Jana Downs | Relay for Life

Title: Relay for Life | DeadZone #2

Author: Jana Downs

Publishing Date: April 20, 2013

Publisher: Siren Publisher

Buy: Siren Bookstrand

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  / 4.25 blissful hearts




Andrew Ainsley is a Deadzone-sponsored runner participating in the most intense cross-country race of his life. However, a double marathon through the wilds outside the safety zones will bring trouble he didn’t anticipate.

Marcel Carter has been in love with Andrew since he started running for Deadzone five years previously but never had the courage to ask him out. It isn’t until Andrew is lost that he realizes he’s been wasting time.

Matthew Gibson volunteers frequently for dangerous field missions, leaving little time for real relationships. He thinks he’s ready to put that life behind him until his cousin, Brooklyn, asks him to help rescue Andrew. When the three meet, sparks fly, and Matthew thinks he’s finally found what he’s been missing.

As they fight to survive zombies unlike any they’ve faced before and uncover dangerous government conspiracies, they’ll have to determine if their newfound love is real or if it only exists in the dead zone.

Note: This book contains double anal penetration.

→ ♥ ←


Jana Downs has been one of my favourite authors from Siren Bookstrand. I don’t exactly like all of her books and I feel like some have more potential than others. DeadZone is definitely one of the series with the potential to be something great – and is already well on the way.

I never pick up zombie books, whether or not they are M/M or ‘normal’ paranormal books. I have a deep rooted fear for them ever since my media teacher in high school decided we should watch and analyze ‘[REC]’, the spanish amazingly filmed zombie movie. Furthermore the whole ‘what if this actually happens’ vibe you get from these movies and books seems far too real for my sense of comfort.

Yet, I picked up DeadZone – and I loved the first book. Rarely have I been as captured by a book from Siren Publishing as I was by that book. Somehow Ms. Downs manages to capture all of one’s emotions and fright on her pages, making the reader feel like we have reached a claustrophonic end and waiting on the door being smashed down by zombies. You sit on pins and needles through the hectic sequences of running through rough landscapes with the dead biting at your heels, knowing if they find you … you’re dead.

Relay for Life is just like this. It’s hectic, claustrophobic and full of mysteries you’re merely waiting on having answers to. The main plot worms its way through this second book since it was introduced in the first one, giving a few more answers and a ton of more questions. The sub-plot mingles with it, but still has a mind of its own and is finished by the end, so some parts have a closed ending for the reader.

This time around we are not adding a third to an already established relationship, but there is still some history between Andrew and Marcel, which Matthew will have to deal with in his seductive blunt way. Matthew is Jack Gibson’s (from the first book) son, so the reader is already sort of familiar with him – by name if nothing else. The characters from the the first book also play a major part here and we can probably expect Brooklyn’s story to be the next one written.

Being caught in the forest all of sudden after a marathon run have gone wrong our three main characters are forced to make decisions in the matter of seconds, while coming to terms with their feelings for each other. It creates some tense scenes played out and makes you bite your nails in anticipation for what is going to happen next. When they at the end stumble upon something they have never seen before and they – as well as us – are given answers to our major question from book one (what did Jack actually see in those labs?), we cannot breathe any easier. We have gotten our answers, but what happens next? I can’t wait to find out.

My … I would not say problem nor pet peeve, but rather a ‘what happened here’ moment … was when we suddenly jumped from office to something has gone wrong at the race. There was no indication for this jump nor any forewarning or warning when it actually happened. So it took me a couple of seconds and pages to catch up with the story again, but it still made for a disruption in the otherwise smooth flowing of the storyline.

I am looking forward to the next book, if that didn’t come across. I believe this is one of the better MM zombie books I have read in a long time and how it handles the menage a trois is quite a wonder to watch. They are incredible tough to write and seem believable, but somehow Ms. Downs manages to do that as well as write a suspense filled series. I am amazed.


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