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Valhalla (Valhalla #1)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  456 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Violet MacRae is one of the aimless millions crowding northern Scotland. In the year 2330, where war is obsolete and only brilliant minds are valued, she emerges into adulthood with more brawn than brains and a propensity for violence. People dismiss her as a relic, but world peace is more fragile than they know.

In Valhalla, a clandes
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 330 pages
Published February 13th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 10th 2010)
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Possession of My Soul by Kia Carrington-RussellWild Hearted by Lea BronsenPhantom Wolf by Kia Carrington-RussellValhalla by Ari BachRagnarök by Ari Bach
Best violent action novels
4th out of 303 books — 395 voters
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Banned & Challenged YA Novels
6th out of 54 books — 136 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Glenn Conley
May 22, 2015 Glenn Conley rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a very good book, full of action and intrigue. It's set two hundred years in the future, with all kinds of cool tech and weaponry. Most people in this story are heavily modified with implants, their consciousness constantly connected to the internet. I don't know what would be worse, the constant barrage of cat pics, or the incessant ads claiming that my penis is way too small.

This book is about Violet, a teenage girl who lost her parents in a brutal firefight. Some gang invaded their ho
Felix Rose-Nash
Jul 01, 2014 Felix Rose-Nash rated it it was amazing
There is a lot to love about Valhalla. It is a rare, exciting find in the world of YA literature – a book that doesn’t dumb down, self-censor or flinch away from the very things that keep readers glued to the page. The action is fast-paced and incredibly visual, and never flinches away from showing the violence in gory detail, yet it manages to avoid feeling gratuitous or disturbing. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to readers of thirteen and up – although I must confess, I read my ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Elise rated it it was ok
The good ratings for this book stun me. I should probably stop reading things penned by the Tumblr-famous. It's been two strikes so far.

I started out liking it. But that faded as I realized that despite some moments of excitement and drama, this book is overwhelmingly bland. The story is set hundreds of years into the future, with super advanced technology. But very little detail is given on this world or the people in it. I often found myself having not much of an idea what these places or peop
Oct 16, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This may be the only review of this book ever written.

So in response to that I must tell you about why I believe this book was beautiful to me.
As there are no advertisements or stupid pages with a bunch of non-book shit on them it's almost a revolution against corporate greed in the literary world. Corporations do own governments in today's society it's just not actually believed by everyone on the planet because the corporations have influenced public opinion so much.
In light of this, the se
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2014 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I started this book with high hopes due to some amazing reviews from tumblr users.
The plot line is pretty formulaic for a young adult book, war-ravaged, futuristic world, girl comes of age, girl is an outcast, girl's family don't understand her and she doesn't have any friends, girl must find out where she belongs, stumbles across an unlikely place to fit in and her new life begins.
The book started off really good. The character development was impressive, I began to really understand Violet a
Julia Ember
Mar 24, 2016 Julia Ember added it
Shelves: ya, queer, sci-fi
I was drawn to this book because it’s set in a Dystopian, futuristic Scotland. A lot of the world-building is sinister: peoples entire lives are basically lived and downloaded into little links in their heads. Institutionalisation is rife. People who don’t fit the personality ideal ranges get their minds re-programmed.

Violet is on the cusp. With test scores that place her one point below the maximum score for violence, she’s always felt like a bit of an outsider. Combined with strong psychopathi
Meaghan Cassidy
Sep 22, 2015 Meaghan Cassidy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-series
Valhalla in 10 words: Violent chicks, Walruses, and a whole lot of kick-ass.
Mar 09, 2014 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violence, and Walruses, what more can you want? 4 1/2 stars
Alexander Winfield
I really did, quite, enjoy this book.

I've heard it said online that if you've read Jennifer Government and Wanted, this novel is pretty much covered and that there's no need to bother; while both of these comparisons are warranted, it's a little unfair to dismiss Valhalla out of hand. It does bring some more of its own.

Surprisingly thorough world-building, even for semi-dystopian sci fi, is demonstrated to the reader very rapidly, though sadly it's often just in the form of the narrator telling
Elizabeth Mathis
I was asked to review this by


A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Violet MacRae is one of the aimless millions crowding northern Scotland. In the year 2330, where war is obsolete and only brilliant minds are valued, she emerges into adulthood with more brawn than brains and a propensity for violence. People dismiss her as a relic, but world peace is more fragile than they know.

