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Luna Sanguis is hard to categorize. It is, of course, a vampire story, but it transcends the usual genre by its delicate psychological drama. The secondary personalities of the protagonists, the amnesia, the merging of time, space, dream and reality, are profoundly complex. However, there is no need to keep track of what is real and what is imaginary – it does not matter – and the way to get the most from the book is to let go and allow the dark waves carry you to the conclusion. The quest for eternal life, such as it is for a vampire, is not limited by the here and now, and the leaps across several time periods, back and forth, emphasize this obsession so closely tied with blood, sexuality, and existence.
Be warned; this book is not for the faint of heart. Expect to be gasping with surprise and shock at several of the brutal, cruel, distressing scenes of blood, torture, sex, and extreme violence. And yet, the language is poetic and polished, even when the subject matter is highly disturbing – or perhaps particularly at these moments. Above all, try not to read it before you go to sleep; nightmares are guaranteed. I highly recommend this book to the discerning reader, but please read it when the sun is shining, not the moon…
Delicate Rose– a vampire, perhaps, who seeks freedom and solace is trapped by Count Lucian, a man who may or may not be a vampire. He considers himself a suckling- a vampire who has not yet been given eternal life. Chaos ensues when Rose is entered into an insane asylum and Lucian cannot deal with the separation, or does he?
The book jumps back and forth between different periods of time, which, for me, was confusing. Sometimes, I found myself having to go back and get my bearings straight. I tend to prefer my horror without a lot of sex, so with areas of this book verging on erotica, I wasn’t as engaged with the story as I would have liked. Still, though, Okill does have a command of language that is beautiful to read.
His web unravels slowly, taking you on a ride that makes you completely uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. Let’s just say that the ending is one heck of a surprise and leaves the reader shocked.
The story begins with a horrific murder and subsequent chase through the countryside on the outskirts of Paris. A young woman, known as Eternal to herself and Delicate Rose to her tormentor and former lover, is found traumatized and suffering from amnesia by a passing farmer. Hoping to help her, the farmer drops her off at a progressive Parisian psychiatric hospital where the very latest therapies are being given a go.
But not everything is as it seems. Eternal cannot discern between reality, fantasy and memory. She suffers great longing for the love of her life, but is at a loss as to whom that love might be. To her revulsion, she also suffers from a debilitating hunger for something other than food. And no, despite the erotic elements in this story, I’m not talking about sex. It would appear Eternal is also, like her tormentor, a vampire.
What struck me most about Luna Sanguis was its celebration of beauty. Even during the most graphic and violent scenes, an appreciation for the soft line of an exquisite profile, the lament of a woman’s sob, the color of fresh blood, held the story together. This is vampire legend in the vein of Anne Rice, not Twilight, and as an adult reader, I was delighted.