FALLEN (After Trilogy #1) by Traci L. Slatton-a review

FALLEN (After Trilogy #1) by Traci L Slatton-a review

FALLEN (After Trilogy #1) by Traci L. Slatton

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / The Book Depository /

FALLEN is the first book in author Traci L. Slatton’s After trilogy. Following an apocalyptic nightmare where most the world’s population has been eaten by the poisonous mists that seem to appear out of thin air, the remaining small pockets of survivors (throughout the world) fight to stay alive. With rations in short supply, and marauding bands of thieves and cannibals on the search for a new source of food, Emma Anderson and her little family of 8 surviving misfit children must find a way to stay alive in the once proud country of France. But when the mists encroach towards her young daughter, she is relieved and awed by a group of men and their leader when they are seemingly able to control the mists. And to ensure their continued safety, Emma offers herself up to the man in charge. But Emma was secretly hoping that one day she would find her husband and eldest daughter alive and doing well.

Arthur is a leader. An alpha male whose word is law and a once proud military man, Arthur must defend and protect his encampment in the outskirts of France. Daily he and his men must patrol and hunt for supplies as well as fighting the rogue band of cannibalistic warriors and ward off other encampments hoping to procure their supplies. But when a beautiful young woman with blonde hair offers herself up to protect the children, Arthur’s heart begins to thaw, if only for a short time. People are dying and they had to find a way to survive.

The poisonous mists are a mystery. Approximately eleven months earlier, a seemingly harmless mist appeared over the Arctic Circle, devouring everything in its’ path-everything that contained minerals. But a side effect of the mists was an increase in human psychic energy. Many of the survivors had developed some powers and that included Emma and her daughter Mandy.

Throughout the story we are taken on an adventure in survival 101. Death is always present especially when many of the people would quickly succumb to the mists poisonous side-effects. But Arthur had a secret and a few at the encampment and surrounding sites knew, and it was with that secret that many feared and hated Arthur for the man he was Before the Day. Now Arthur appears to be the only one who is able to control the mists and it was a secret that Emma wanted to know.

Emma and Arthur’s relationship begins as an exchange to keep the children safe-their safety is guaranteed as long as Emma remains as Arthur’s mate. But as the storyline develops, we are witness to a man who never believed he was able or capable of finding love with a woman such as Emma. As their love for each other grows, so does the distance between them with the knowledge that each is hiding something from the other. And it is Emma’s desire to find her husband that will set a series of events between she and Arthur on a road to heartbreak and horror.

Death is a fact of life among the encampments as madness and psychotic breakdowns begin to eat away at the surviving hordes. Day after day, people hoping to find safety are willingly offering themselves to the camp, in order to be shielded from the mists, because Arthur has somehow protected his camp. But over time the camp has amassed a group of people who were once professionals in the Before. Doctors, engineers, cooks and scientists will gather to determine if there is a possibility of life in the After. But Emma will learn that life as she now knew it, was not necessarily an act of God, but an act of war that went horribly wrong.

FALLEN is a remarkable and well-written story of what people must do to survive. Cannibalism aside, the small bands of survivors are determined to eke out an existence knowing that their lives could end horribly and painfully within a matter of minutes or days. Those with some psychic abilities are sought after and used, but it is Emma’s powers that find her imprisoned in another camp by a one-time associate of Arthur’s.

There is plenty of science fiction and paranormal activity. The minds of the survivors begin to merge as the potential for a collective consciousness known as bio-mind grows stronger within the encampments, but Emma will discover that her abilities are stronger that she had previously proclaimed. And the origins of the mists will force Emma to make a decision that will leave a trail of broken hearts and the thoughts of betrayal foremost on her mind. Some may not agree with what the people must do to survive, but then again, most of us will never know what it is like to live in an apocalyptic nightmare.