In Valhalla, a clandestine base hidden in an icy ravine, Violet connects with a group of out
Hearts On Fire Reviews
Reviewed by: Eladio
Genre: F/F Science Fiction, Futuristic
3.75 Hearts

See Review Here: Hearts On Fire Reviews
Facebook link:

Review: This is an interesting novel that showcases a fine writing style and a dazzling imagination when it comes to world-building but falls short in characterization. The well-written blurb gives you a good feel for the story. This is a futuristic, overly controlled world run by corporations in which a fighter such as Violet has to wo
Jul 26, 2016 Flavia rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I'll have to do a reread to get all the details down exact, but here's the gist of my thoughts:
This is a pretty good book in a series I expect to only get better, which makes it worth a read.

Vahalla has an interesting world to work with, very well realized and fun to explore. Unfortunately, the book has a fairly slow start, and wasn't super good at holding my finnicky attention for the first two chapters. And boy, the chapters are long in this book. There's only 13 or so total for a 400 page boo
Danni Wiggins
Mar 23, 2014 Danni Wiggins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to blow off some steam
Valhalla was not what I was expecting. That is really the only way to start off this review. At every turn, I thought I knew what would come next, and I was wrong. This is the best thing I can say about a book. Unpredictable is excellent! Unpredictable and logically plotted is EVEN BETTER!

Violet is a girl that is difficult to relate to right off the bat. The usual ropes of compassion and humaness are not present. You have this very violet young woman who very early on in the book looses her fam
zalatawa (darcy-girl-books)
Thank you Ari Bach for letting me review your book in an exchange of an honest review

I have never DNFed a book in YEARS. Ever. And I only DNFed when I was a kid and I picked up too much of a challenging classic for my interest. But I guess we all have that one (or more) book(s) that we just can't get through.

This book wasn't for me. I'm not sorry to say this, but the writing style was terrible. To me. Actually I am sorry that this book wasn't for me. I was really hoping for it to be good. Fo
Mike Finn
I picked up "Valhalla" after reading a review by Glen Hates Books. Take a look HERE. It was a good review. It was an even better book, which I probably wouldn't have found on my own.

Set in 2230, "Valhalla" tells the story of Violet, a teenage girl with the heart of a warrior, born into a society that sees violence as pathological and Violet as in need of a LOT of counseling.

At seventeen, on the brink of adulthood, Violet's family is murdered in front of her by the Orange Gang. Her response is in
Sean Crumbliss
Oct 22, 2015 Sean Crumbliss rated it it was amazing
Like Flowers in Spring
The main character of this book is named Violet Macrae.She is a very a 17 year old girl who has a few specific interests, is very violent, and has trouble developing empathy. Some of her struggles include trying to understand why she didn’t feel bad when her parents died and is okay with hurting her allies and afterward even said “I should have killed you.”. She doesn’t know how or care to know how to read and she enjoyed solitary confinement “There was no one talking to he
Apr 06, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-ya, dystopia, 2016
Violet has no idea what to do with her future, since her aptitude tests give her only the option of the army, which she would love but her parents don't want for her... until they are murdered by the Orange Gang and Violet ends up killing several members of the gang. Now she's free to join the army, even as she has vowed revenge against the leader of the gang. Her time in the army is short-lived, after which she is recruited for Valhalla, a secret army that seeks to keep the gangs and pirates ...more
Sep 28, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valhalla by Ari Bach was an extremely refreshing take on the fast growing dystopian genre. Although it was fast passed in the beginning, you are quickly sucked into the main character Violet MacRae's world. Violet is one of the most fascinating characters that I have ever read. With most characters you find yourself identifying with some of the characteristics of that character fairly early on, but Violet is an almost completely new outtake on a teen fiction character. Even if you do not ...more
Oct 18, 2015 Nicole rated it it was ok
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It is rare to find a book so full of action and yet so boring at the same time. I blame this on the author's writing style. The overly-detailed descriptions and straight-forward narrative voice quickly proved monotonous. I never connected with the protagonist, mostly because her every action and choice was so clinically described that I felt like I was reading a lab report. The premise is promising, and this ...more
Heather Hardy
Oct 23, 2014 Heather Hardy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is everything I could want from a book.

