Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing

Dark Soul: Volume 5 by Aleksandr Voinov

And they all lived.

When you live a life without limits, a survival of the fittest, kill or be killed existence, what more could you possibly hope for but to live? What does happily ever after mean in the grand scheme of things, when the best you can wish for at any point in time is simply to live to see the next hour, the next day?

Stefano Marino might tell you it’s better to live with regrets than to die with honor. Or maybe he’d say it’s better to live with honor than to die with regrets. One thing is for sure, though, he’d absolutely tell you he’d give up everything to protect the two people he loves more than anything else in the world, and where honor is concerned, where regret is concerned, they’re sometimes a knife that cuts both ways.

Stefano knew a Spadaro would eventually be his undoing, and he was so right. But in the midst of his life fraying at the seams, he found a way to stop the damage because he found a way to tailor a new existence from the tattered remnants of the old. When you live a life without limits and you fill that life with people who do the same, you’re bound to find the means to pattern an ending that you can live—or die—with. Stefano discovers that there are times when living and the mere threat of dying can feel like the same thing.

And so it ends for fans of the series.

For Silvio, for Donata, for Stefano, however, it simply begins at the end as something new, and that will serve as little more than a torment for me because this new beginning is something I didn’t see coming. Sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and Aleksandr Voinov was the master of my education, from start to finish. He led me by the senses and tweaked at my emotional boundaries; then, when he got me to a point of clarity, he brought down the curtain.

And I can do nothing but applaud.

Buy Dark Soul: Volume 5 HERE.

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5 thoughts on “Dark Soul: Volume 5 by Aleksandr Voinov

  1. Catana says:

    Thanks for screwing with my mind. I read the first novel of the series and even though generally I’m a fan of Voinov’s and thought the book was well-written, my final assessment was “Ehh, more of the same.” There’s some danger in following a pattern: in Voinov’s case, strong violent men and their passions. But he does continue to surprise. So maybe I’ll follow up on Dark Soul, even though I’m coming to resent what is essentially one novel, being broken up into several money-making shorts.

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    • LOL. Sorry ’bout that.

      I’m not sure why Aleks decided to serialize this one, but I’m starting to notice a trend in that. I read Ginn Hale’s “Rifter” series a couple of months ago, which she wrote in 10 separate episodes. Same with Astrid Amara’s “Archer’s Heart” saga, which was 3 episodes.

      If you do decide to carry on with the series, I’ll warn you that it does contain incest and polyamory, so if that squicks you out at all, the rest of the books might not be to your liking either.

      One of the things I love about Aleksandr’s books is that he doesn’t bow to all those romantic tropes that some readers want and expect. Odd? Probably. But I like that he does emotionally stunted/unavailable men and then puts them into situations where they’re forced to confront those unexpected feelings.

      He’s an “auto-buy” author for me, and while I do like some of his stuff more than others, I’m just a fan, in general. :)

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      • Catana says:

        I don’t have any problems with incest or polyamory in stories, but it does take insightful reviews to cut through the threat of “sameness.” Voinov works hard at avoiding the cliches and tropes, so I suppose what I’m thinking about is that some authors create their own. If you like them, that’s a plus. If you don’t, it becomes a negative.

        A bit off-topic, but despite the ambitions of Riptide Press, and I do admire the high standards they’re setting for themselves and the beautifully designed site, the first Riptide book I bought was dreadful. It was so typical in its attempt to present heavy eroticism in a “meaningful” way. It sounded as if it was going to explore an intriguing idea. Instead it was a steady diet of titilation. My problem is that I don’t read for titilation, so the book was a waste of my money. I have very little interest in the sex, and a lot in power relationships, which can be explored much better with male/male relationships than with women. But it’s rare to find a book that doesn’t boil down to sex and more of it.

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  2. It depends on the story for me, really. I don’t like porn-without-plot, but I do enjoy when an author has the ability to write sex that is more than Tab A/Slot B, when s/he explores the emotions that go along with the act rather than just the act itself, and then can mix it in with either a compelling plot and/or great character and relationship exposition. But yes, I’ve read more than a few books where I wish the sex had been entirely left out because it did absolutely nothing to add to either my enjoyment of the story or my feelings for the characters.

    Some of the steamiest scenes I’ve ever read didn’t include the act at all, just the suggestion of it, and it was the atmosphere itself that was entirely provocative. Bellamai Sykes and William Harper sharing a bottle of gin in the back of a dimly lit bar in Ginn Hale’s Wicked Gentlemen is the perfect example. Of course, I’ve also read reviews on Goodreads from readers who’ve dismissed a perfectly good book simply because it didn’t include enough smut. Go figure. :)

    Like any publisher, I’m sure Riptide has its hits and misses. I just appreciate that they pay attention to copyediting. I have a hard time turning off my inner editor. A missed word or comma here or there doesn’t bother me at all, but when it becomes excessive, it can entirely ruin an otherwise perfectly decent book for me.

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    • Catana says:

      I was thinking about Wicked Gentlement as I started to read your comment. I thought it was wonderfully done — until it got to the sex scene, which destroyed the mood of the book so completely that I wondered if some editor hadn’t demanded it in order to satisfy readers who aren’t happy without one. I had to downgrade my Goodreads review because of it. So far, my writing has barely touched on sex at all, but I do want to eventually write something that conveys passion without graphic sex scenes. That’s much more of a challenge than doing the Tab A/Slot B thing.

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