Voyage to Valhalla
This review was contributed by Ben G
In Brief: Not too much character development and too abrupt an ending; Viking paganism and some ghostly and tragic events.
Published in: 1976
Age Range: Children
Davy was always the submissive one in the gang, always happy to follow the more boisterous Chris and Paula, until the discovery of an old human skeleton in a chilling wood sparked off haunting and hallucinations for Davy. Davy seems compelled to help a cursed Viking warrior on his journey to Valhalla and the Viking after-life. This leads the three friends into great danger and a shattering climax.
While the story is fairly interesting I feel that it is mainly plot driven with little or no character development particularly of Davy's two counterparts, Chris and Paula, whose characters are not really explored at all.
Another downfall of the book is that it is set up to be a long book but is finished too abruptly.
There are also some issues in the story which should be discussed with children, particularly the Viking paganism in a modern day context and the idea that children should handle their problems on their own rather than turning to parents for help.
Younger children may also find the ghostly elements and tragic events of this book rather upsetting, so, despite the fact that the language and vocabulary used in the book is limited and not at all challenging I would only recommend the book for those over 9.
“He peeled off the last chunk of clay and recoiled, crying out. the skull gazed vacantly into the sky”
Friday 4th July 2003