[Book Review] Baen Books: ‘Valhellions’ by Tim Akers
When John Rast signed up for Knight Watch, he expected it to be all fighting dragons and rescuing maidens. You know, hero stuff. But instead he’s stuck patrolling game conventions and cosplayer competitions, looking for dangerous anachronisms and the villains who may be trying to exploit them. Fortunately, all that changes when an honest-to-goodness necromancer shows up wielding a weapon created by Nazi occultists and accompanied by some badass evil Valkyries, hell-bent on kicking off the end of the world.
John and the team will go to great lengths—even Minnesota—to find out who’s responsible for all this and foil their plans. Also, there’s a giant dog who thinks the moon is a ball. It’s epic.
Valhellions is the second book in the Knight Watch series by Tim Akers.
I will start out by saying that I did not know this was the second book in a series. I did not read the first novel, however I don’t think you really needed the first book to know what was going on. There were a few mentions of events from the previous book, but they only made me interested in seeking out the first book.
They say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but I have to admit that I was drawn to this book by the cover. Todd Lockwood did a great cover that pulled my attention and got me interested in opening it, and I did not regret it for a moment.
This is an amazingly fun and entertaining journey through through Akers’ Knight Watch universe. The heroes in this book are John the Warder, Chesa the Elf Queen Archer, Tembo the ancient Mage, Matthew the Sainted Healer, Bethany the Shadow Assassin and Gregory Chastain de Beuregard d’Haute – Warrior and Paladin.
I found this was written in a tongue in cheek-style similar to Terry Pratchett. It’s a humorous take on both the modern and fantasy realms with a touch of the classic epic fantasy and adventure. The one-liners are balanced perfectly with the send of danger and adventure as our heroes try to save the world from Valkyries and their undead minions.
The characters are realistic – they aren’t perfectly sculpted, muscular super-soldiers that have the ultimate answer to everything. The heroes make mistakes, have character flaw, and, in general, just try to do the best they can. You get just enough character development and background stories to get you invested in them and eager to learn more in future novels.
This is a quick, lighthearted read with distinctive characters, good pacing, and a sense of humor. I would love to read the next in the series. I give it a whole five stars.
Written by: Tim Akers
Cover Art by: Todd Lockwood
How we rate our Books
1 = We finished the book with effort
2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance
3 = Good
4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends
5 = We couldn’t put the book down