Young Adult, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Strong female lead, Action, Adventure, Technology and a hint of Lesbians.
It was like Ari Bach went into my mind, found all the things I love, and put them into a book.

Normally I can not read third person books because it honestly just makes me bored. This book rewrote that theory. I am obsessed with everything and anything related to Valhalla. The only complaint I have about this book is how it started off. It was a
Apr 30, 2015 John rated it liked it
This book....

I liked it. I really really liked it, but the book isn't 5 stars for sure. I'm not really sure why I like it so much. Maybe because I started the book wanting to like it?

Ari absolutely has a story he wants to tell, and he has an image of the world to tell this story in. This much is apparent, and it's a really compelling story. My problem with the book (and maybe this was because I listened to it via audiobook while at work) was that some parts of the book went on for a little too
May 20, 2015 Nick rated it it was amazing
Valhalla is one of the best books I've ever read. I loved the entire cast (or loved to hate a few characters), the action was intense, and there was plenty of humor. Ari Bach does an excellent job of portraying a batch of lovable, morally gray misfits. Stepping into Valhalla is like stepping into an entirely new world, one with a rich history and culture that is populated by real, three-dimensional people. But, at the same time, it also shows a realistic prediction of what our own world will be ...more
Nathan Smith
Aug 02, 2016 Nathan Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is rough in spots, but the world and characters are very engaging, and I really didn't want to put Valhalla down.

The highest points of the book to me are the world that Ari Bach has built as well as the character of Violet. The world isn't entirely unique, but the tropes it does use it uses well. Violet is refreshingly new and different than most protagonists I can think of.

My only complaints are that sometimes the characters seem to vary in how powerful/skilled they are or how effec
Mar 09, 2016 Santina rated it really liked it
I've read some other reviews for this book complaining about the action sequences, the too-long training montages, etc.

And no offense to any of those people, but Violet Macrae could destroy them all with all her limbs zip-tied behind her back and her mouth welded shut. Violet Macrae could beat up Chuck Norris with invisible Barack Obama's invisible chair. Violet Macrae would leave Sheev Palpatine and Voldemort crying for their mommies.

Violet Macrae: finally, the senselessly violent action hero w
Oct 19, 2014 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a good read.
I bought this book a few months ago and read it in two days. I loved the authors writing style and the pacing of the book. There was never a boring moment in it and it is a story that will stick with me for a long time! I plan to read this book again soon, and I'll be one of the first to buy the squeal. Overall a great read and definitely worth the money!
Apr 05, 2016 Margo rated it really liked it
Lived up to the hype. Great characters, nicely done plot, good subversion of a lot of tropes. A bit more telling than showing than I usually like; it gives you a distanced feel as a reader, which may be what Bach is going for. But the story itself is quite thrilling. The plot is gory, the descriptions are not.
May 02, 2016 Holly rated it liked it
I have to say when I started this book I was unimpressed. That quickly faded. This book is set far in our future and plays with the tension between the past (our present time) and the present (our future) in such subtle yet fun ways that you cannot help but be drawn into this world. The characters are fun and lovable too. If you're looking for some bad*** characters then this is the book for you.
Justin Ashby
Jun 06, 2015 Justin Ashby rated it it was amazing
One of the best sci-fi books I've ever read. It's extremely fun, over-the-top, often hilarious, occasionally heartbreaking. Recommended 100%

And if that hasn't sold you, it also features a walrus.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
May 10, 2015 Wetdryvac Wetdryvac rated it it was amazing
I hadn't realized it was intended as young adult when I sat down to read it, but I've been looking forward to this for a while now. A style of writing I don't normally go for, but a lot of fun.
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Ari Bach runs a blog devoted to the Valhalla series at

Ari’s artwork can be found online at

Ari also runs a webcomic at and has a Tarot deck at

But Ari is probably best known for the humor blog “Facts-I-Just-Made-Up” at
More about Ari Bach...

Other Books in the Series

Valhalla (3 books)
  • Ragnarök (Valhalla, #2)
  • Guðsríki (Valhalla, #3)

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“Religion is a disease, a social cancer. It is the afterbirth of intelligence, of thought itself.” 3 likes
“Obviously, they were not to torture anyone for their own pleasure unless the fucker just totally deserved it.” 2 likes
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