LINKS TO ORDER
The Book Depository
Amazon Paper Books
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook and Paper Books
KOBO

Copy supplied by Author

Reviewed by Sandy

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COLD LIGHT (After Trilogy #2) by Traci L Slatton-a review

COLD LIGHT (After Trilogy #2) by Traci L Slatton-a review

COLD LIGHT (After Trilogy #2) by Traci L Slatton

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / The Book Depository /

COLD LIGHT is the second instalment in Traci L Slatton’s After Trilogy focusing on the aftermath of a biological apocalypse and the men and women forced to make heartbreaking decisions. The storyline takes place 18 months after (Fallen Book #1) Emma escapes the mist-ravaged plains of Europe and the reality that the loss of billions of lives is in the hands of the one man she had grown to love.

With her family together in the safe zone of Edmonton, Emma’s thoughts continued to center around Arthur and his revelation he was responsible for the mind-altering/life consuming destructive mists that are relentless on their path of destruction. But safety in the zone is short lived when her eldest daughter Beth is abducted and held hostage in a rogue encampment hundreds of kilometers away. Knowing she would risk everything for the safe return of her daughter, Emma embarks on a frozen trek against deadly odds and an even deadlier enemy to free her daughter from a man who once owed her a debt.

Arthur’s search for Emma had taken 18 months across land and ocean, and his discovery of his lost love in a small town in Canada both shocked and surprised. With his family of gifted survivors, Arthur’s passion for survival is second to his love for the woman whose heart he had destroyed. But the happiness of finding Emma is short lived when she announces her plans to rescue her daughter and regardless of the love she felt for Arthur, her number one priority was her child. Knowing he would never let her go, Arthur and the others resign themselves to a deadly adventure to reunite Emma and her daughter. As both the hero and the anti-hero Arthur is a charismatic leader. He commands a presence like no other, and the lives of the survivors now depend on the man who is responsible for the loss of billions worldwide.

Once again, Traci reunites Emma with the many fascinating characters she learned to call family. Laurette and her haughty French ideals: Robert and his pregnant wife Jeannie: Kangee and her ability to teleport: Theo and Marco looking for a lost love. And the bittersweet reunion between Emma and Arthur will be tested, when Emma’s husband Haywood surprises the group with his determination to keep his family together. But when Emma and Arthur discover the identity of the man responsible for the abduction of Beth, they know that the real target is Arthur-for he will be made to suffer for the many losses of life, especially one in particular back home.

Emma’s courage is only matched by her determination to find her daughter. But her heart is torn between the man whom she married and the man to whom she has fallen in love. Although there is a long history between Emma and her husband, not once is there a mention that Haywood is in love with his wife. His ability to see the varying futures will place him on one-way path to imprisonment and destruction, but the life of his daughter will outweigh any thoughts of self-preservation and survival. And when he is willing to die for the release of his daughter, it will be Emma who acknowledges that she loves the man for his determination and drive, but she is also in love with the man who has destroyed much of the world.

Arthur’s relentless pursuit of Emma is both heartbreaking and remarkable given the circumstances of the day. Finding a woman like Emma is a once in a lifetime occurrence, but his love has forced many of his friends into life-threatening situations. But like family, they argue and fight, and in the end, the survival of one means the survival of them all.

COLD LIGHT is an amazing look at one person’s passion to find someone they love- Arthur’s pursuit of Emma and Emma’s hunt for Beth. The storyline is slow to evolve as Traci takes the reader on a cold, dark and deadly trek across the snow covered fields of Alberta, but once Emma reaches a survival Outpost, the interaction of the characters quickly uncovers a series of plot twists and anxiety ridden re-introductions to the colorful characters from the series first book. Arthur’s reunion with Emma is heart-wrenching and painful knowing he has travelled thousands of mile and 18 months to find the only woman he will ever love.

The character development continues as each of Arthur’s family members seeks to find a place to where they belong. And survival 101 after an apocalyptic nightmare can also mean finding someone to love for all of the right and wrong reasons.

