Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review for Dark Soul Vol. 5 by Aleksandr Voinov

In “Dark Hunter I,” Stefano Marino must face his most dangerous enemy yet: US Attorney Sebastiano Beccaria, who’s seeking the total annihilation of the Marino clan in the hopes of purging his own dark past.

In “Dark Frost,” a traitor in the organization makes his move, hiring Silvio to kill Stefano. Meanwhile, Silvio struggles to find his place in the Marino home as Donata learns the truth about Stefano’s affair.

The game is up in “Dark Hunter II.” Sebastiano Beccaria confronts Stefano with evidence that will undermine his power and put his life at risk. Stefano faces a bitter choice: fight and risk it all, or flee and protect himself and those he loves. Also, there’s a puppy.

In “Dark Lie,” Stefano makes the only choice he can. With the mutiny brewing and his marriage hanging in the balance, he agrees to leave the life of organized crime. Beccaria has won, but the victory came at high price—for everyone involved.

In “Dark Heart”, Stefano and Donata have gone to ground in Paris. When a ghost from the past tracks him down, he knows he won’t survive the day if he can’t find a way to make peace with all he left behind.


It's been a wonderfully ingenious ride that I'm sad to see come to an end.  The Dark Soul series has been intense and immensely satisfying from the very beginning and this final installment is a nice conclusion.  From the moment Stefano Marino laid eyes on Silvio Spadaro he knew his life would change and with this final book we see just how much things changed.  

With each book in this series there's a build-up of tension, a feeling of a ticking clock.  You know things can't end well for Stefano and this final book leaves him with a choice to make.  Even though I knew his time was coming I kept hoping he'd figure a way out of it.  Just when you think he's figured out a way to have everything he wants, an unexpected figure with connections to someone close to him forces his hand.  Throughout these final moments of the life he once knew Stefano's still protective of his relationship with Silvio and I certainly expected no less from him.  Throughout the series Stefano has remained a gentleman more concerned with feelings, this cutthroat world somewhat foreign to him.

Silvio, whose true character has been buried under a childhood of pain, finally shows a chink in his armor.  Desperately searching for a sense of belonging he finally thinks he finds it to have it ripped away by someone close to him.  This for me was the cruelest act to occur in this story and to have it perpetuated by such a close individual was the biggest crime.

The end is a definitive end but can also be seen as a new beginning.  This will come in handy if the author ever revisits this world.  There's still a glimpse of many new things ahead.  And considering the one or two fascinating characters who caught my attention and have lots of story left in them, I definitely hope for an expanded series of this world.

This is a series that did the impossible, it made you root for the bad guy.  It introduced us to an intense world with memorable characters that will not soon be forgotten.  Aleksandr Voinov has created a masterpiece that has me sad to leave this world but excited for what he brings us next.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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