Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this Norse-mythology-infused USA in book one of Gods of New Asgard.
Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin fears both the past and the future. His father, a famed berserker warrior, went to prison after killing thirteen innocent people during a mindless battle-frenzy. Berserking is in Soren's blood, too: constant fevers and insomnia promise the power will explode in him any day.
He's terrified of himself.
When Baldur — Odin's son and the god of light — vanishes, Odin offers a boon to any who bring him news of his son. Soren sees his chance to change his fate: with that boon, he could ask Odin to strip berserking out of him forever. Along with Astrid Glyn, a teen prophet who’s dreamed of Baldur’s location, Soren takes off on a road trip across the United States of Asgard in search of the lost god and a new future.
“A moving and original romance.” – Publisher’s Weekly
The what-if premise of Gratton's (Blood Magic) first book in the United States of Asgard series has the gods of Norse myth thriving in 21st-century America, not as divinities so much as celebrities: the gods walk openly among humankind, hosting charity events and resurrecting on national television. It may sound like the setup for a spoof, but it isn't Gratton's 17-year-old protagonists are dead serious in their goals. Soren, a destined berserker whose father was a mass killer, wants freedom from his violent heritage; Astrid, a seer, seeks her dead mother, whom Astrid believes is alive. The teens join forces in a road-trip quest la American Gods when Baldur the Beautiful fails to rise from the dead on schedule, prompting Odin Alfather to offer a boon to any who bring word of Baldur's whereabouts. Soren is occasionally too noble, Astrid too gnomically lovely, and with so many portents flying around, things can get, well, portentous. But on the whole Gratton avoids the risk of parody to pull off a moving and original romance. Ages 12 up.