LINKS TO ORDER
Amazon Paper Books
Amazon Kindle
The Book Depository
B&N Nook and Paper Books

Reviewed by Sandy

Copy supplied by author.

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Mythical (Heart of Stone #1) by C.E. Martin

Mythical (Heart of Stone #1) by C.E.Martin

MYTHICAL (Heart of Stone #1) by C E Martin

MYTHICAL is a YA/teen novel (released June 2012) written in a mixed genre including paranormal, science-fiction, horror and fantasy. The novel and its’ characters read like a comic-book storyline without the pictures, but you can use your imagination as the author manufactures an action-reel of adventure with his telling of the story.

18year old Josie Winters and her friends are having one final camp-out and dirt bike excursion before heading off to college. What they didn’t expect was to find the charred remains of a boat in the middle of the desert complete with its’ own badly decomposing corpse riddled with unnatural wounds and a gaping hole where his heart once beat. But upon closer inspection, it wasn’t a body at all, but a statue—or was it?

Mark Kenslir needed water. Finding himself burned, injured and without the ability to heal himself. Mark wanders into a campsite that included a cooler full of bottled water and a group of armed teens ready to end his life-again. But it is Josie who recognizes the badly injured man, and to everyone’s horror, it is the corpse from the misplaced ship in the desert.

Mark’s ability to heal becomes exponentially faster with the addition of water, as does his strength and speed. Weapons, military style manoeuvres and a slew of specialized abilities will come in handy as Mark and his foundlings including Josie and Jimmy, must outrun and out smart the FBI, Special Ops Forces and teams of ‘super heroes’ brought in by the military. But isn’t Mark one of the good guys?

As Mark’s memory returns, he begins to recount to Josie and Jimmy how it is he found himself in the desert and to their horror, Mark is not completely human. And there are more ‘parahumans’ just like him. But it was his last assignment that went horribly wrong and Mark knows that whatever he was hoping to capture is still out there-looking for its’ next meal. Not only does Mark encounter the ‘beast’ that stole his heart, but he and Josie soon become the targets of the US Special Forces and their elite group of super-human heroes. As the ‘beast’ grows in power, so do the number of recovered and missing bodies without a heart.

To be honest, I am not sure in which direction to point the reader as it pertains to the age level of the storyline. The intended audience is young adult and teen, but many of the military references require a guideline for description and definition. As well, the dialogue is fairly simple, almost adolescent at times, which leads me to presume, it is intended for a younger audience. The passages waver between smart intelligent descriptive narration and then drop to a more-simpler text as though there are two distinct writers. There is plenty of ‘blood, guts and gore’, graphic violence, dismemberment and beheadings, as well as sci-fi military-style weapons and experiments, and the paranormal phenomenon of otherwordly creatures and shapeshifters.

The young adults carry guns, knives and tasers as though they were pieces of jewelry and are quick to use their weapons without benefit of doubt. C E Martin deftly avoids a complete explanation as to how Mark and the others became part of an elite operation of super soldiers, but reveals small bits of information when necessary for impact. Like our hero’s memory, I guess that information will be revealed a little at a time and on a need to know basis. Book 2 in Martin’s Mythical series should hopefully reveal more about how and why our hero and his fellow super soldiers are the way they are.

MYTHICAL is an interesting story and one that will captivate some readers but I found that many of the passages were very violent especially for younger audiences. Mythical is not for everyone. Although many YA novels are enjoyed by readers of all ages, there should be a warning as it pertains to the graphic nature of the content.

 I am well aware that young adult readers are very knowledgeable and most are able to distinguish between reality and fiction, but sometimes a line has to be drawn and if that line is only a few words of warning-CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE-then I will be happy.

LINKS TO PURCHASE::  At the time of the posting MYTHICAL was .99 cents from the following suppliers
Amazon Kindle
Smashwords
B&N Nook

Copy supplied by author.

Reviewed by Sandy

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