Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Class/Genre: Science Fiction Military
Baen, Jan 2005, $22.00, 281 pp.
Harry Silver, with a wife and as a new father, needs money, but a Berserker destroyed his vessel. Wealthy Winston Cheng offers him a small fortune along with a quality ship in exchange for Harry leading a private army to rescue his granddaughter and great-grandson kidnapped by a Berserker. Harry knows that if these killing machines allow a "Goodlife" to live it is only because they become subservient. Winston feels this abduction is different because the death machine is a rogue who acts dissimilar from the others. Still Harry says no as he has two reasons to live.
However, Harry learns that the rogue Berserker kidnapped his wife and son. His only hope to save his beloved Becky and Ethan, assuming they have not been terminated as “Badlife” and that Cheng’s theory is correct, is the deal. Harry meets old friends, several enemies, and other adventurers while preparing for an assault. Though Winston’s strategy seems logical, Harry knows from first hand experience that the best laid plans of Silver always goes astray when confronting a Berserker so why should this quest be any different especially when another machine seeks to kill Cheng’s crew.
ROGUE BERSERKER is a throwback tale to the earlier novels with Berserkers in the forefront leading to non-stop action. Harry seems more complete as he seeks vengeance, prays for a miracle expecting none, and accepts any means is fine as long as he rescues his family. Fueled by anger and helplessness, his obsession makes him less ethical yet more human than hero. Fred Saberhagen provides a terrific entry in his long running series as he returns to the basics: human vs. invincible killing machine within a tense story line.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner