Fallen by Traci Slatton [From the Archives]

15 Oct 2015 by

Grit and baseless hope combine in Fallen, a post-apocalypstic novel about love and poor decisions.

[From the Archives] This is a previously released book review that was originally published on our parent website EmSun on January 24, 2014. Book reviews are being re-worked, updated, and re-released here in order to have all our content on one webpage. Thanks for understanding!
Cover of Fallen by Traci Slatton

Cover of Fallen by Traci Slatton

Fallen is one of those guilty pleasures that I need to finally discuss. I was given the review copy in 2011 by FSB Associates and due to life circumstances, I didn’t have time to review it. Nonetheless, I read it no less than four times between 2011 – 2014. Finally, feeling very guilty, I knew I was going to not only finally review the book, but also purchase my own copy. In January of 2014, I did so.

Traci Slatton – I apologize, sincerely, that it took me so long. (See the author’s response below!)

SYNOPSIS

It’s been about a year since the mists swept over the world, rising out of cracks deep from the earth. The mists are attracted to certain types of metals and eat away at people and buildings; the world has been decimated. The ragged few survivors have been gifted psychic powers without knowledge or insight on how to control them or what all might manifest.

Emma, a well-known artist Before, has gathered up eight children under her wing, protecting and caring for them. One of them is her own – 5-year-old Mandy. It’s been rough, though, and she can’t keep it up alone much longer. Out there roaming around what used to be France are large bands of cannibals, rapists, slavers, and other humans with dark intentions. There are also good people. You just never know who you’re going to find.

Arthur was well-accomplished Before: a classified military scientist researcher and supposedly brilliant. He’s now the leader of a large camp of men of varying specialties. He’s trying to rebuild the world and he’s a little off his rocker. Fierce, loyal, determined, ambitious, controlling, and jealous, Arthur isn’t exactly a shining example of mankind. He is not, however, a cannibal and he won’t hurt the children.

Can Emma and Arthur each make sacrifices to connect with each other and help each other with their goals? Will Arthur understand when Emma explains that her husband and oldest daughter are still alive in Canada, and she wants to get back to them? Will Emma understand when Arthur explains his own secret?

EXCERPT

The two meet in the first chapter of the book and Emma realizes that Arthur is attracted to her. She sees an age-old way to protect herself and her children: willing capitulation to this one man in trade. Arthur, though, doesn’t want the complications of women and children to take care of and protect in his camp. He tells Emma no and that he doesn’t have a place for them.

“Make a place,” I said. His breath picked up and his pupils dilated.

 

“I’m not… not a good bet,” he said hoarsely. […] “I’ve done things.”

 

“Haven’t we all?” I stepped in so close that the toes of our shoes touched. He smelled of salt and cedar, sweat and leather and horses. He wasn’t rank, but he wasn’t clean. I didn’t know if I’d wash regularly either, if I wasn’t trying to civilize a group of children. This wasn’t a time for judging. We’d all been judged too harshly, already, according to an arbitrary code that none of us understood.

Fallen by Traci Slatton, pg. 6

REVIEW

Fallen explores the grittier side of what could happen in a post-apocalyptic setting. Lives are clearly divided into Before and After, and survivors battle with the guilt as they can’t reconcile the two. If you’re looking for a picture-perfect romance with two adorably perfect main characters, walk away now. This isn’t a YA novel. What you get instead are two adults with massive flaws and faults trying to survive in a world that is literally trying to kill them. As Emma says, this isn’t a time for judging. It’s a time for surviving.

Updated Fallen Cover

Updated Fallen Cover

The stories portrayed by Slatton aren’t heart-warming. People are hurt and people die. There is no redemption at the end of the first novel; there is no happy ending. (Maybe there will be by the end of the series.) These two people are thrown together in an intense situation and they each are doing their best with what sanity they’ve got left. Neither main character is incredibly lovable. Emma is married to another man whom she knows is alive – although he’s thousands of miles away and they’ve been out of contact, yet she is having sexual relations with Arthur. Arthur is a downright controlling and jealous bastard who can be vicious when he so chooses. There isn’t flowery language and poetry going on here.

Despite this, though, the way that Slatton has written the novel sweeps right past my critical-of-romance alarms (you don’t even want to hear me go off on Twilight) and hits the entertainment button.

Note: There aren’t really graphically described sexual scenes such as in a Harlequin book, but the matter is discussed cavalierly and referenced casually. If that’s not your thing, you’re not going to be interested in this book. If you are triggered by rape and violence, please avoid this book.

fgtg_fivestars

TAKEAWAY

I hesitate to recommend this book to just anyone because it’s not for everyone. However, if you enjoy dark, gritty peeks into possible human nature reactions in apocalyptic settings, you will probably enjoy this novel.

Thank you Traci Slatton.

Stop what you’re doing and watch this.

Information

Fallen
After
by Traci Slatton

Publisher: Parvati Press
Published July 12, 2011 Pages: 243
Review Source: free review copy from FSB Media and then a purchased copy Review Format: e-book
ISBN: 978-0-98-902329-0

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