'Awakening' by Kevin Miller

Posted by Amber Herbert on .

*I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.*

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⭐⭐⭐

Awakening: Book One of the Berserker Chronicles centers around Leif, a Berserker who must go on a quest to save the nine realms of Yggorasil. After reading the blurb, I was intrigued. I don't read many books about Norse mythology, so I was excited to dive into something I didn't know much about.


What Worked

  1. Miller's world-building is great. I could visualize the scenery and other realms without much effort, and I enjoyed how the descriptions weren't overwhelming.
  2. Backstory and myth are offered through dialogue, research, and dreams. Instead of falling prey to the dreaded info dump, Miller offers the reader vital information in an organic manner.
  3. The character/monster descriptions are written well.


What Didn't

  1. The fight scenes were too long. I would have preferred if they were either shorter or happened less frequently.
  2. The use of pronouns is minimal. The protagonist's name (Leif) is used multiple times per paragraph, hindering the flow of the passage.
  3. Many of the scenes could have been condensed. Though the structure of each scene was strong, some of the fat needed to be trimmed. This is something a developmental editor or beta reader should have pointed out.
  4. There were a ton of errors that should have been caught by a copy and/or line editor. Punctuation was all over the place, the word exacerbated was used instead of exasperated at least twice, and the name of Leif's bar changed halfway through the book. As an editor, it was impossible to look past the abundance of errata.

Overall, I believe Miller did a decent job with this novel. Sure, there were areas that needed revision or could have used trimming, but a good story lies beneath those fixable things. Leif was a fun character to follow, and the world-building was on point; I just hoped for something more polished.

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