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Fallen by Traci L. Slatton
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Two titles in 'The After' series provide a gripping story of apocalypse and its aftermath, starting with Fallen, which documents what happens when deadly mists kill billions on Earth, leaving the survivors struggling in a chaotic new world.

Here a woman with a strange healing ability leads eight children to safety where Arthur offers them all a haven - and Emma falls in love with him. For a woman whose world has ended and whose heart has shattered, all this seems nothing short of a miracle - but within the miracle lies danger, and when she comes to understand Arthur's closely-held secret, everything falls apart once more.

Fallen is about faith, disaster, and redemption. It's also about love, betrayal, and uncovering hope in the face of the end of all good things. At the heart of it all are children and the truth behind a natural phenomenon which has changed the world: a truth that will either rebuild or finish breaking Emma's heart and world. ( )
  DDonovan | Jun 8, 2015 |
Love this book, love these characters, love the plot, the action, the conflict, love… well just about everything about this story. The dynamics between Arthur and Emma are fantastic. They remind me so much of my favorite literary couple of all time- Jamie and Claire Frasier from the Outlander series. Actually, that’s probably why I like the entire story so much. It’s nowhere near the same, but there are a lot of similar elements between the two. The backstory is fascinating. Michael Creighton peaked my interest in nanotechnology with one of his books, and I’ve always wondered what could be some repercussions of similar technology. This story can give you a glimpse of one frightening possibility. I enjoy reading end-of-times, dystopian novels, mainly because I like seeing the parts of humanity that never give up, and strive to make the world a better place no matter how dire the situation gets. The book definitely delivers on all fronts. Ms. Slatton has found a niche with this story and these characters and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

Arthur is a take charge, no-nonsense kind of guy with a commanding presence that brooks no argument who should be in charge. Emma is a survivor, first and foremost, but she is also a mother, guardian, caretaker, and protector. Her survival instinct enables her to do what she thinks is necessary to make sure she and those she cares for survive. I didn’t agree with the presentation of her bargain with Arthur at first, but the more I read, and the more I contemplated what my actions would be in that situation, the more I could understand how she could make that offer. As far as the ending, I wasn’t really surprised, but I didn’t need to be. This is not a story that needs twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat- the entire story does that for you.

Rating: 5

HEAT Rating: Hot

Reviewed By: Daysie W.

Courtesy of: My Book Addictions and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Aug 15, 2013 |
Reviewed by: April
Book provided by: author
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Fallen by Traci L. Slatton is a book unlike any other that you have read. It will keep you at the edge of your seat and unable to pry your hands and eyes away!

As off as it may sound, I love a great apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story. It allows all of those theories and thoughts of “what ifs” to run through my mind and I love to have crazy things like that to contemplate. When I read the synopsis of Fallen, I was instantly intrigued and could not wait to begin reading. However, when I did begin reading, I was a bit let down in the fact that I felt as though I was missing something – like perhaps a previous book in the series. Fallen is, indeed, the first book of the series, so I had not found myself in the middle of a series – though it felt a bit like that. Also, (and this is not giving anything away, as it happens within the first couple of chapters of the story), the idea that a woman would make her way to a complete stranger during such a perilous time and offer her body in return for a safe place for her and her group of children to stay seemed a bit “out there” to me. Emma had never met this man and his group of men before and though there were band after band of rogue groups riding around killing, abusing and crazy, somehow Emma felt at ease to offer this proposal to Arthur.

Other than those two aspects that I mentioned, I really enjoyed Fallen. It was a story that gripped me and held tight as I read. There are several characters within the story, the main two being Emma and Arthur – both of which I liked and felt at least a slight connection to, allowing me to care for them. The idea that mists coming from the Earth itself and creating such destruction, devastation and mind-numbing deaths was intriguing and interesting to me. Personally, this idea did not seem that crazy to me, which lent to the credibility of the reality/possibility of such a thing truly happening. I was also gripped with what the world would be like if such a thing were to actually happen – how such simple things as water, medicines, food and basic every day necessities would be gone and/or very few and far between. Toss in the after effects that the mists left behind in people – such as healing abilities, abilities to see into the future and several other talents and you have one heck of an intriguing story that you will be hard-pressed to put down for any length of time.

In addition to the story line of living through an apocalypse, there is the strong thread of the romance that develops between Emma and Arthur. Emma has a husband a continent away, however the fact that she may never again see him plays heavily in the back of her mind. She must focus on the here and now, as well as what is best for her young five-year-old daughter. Survival is the most important priority. It doesn’t take long for the strong chemistry and bond between Emma and Arthur to come to the surface, however the Arthur of the present is not the same person as the Arthur of the past and once his secrets come out, they may shatter everything that Emma has come to gather and the slight security that she has found with him.

Fallen had me on an emotional roller coaster at times – warming my heart, bringing tears to my eyes, heart thundering in suspense and unease as well as the yearning of heat and passion simmering over me. Traci L. Slatton has an excellent story telling ability that allows the reader to fall right in to the story with the characters – bringing the characters to life and the surroundings to vivid reality within the reader’s mind. With the exception of the couple of issues that I had with the beginning of the story, I loved Fallen. The second in the trilogy, Cold Light is also now available and I cannot wait to dive into it. The ending of Fallen had my heart aching and my mind yearning for more.

