Book Review: The Impaler’s Revenge (The Impaler Legacy #1) by Ioana Visan
The Impaler’s Revenge may not always accomplish what it sets out to do, but neither does it fail. With relatable characters, a strong setting, and the promise of future novellas to further her story, Visan’s stage is adequately set, even if the play is still a bit shaky.
*** This review is spoiler free. Read on with confidence! ***
The Impaler’s Revenge, the first book in Ioana Visan’s ambitious new series, sets the stage for what is supposed to be an epic tale of the Romanian Little Council and their mission to keep their country free of the modern vampire. Border closings have been so efficient in keeping what is essentially portrayed as the 21st century plague outside of Romania that a vampire hasn’t set foot in the country in over five centuries. Until Maximilien Hess is called in by the President himself and Liana Cantacuzino, a member of the Little Council herself, is assigned to be his handler.
Of all the creatures on this Earth that have yet to emerge from mythology into the “real world,” the vampire is my favorite and although I found Visan’s novella underwhelming, she does have one huge thing going for her: the right kind of vampire. Nothing against the undead who prefer to sparkle in the sunshine, but Visan crafts a new vision for the species, and they are not to be messed with. Among a book fraught with awkward love interests, a woman with a shotty locus of control, and enough political intrigue to fill an episode of “The Tudors,” Max, the character everything hinges on, never falters.
The Impaler’s Revenge is, in Visan’s own words, meant to take back the view of vampires that came out of Transylvanian king Vlad Ţepeş, known to the Western world as Vlad the Impaler, and in that respect, she doesn’t seem to make much headway. Making the vampire a world wide pandemic instead of something that is simply Eastern Europe’s problem, certainly makes the scope of the novel a bit wider, but aside from the brief mention of an English incident, and a message of foreboding about New Zealand, she never ventures far from Romanian borders. However, her characters make up for lack of scope, especially Max and, later, Jesse the American doctor.
Overall, The Impaler’s Revenge is a solid effort, and lays an even more solid foundation for Visan’s future novels. It’s definitely worth a look, even if you aren’t strictly into the undead.
An assignment like no other…
I checked the time and resisted the impulse to stomp my foot against the floor. I didn’t want to be here, not in this position anyway. This whole mission went against everything I had been taught since childhood. I was breaking God knew how many laws, and I could have easily been accused of high treason. But when the President himself sent you, there wasn’t a polite way to say no.
Bored. Bored! BORED!
“Yes?” I asked, dreading the reason behind this phone call.
I blinked and stared out the window, wondering in what twisted universe I got phone calls from bored vampires.
A touch of bloodthirsty BDSM, perhaps?
“Are you sure you don’t want to test some of those things on me?” Max pointed back at the instruments lying on the table. “Kloetzer seemed to believe you might like that.”
“Maybe, but the man upstairs wouldn’t.”
A bite a day keeps the doctor away…
“Why does he hate you?” Rodica asked as I hadn’t told her about my previous encounters with Jesse.
I shrugged. “He hates vampires.”
“So do we.”
“He hates people who help vampires too.”
If you liked….
If you liked The Impaler’s Revenge, you may be interested in further expanding your vampiric knowledge. Visan admits to loathing Stoker’s Dracula, and if you agree with her, the works of Anne Rice (Interview With the Vampire, Queen of the Damned) and the Dark series by Christine Feehan, beginning with Dark Prince, may be more to your taste.
The Impaler’s Revenge is…