I really enjoyed this piece :)
I am not so used to post-apocalyptic stories (only in tv shows) so this genre was quite new to me. Was very fast drawn into the story, and while the environment was pretty clearly pictured, there were still enough tidbits and left for it to stay mysterious.
The ending left me wanting more... Which is always a good sign.
A vampire saga like no other seems to be a real good description for this first installment of the Impaler Legacy. This is not just your average vampire story as so many have sprouted up the past time.
Through main character Liana, Ioana takes you by the hand and introduces you to the world her story is taking place, as well as the characters who are involved. This format luckily does not allow a lot of exposition, because you learn through the course of the current happenings how things came about and what the motives for the main players are.
From the president of Romania, Liana, an important member of the "little council" gets the assignment to pick up vampire Maximilien Hess and escort him into her country. This is a rarity, as vampires are not allowed to enter Romania, thus making it the only "vampire-free" country of the world (which is quite ironic, considering the origins of the Dracula stories) and guard him while there.
Liana does not know what the reason was for this strange assignment, but nevertheless carries out her orders, even tho begrudgedly. Which puts her in the position of having to arrange blood for him with the help of Dr. Jesse Carter - who provides a look into the outside world which does includedealing with vampires - and having to entertain him because he gets bored.
You can tell she doesn't like it at all, and through her interactions with her friends and how they react you learn slowly more and why. In her dealings with Maximilien, you learn the history of the countries history and how the politics work.
It takes almost the entire novel for her to figure out why he was brought into the country, and since that is the main point of this first installment I will not divulge on this, but to say that it makes you really want to know how the story continues.
So be prepared when you start on this one, to have the second one ready, or accessible at least, I actually got out of bed in the middle of the night to download it.
Just as a sidenote, you do not have to like vampires to read this novel - but you don't have to hate them either. So just disregard the current hype and read this because it is a well written story, not because it contains vampires!
The first novella ended in quite a tense situation, which continues throughout this one. In this second installment of the series, time has jumped forward a bit. After learning in the previous novel that there is a new breed of vampires, which even makes the older race of vampires feel threatened, Romania, once the worlds only vampire-free country has striken a deal with this older race, to join arms against the new threat.
For this cause, Liana, our female leadcharacter is sent out to New Zealand with an army of Pandurs (Romania's guards, initially trained to defend the country against vampires) where the new breed of vampires stems from. This to learn more about their origins, nature, and most important, how to defend themselves against them.
In this warlike setting, which is undoubtly a lot grittier than the first novella, there are some expected fight scenes, even including torture and slaughter, yet it never gets too gruesome for the squeemish ones amongst us. There are some twists and turns, which make for an interesting plot, which I am very curious to follow into the third installments of this series.
Frequent readers of Ioana Visan's work will know that a laugh or a pun are never that far around the corner, no matter how bad the circumstances may be. That combined with some romance, which luckily gets not in the way of the plot, makes it for a much lighter read than my above attempt at summary may suggest.
Take one location, a cafe, where everyone meets or eventually comes. But this cafe's visitors aren't your regular ones. In Ioana Visan's Blue Moon Cafe, a lot of these visitors are shapeshifters. Were - beings, sorta speak. You have were-wolves, but also were-eagles etc. Every story centers around another being, and it is always a nice guess which one it is.
In a perfect world everyone got along, but of course it is not, so every species has their own specifics and their own dislikes, which you learn more of throughout each installment.
The mayor does everything he can to keep everyone at peace, with his wife playing a major role as well. Is he succesfull? You'll have to read and find out!
These series consist of 7 seperate stories, 'glued' together by the Blue Moom Cafe and it's visitors. Some characters of the stories also appear in others, which makes the stories so interconnected it is almost like reading a novel, instead of seperate stories.
Not being really fond of short stories, that makes it a good read for me.I wouldn't mind at al if the writer decides to expand on these stories, I woukd like to spend some more time in this world!