This is one that I highly recommend and must warn you that once you start, you will be hard-pressed to step away from Emma’s story! ( )
  RtB | Jan 17, 2013 |
The post-apocalyptic world of this story, set in France, resulted from the appearance of a mysterious and lethal mist, first released from the bowels of the earth ten months previously. These white miasmas scorch anything in their paths except plant life. For humans who breathe them in, they cause a slow and agonizing death. Emma, a woman in her early thirties trying to keep alive her five-year daughter Mandy as well as seven other orphans who have come into her care, has steeled herself to kill anyone struck by the mist, because it is better than letting them suffer. Emma only knew of one thing that could make the mists recede: thrumming percussive sounds, such as horse hooves or drumming.

As the book begins, Mandy is about to be overtaken by the mist when galloping horses approach and the noise saves them all. After the leader of this group of horsemen goes into a nearby building looking for scavenge, Emma follows him. She asks that he take her and the children into his camp, and help protect them. In return, she says, she will "contribute," and offers her body as payment. The man, Arthur, accepts on the condition of “a lot of contribution” and no attitude about it. Emma knew Arthur could keep them safe because one of her children, Newt, is clairvoyant. In fact, most of them have been changed in some way by the mists, which apparently have parapsychological effects on those who survive its onslaughts. Emma can heal with her hands, and this also becomes a “contribution” she gives to Arthur’s camp.

In time, Emma and Arthur develop strong feelings for one another, but as more mysteries are resolved about the origin of the mists, and about the existence of other survivors, the challenges they face are even greater than the threat of the crazed predators surrounding their camp. Can trust and hope and love survive the revelations of After? Or will they just be yet more casualties of the post-apocalyptic world?

Evaluation: At first I was horrified that this book was taking on a parapsychological orientation, but I think the author did a nice job of making it seem less "woo-woo" and more “scientifically” explainable. Some parts of the relationship between Arthur and Emma bothered me at first as well. But although sex was used for trade, and Arthur had expectations related to dominance, Emma was in no way submissive; rather, she could be seen as practical, and doing what she could to save her children. Fortunately, Arthur was not evil, or the entire tenor of the book would have been different. In the end, I came to enjoy the story a great deal, in spite of a particular expression Emma used a lot that got on my nerves (a very idiosyncratic quibble). But alas, although it’s not YA, it’s still a trilogy, and this is only book one! I will definitely be in line, though, when book two comes out! ( )
  nbmars | Jul 2, 2012 |
This review is also on my blog at: http://abnormallyparanormal.blogspot.com/2012/01/review-fallen-by-traci-l-slatto...

Here's an adult romance title that suffers from having a really good story to tell, but it is ruined by its intolerable main characters. And, it doesn't take long to see just how awful they really are, as you need only read into the book a few pages to see the main character, Emma, offering to prostitute herself to a man she barely meets in order to live in his camp with eight needy kids-in-tow. No, she is not already a prostitute, so, yes, this is very random and unnecessary behavior on her part. What's worse is that Arthur, the great “hero” in this story, decides to take her for a test drive before even asking for her name. What a love story this will be, right?

No, this isn't erotica, although with this type of set-up at the beginning, you'd think that's exactly what you were getting. Add up all the stupid things these two main characters do, who are supposedly in love with each other, and you get a book that makes me want to recycle it so it can be reborn into something better one day.

This review gets a wee bit SPOILERY, just so you know...

Emma leads Arthur on, even after he's clearly fallen in love with her, but she's still married to her husband from before the Apocalypse. I can't really sympathize with such an overt adulteress. Arthur rapes Emma in one scene, and is very controlling of Emma and won't let her do anything without his permission first. Controlling, much? When Arthur finally finds out about Emma still being married, he demands she divorce her husband. She wants to officially break it off with her husband, and Arthur agrees so long as she does it over the radio. But, she wants to see him in person, which could take ten years. Unreasonable much? I'm feeling the love, I really am.

These two characters are in their thirties, yet have the combined emotional maturity of one twelve-year-old. This is rather sad, and extra sad when you consider that this story has so much potential. It's actually a really good story with an interesting plot development and concept. There is this mysterious mist that has gone around all over the planet and it kills everything made of metal properties, including people (because people have metal in them, too). It's well-thought out and has great world-building. But, I hate these two characters so much, I could care less about them and their experiences.

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My score: 2.5 out of 5 stars. (I did not like it.) ( )
  Cathy_Keaton | Jan 9, 2012 |
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When the world ends, all that is left is love. Mysterious lethal mists have scourged the Earth, killing billions of people. As chaos descends, Emma guides seven children through France to the scarce safety that remains. Along the way she meets handsome, charismatic Arthur, who leads a small band of men with a safe, strangely well-provisioned camp. Emma strikes a bargain with Arthur for the security of her little tribe. She does not realize that Arthur hides a dark secret. The madness of the end days imparts psychic gifts to survivors, and Emma finds herself with inexplicable healing powers. These powers draw the attention of a cruel gang who kidnaps Emma. Emma must save the dying son of the gang's leader or be killed. Arthur rescues her, and she begins to realize how deeply she has fallen for him, despite knowing nothing of his past. Hungry and battered, terrified and traumatized, survivors make their way to Arthur's camp. Danger also arrives: a cannibalistic rogue band takes up a position on their western flank. Arthur's men prepare for battle while racing to recreate technology for communication. Finally they make radio contact with the remnants of civilization in Canada. Canadian authorities have been in communication with a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. The ship harbors hundreds of starving, trapped people. Arthur and his men are their only hope. To save them, Arthur must move his camp. On the journey they are attacked by the crazed rogue band. Emma fights for her own life and the lives of her newfound family. One of her beloved children dies, and Emma turns to Arthur for comfort. At the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other.… (more)

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