*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Death is only the beginning…
Varsity student, Emma, makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her fellow students from rioters and is taken to Valhalla.
Instead of being welcomed as a hero, she is enlisted to the Valkyries to eternally battle the Furies over the souls of the fallen who will fight on their side during Ragnarok.
She is not well-liked by her sisters-in-arms and Valkyries are not allowed to be opinionated.
Can Emma learn to live with the sexist beliefs of her new society, or will she forge her own path?
Black Moon blends Greek mythology with modern violence to create a fascinating new take on the old sagas.
Emma dies heroically to save her friends from violent rioters at her school, only to find that old-fashioned sexism is rife in the mythological afterworld and the Valkyries have no interest in some upstart schoolgirl rocking up and trying to turn Valhalla’s traditions upside down.
The plot and the main character here are great, and I really enjoyed seeing the two different perspectives of the female afterlife: Valkyries and Furies. The author explains in a note that the story began as a short story that she expanded into this novella, and I honestly feel there is loads of room to expand this storyline further still!
I really wanted to know more about what day-to-day life as a Valkyrie really looked like; how the Valkyries interact with the heroes of Valhalla – what their relationships (if any) look like; how life as a Fury is materially different. I wanted to know more about the mysterious orb and the transition from Valkyrie to Fury or vice versa: has it been done before, and how does it work? A lot of these sorts of details were left off-stage in the story, in order to keep the action fast-paced, but I think that fleshing the worldbuilding out a little more would have added more depth to that action, and given it greater impact on the reader.
I would love to read a longer, slower-paced novel of this novella, which really expands on the universe that the author only reveals provocative glimpses of here. It would be nice for the Valkyries and Furies to have room to fully unfurl their wings and shake up the halls of heroic men a bit!
Maybe it was fear, not anxiety, making her see things: she was sure that she could see the winged Furies from Greek mythology laughing among the rioters. Ash fell from their wings and settled on Thomas and the others.
She looked up at the roof, promising herself that she wasn’t going to go out without a fight. That’s when she was sure that her mythology classes were driving her nuts: a swan maiden – a Valkyrie – was soaring overhead.
– Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Black Moon
Black Moon is available on Amazon right now!