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It's perhaps an indication of my waning interest in the series that Impressions was the first Angel novel I'd read in seven months. Unfortunately, it didn't really inspire me to kick-start my reading of the range.

Impressions opens with a young Tuingas demon accidentally releasing a powerful Warrior Stone from the pocket universe in which the race normally lives. Containing all the emotions felt by the warrior who wore it, the stone ends up in Los Angeles where it starts to drive the city's demon population slowly mad. Before too long, even Angel is starting to feel its effects while even Caritas isn't immune to its power.

Of course, the stone isn't the only problem that Angel Investigations have to deal with, as there's also a caped crusader attempting to help Los Angeles' needy. His name: Angel. But this imposter only helps to make those who need the real Angel's help even more distrustful.

Despite the cover, the whole Angel Investigations crew are present and correct, although Fred doesn't really do that much. And, unlike some other authors, Doranna Durgin doesn't fall back on using Wolfram & Hart as a threat to Angel Investigations, instead relying on the AI team, Lorne and the novel's original characters.

One of my perennial problems with the Angel novels is how they fit into the television series' continuity, and Impressions seemed a bit of a puzzle on this score.

The "historian's note" bit tells us that the novel takes place during season three. Fair enough, although Pocket Books choice of a long-haired Cordy on the cover despite numerous references to her short hair throughout the text is a bit of a cock-up.

However, Cordy having short hair surely places the story later in season 3 than certain other continuity references - notably Fred's reluctance to leave her room and the complete absence of Connor. I know I seem to moan about this with every Angel novel, but what's the point of spinning novels off a series like Angel when you don't use one of the series' strengths - the fact that its characters do change and develop over time.

Impressions was an okay read, but not one I every really felt I got into. If one benchmark about a novel is how well you remember it afterwards, then it's decidedly average - not bad enough that I remembered really hating it, but certainly not good enough that much of it stuck in my memory. You could almost say that it didn't make much of an impression on me (sorry). back to the top





RATING: 6/10