Valhalla, written by Ari Bach, is dark, gritty, dangerous, and subtly representative. Bach unpacks his new world, layering loud violence, subtle queer identities, and a disturbing dystopian premise that promises an interesting alternative. Valhalla pushes the boundaries of science fiction to make you question the lines drawn between dystopian governments, outside companies, and the people who make up the world those entities control, and sets up the foundation for a strong trilogy that centers around a queer female protagonist.
Violet MacRae is our wonderfully violent narrator, living in the year 2230, when war is obsolete and most everyone knows their place. With her propensity for violence and her less than spectacular intelligence, Violet doesn’t fit in, and doesn’t want to. Faced with uncertainty about her immediate future, and ostracized from the only place in polite society that she had even a slight chance of fitting into, Violet returns to an empty home and is subsequently snatched up by Valhalla. That is a secret military-esque organization that keeps the outer world in line with their unique methods, and there, Violet finds a real home. But Valhalla and her new friends are in danger, and Violet finds her new skills are stretched to the limit as she defends her safe haven from genetically enhanced criminals. [Read more…]