Surviving Passion (The Shattered World #1) – Maia Underwood

Good read – steamy but not graphic

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction and romance, so the joining of the two is one of my favorite sub-genres. And I really like this one.

About nine years ago, the economy crashed, followed by technology, and then civilization as a whole, wiping out most of the population through starvation, disease, and violence. Selena has been on her own, not even talking to another person, since her father died four years ago. She is almost caught by a group of nasty men and ends up hiding in the same building and room as Dan, who is also avoiding the same men. After the group gives up on finding Selena and leaves, Dan forces her to return to his small group with him.

It’s written in close 3rd, always with Selena. I would have liked to have followed Dan some of the time for sure. I didn’t get to know him as well as I hoped, but I liked what I saw. There is no cheating, no OW. There’s a man who wants to be an OM, but Selena has zero interest in him.

It’s a little steamy. There are only two sex scenes in this book, and they aren’t that graphic. The first starts with some nonconsensual touching. I’ve read in other reviews that some readers view this scene as rape. I didn’t see it that way myself, so it’s at least subjective. Dan gave Selena a chance to stop him, and she didn’t take it. We also know that she’s already attracted to him. The reader has had some foreplay. Selena says, “I hate you,” but I took it like “I hate that you have the power to make me feel so strongly because it scares me”. Afterwards, Selena hasn’t been traumatized and is actually regretting not showing that she wanted Dan more, afraid that he might not want her the same way anymore. However, if you are sensitive to things like this, if it’s a trigger for you, then definitely stay away. The second scene is fully consensual and even initiated by Selena.

There are some strange formatting errors. Most of the book is left justified with paragraph indents, but sometimes there are several paragraphs that are fully indented like a block quote. I found very few actual grammar / spelling errors.

I enjoyed the story and really liked the action scenes. They are described and paced very well. I especially liked Selena’s parts in the fights. Selena is strong in that she’s a survivor and has some skills. But she’s been emotionally and socially stunted by her life experience. She acts childishly at times, but I liked that she called herself out on it. Her behavior makes sense for her life experience, and she grows along with the story.

I agree with other reviewers that the story could use some work, but it’s a good read as is. If you have a fascination with post-apocalyptic romance like I do, then I recommend it.

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