Book Review: The Chiang Imperative by John Macidull


ashley | The Chiang Imperative by independent author John C. Macidull sounded a little outside my wheelhouse, but when I was approached for an honest review, I wanted to show my support to a self published author and give it a read. I’ve read a lot of fantastic stories by taking a chance on a book and was hoping that this would be no different.

The Chiang Imperative starts with a history lesson; gold is hidden by Ghengis Kahn in 1227, it is re-hidden by Chiang Kai-Shek in 1936, and clues were spread throughout history as to its whereabouts. I was grateful for this lesson and background to start things off, as I don’t know much about the Chinese empire and the story itself was pretty interesting, sprinkling a taste of clues that you know is going to be discovered in the present day and hopefully kick start an adventurous treasure hunt.

But I felt like I was waiting for that treasure hunt through most of the book. What I did get was more background information on Russia, China and their current (well, current as of the dates in the book) state of affairs. I am not all that familiar with Russian or Chinese politics, so the background was useful, but at times the story felt a little heavy with facts and history lessons. It was a lot to take in for someone that does not naturally gravitate towards these kinds of stories.

There’s no surprise that Macidull has a Navy background; that accounts for why the details are so descriptive and what I imagine, very accurate. It’s very evident he has first hand experience with what he is writing about, which adds a whole other layer to the reality of the book.

I have to concede that I am probably not the target audience for this book. I was intrigued by the promise of espionage and this missing treasure, but I’m far more comfortable reading fantastical tellings as opposed to those deeply rooted in factual history. I felt a little dragged down by the politics and the long explanations of people and places that otherwise don’t really interest me.

But those who do enjoy the detailed accounts of political espionage and like to lose themselves in the battles of the past, Macidull has written a story that does ultimately take you on that treasure hunt and ends with a satisfying pay off, intermixing politics, greed, espionage and just a little bit of a love story.


more information
amazongoodreads website

copy provided for honest review by author