WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I just finished reading Dark Soul Vol. 4 and I'm still enjoying the euphoria the book left me with. I truly, sincerely loved it. Aleksandr Voinov's writing is wonderful to read: the way he uses his words beautifully and the way he leaves just enough of the story to be found between the lines. It all makes me so happy - even when the things happening in the story are cruel. Weird, huh?!
It was fascinating to witness Stefano's struggle with his feelings towards his wife, Silvio and even Franco - not to mention his mixed feelings about himself and his regret about the things he had done or left undone. I was touched with the scene with Stefano and Franco talking in the kitchen after Silvio had stormed out. Franco's character still remains kind of a mystery to me, but it seems that there is a beautiful person beneath that troubled, stoic man. It was moving how he advised Stefano "always let Silvio go when he's like that" and how he told Stefano about Silvio's birthday. It's strange, how just a few simple words can be so haunting: "Silvio wants to belong. Make him." And after that, how devastating it was to see how lost and miserable Silvio felt, when Franco left him.
But you gotta love the extreme "oh shit" feeling that makes your stomach in knots, when it's followed by such a strong "oh yes!" feeling! I loved the way Stefano went after Silvio to fetch him from the bar and how he acted like a jealous boyfriend in front of those cops! And the final scene at the hotel - dear God! Talking about strong emotions - shared with both men and yours truly. It was so interesting to try to figure out which one of the men were playing mind games with other.
And when I say mind games, it doesn't come out quite right, because at the same time both Stefano and Silvio are raw with emotions. No doubt that there is some manipulation and fury going on in that hotel room, but there are also extremely vulnerable, sweet moments between them in the Dark Temptation. Moments that make you ponder over them afterwards. Moments that make you think what are the words that were left unsaid. Moments that make your heart swell, and remind you why you actually love words and stories and reading so much. One of the best parts about Aleksandr Voinov's stories is that they are never ever two-dimensional! Scenes like this make Dark Soul books such great rereads!
Despite all the disturbing and disconcerting stuff going on in Stefano's life, it was important to me that the book ended the way it did with a feeling of hope. Aleksandr can torture me any time with his words as long as he leaves me with a hint of hope - and an image of naked Silvio sprawled on the bed like a kitten! What more can a reader ask, really? Thank you for making me happy, Aleksandr. I can't wait for the final Dark Soul!
Er... did I already mention that I highly recommend this series?! ;)