Survival by D.J. Manly

Loose Id

Paranormal (M/M)

ISBN: 978-1-59632-719-1

Reviewed by Sabella



Russ has lived the last three years of his life alternating between total hate, envy and missing his old lover Grey.  How could Grey let a love as complete as theirs be destroyed by one misunderstanding?  But almost worse than being dumped by Grey was that when Grey left he took the band that Russ had created – Survival, and they moved on to become one of the brightest up-and-coming bands in the music world.  Some days Russ would give anything just to be part of the band again and maybe have Grey back as well, but when an old high school acquaintance, Eddie, comes up to Russ with an offer that he can’t refuse. Russ ends up selling his soul to get what he wants.  But will it be worth the price he pays in the end?

Survival is a tale that brings to life the old saying – be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.  In this case, the “getting” involves deals with the devil, or its like, and a disturbing amount of sexual torture that the characters begin hating, but are “aroused into enjoying.”  Russ is a tortured soul in any context and he is haunted by a mistake and misunderstanding that cost him everything.  However, I found it hard to feel any sort of pity for Russ as he sinks to such depraved depths to get what he wants that he was never fully reformed, or vindicated, in my eyes.  Grey is also a tortured hero as he never got over Russ’ betrayal, but throughout most of the book he swings between acting like a spoiled teen-ager and an innocent, or worse an ignorant adult which made it very hard to care about his anguish about Russ and their past.  Eddie is just a disgusting villain and, not surprisingly, the character that evokes the most emotion during the book.  Over all, Survival is a tragic love story with a quick redemption at the end that seems simplistic after all the emotion invested in the disturbing journey Russ and Grey undertake to get there.  Readers must be warned that the vast majority of the sexual encounters in the book are coerced and tread very close to rape, so squeamish readers might want to consider that before picking up this book.  Survival is a disturbing, yet compelling read and takes readers along with the characters’ in unexpected journeys into the darkness of the mind and soul.


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