gift from the gods, where Hanne thinks hers is a curse. She is known as a Berserker and flies into a rage when she or a loved one is threatened. When one incident sets the family on a course to America where they hope they can find someone to help Hanne with her cursed gift.
Wow, what an amazing and fun tale! You are quickly drawn into the story and brought into the action with battles galore. The younger siblings come into their own but when the family gets together with Own and his DOG!!! (sorry), Daisy, as he helps them travel the frontier in their search for their uncle. I really felt for Hanne and her issues with her gift and the guilt that came along with it. I can’t wait for the next installation
Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, screenwriter and former character actress. She is the author of the upcoming release BERSERKER (“You will love Emmy Laybourne’s vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.” – Hypable.com), as well as the MONUMENT 14 trilogy (“Frighteningly real… riveting” – NYT Book Review, Editor’s Choice) and the novel SWEET (“A gripping action-adventure survival story” – VOYA, rated Perfect Ten).
Before her life as a novelist, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1; and acted in the movies “Superstar,” “The In-Laws” and “Nancy Drew,” among others. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids and a flock of 9 nifty chickens.
Photo credit: Kit Laybourne
PLEASE WELCOME ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE AUTHORS EMMY LEYBOURNE!
What is on your nightstand?
I just finished a wonderful middle-grade book called The Wonderling by Mira Bartók. It’s a beautiful story set in a very grim, steampunk universe, about a fox/human with one ear, who can hear the melodies of beauty that run under the world.
Over the summer I read every single book by Joe Abercrombie. He writes these fabulous fantasy novels. Joe Abercrombie writes the best action scenes and battle scenes that I have ever read. His war scenes are astounding.
What author would you totally fan?
I’m actually good friends with an author, whose work I love so much that I frequently sort of kick myself, like I can’t believe I’m out to lunch with her. Who is it? It’s Libba Bray. She is a hero to me. Her book, Beauty Queens, is a book that I go to when life gets so absurd that I need to read something even more crazy, so I can relax. With all the insanity we’re living hrough in politics right now, I’ve re-read it often. Libba is also a fiercely creative person who makes time for her singing and her music writing. She’s also a mother, and she’s a huge champion of other people’s creativitiy and right to be themselves. I’m fan-girling, aren’t I?
What makes you cringe?
I really worry about young women and social media. I worry that it feels like a fun game while you’re posting, but you are acually invading your own privacy, and taking away your freedom to make huge, giant mistakes. Young people have the right to make mistakes — and usually bounce back beautifully from them. But it’s harder to bounce back when there’s a record of your screw-ups out there, So I cringe when I see people posting stuff I suspect they might regret later on social media.
Is there a word you love to use?
Oh goodness – I use the word “stumble” too much. I have to do, like, a “stumble check” at the end of every book. David Levithan hosts these wonderful readings and events in New York, and I was reading from one of my books and came across the word “stumble” twice in a four-sentence span. I stopped, mortified, but the audience got a big laugh out of it. So there’s that!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Mary! I’m sending tons of love to your readers!
– 4 Winners will receive a Copy of BERSERKER by Emmy Laybourne.