Monday, March 23, 2020

Review: Adam Lane Smith's Valkyrie Doll and the Ashen Brotherhood

You may previously remember Adam Lane Smith from his work in Burrito Avenger and Making Peace (reviews in the links)

Adam has moved on to Christian Fantasy dystopia.

You have to be pretty flipping awesome to make me get through dystopia of any type. Mostly, you have to be named John Ringo.

If this sounds interesting, then you can get out Adam's main series of Deus Vult Wastelanders. The featured character is Gideon Ira -- imagine Judge Dredd as a crusader knight in powered armor. 

I wasn't a fan of book one. I blame the poor editing -- It opened with a fight with a demon, then tried to make us care about Gideon Ira, then put us with a fight against random thugs. Which isn't how you do story structure. Book two of Deus Vult Wastelanders was better.

The one I really liked is Valkyrie Doll and the Ashen Brotherhood. It's a spin-off from the main series, but I think it did a better job of introducing the world through character interactions than the first two books.

The Valkyrie revives in a coffin.

As she climbs from her tomb, she finds the end of the world has come and gone. Demons roam the blasted wasteland of what was once America. Humanity hangs by a thread and she, one of the last surviving Valkyries, is tasked with driving the rampaging legions back into Hell.

As she battles waves of demons, raiders, and mutants, the Valkyrie faces far darker questions: Does a created being have a soul? What does it mean to protect mankind as humans prey upon each other? When she confronts the cult of Moloch hidden beneath the ruins of an ancient abortion clinic, her burning need for justice may just prove more powerful than her orders to protect mankind.

The last survivors of humanity need her. Will she be our protector, or our destroyer?

Valkyrie Doll and the Ashen Brotherhood has multiple advantages over the main series. 

To start with, the Valkyrie has a personality. She's almost charming in her observations. She has a character arc and development.

And let's just say that she has an inventory system that feels like a very meta comedy about video game systems.

Another advantage this has over the main series is that our heroine is working with a team of various personality types. Adam's already got team dynamics down from Making Peace, and it really is one of his strengths. 

Overall, this was better than the last two. And if you want better than Larry Correia's Son of the Black Sword, and looks like a cross between Solomon Cane with a protagonist out of Nier: Automata (if Neir Automata was, you know, GOOD), then give Valkyrie Doll and the Ashen Brotherhood a try.

1 comment:

  1. So dystopian fiction up there with John Ringo? That is HIGH Praise indeed.


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