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  • Worthwhile read

    I did like this book even if I didn't love it. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Berserker, so I was pretty eager to see what the Hemstad family was up to. While I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the previous book, I did find it to be a worthwhile read and enjoyed the story overall. The set up for this series is really quite interesting. The book takes place in the Old West and focuses on a family with a unique set of abilities. These abilities are linked back to the Norse gods and each member of the Hemstad family has their own unique power, which the exception of the youngest, Sissel. Sissel feels like she is the weakest member of the family since she always seems to be in poor health in addition to lacking a gift. I think that the main reason that I didn't connect with this book quite as much as the previous book in the series is the fact that this book is largely told from Sissel's point of view. Unfortunately, the bulk of this book is really just about Sissel instead of the family as a group. I think that one of the strengths of the first book was the relationships between the siblings but in this installment, the family went in different directions and not really a part of the bigger story for much of the book. We do occasionally check in with Hanne and Owen while they are away and I must admit to enjoying those brief segments much more than Sissel's story. Sissel had been the only member of the family not to be blessed with a gift but that changes shortly after the start of this book. She quite literally stumbles upon her ability to detect metals and learns that she is a Ransacker. There hasn't been a Ransacker for a very long time and Sissel isn't exactly sure what she is capable of so a lot of the story is spent watching her practice and test her new found ability. Unfortunately, I didn't find her ability nearly as exciting as that of her sister even though it would be really nice to be able to locate gold with ease. The book does get a lot more exciting as it progressed and there were a few pretty intense scenes before everything was over. I think that I liked the final sections of the book much more not only because there was a lot of action but also because the family was reunited. There is a bit of romance that pops up before the end of the book and I hate to say it but I just wasn't feeling it. I would recommend this series to others. I do think that it is best to read this series in order and overall it is a really solid story. I wouldn't hesitate to read more from Emmy Laybourne in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley.

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