Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review ~ Fallen (After #1) by Traci L. Slatton

FallenPaperback received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 12th July 2011

Publisher: Parvati Press


As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. One woman with mysterious healing power guides eight children to safety. Charismatic Arthur offers her a haven. Slowly Emma falls for him. But at the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other.

My Opinion

It was the premise that caught my attention with this book. I liked the idea of the Mist as it wasn't going to be the standard paranormal novel. It also had strange powers, the promise of romance and a dystopian theme so obviously it sounded like my kind of book. However, having finished the book I feel a little let down as the book didn't live up to what I thought it would be.

The book started off really well and did catch my attention. It set everything up nicely and portrayed Emma as a strong determined female lead. It was also tense and introduced the subject of the Mist well. It showed how deadly it was and it also hit upon a mother's love for their child. However I felt that as the book went on this atmosphere was lost. Emma stayed strong throughout though which was good but I couldn't connect with her. I wanted more thoughts, to see inside her mind and get her opinion, especially as this book is written in 1st person.

For me there was just too much text and not enough speech - and the speech that was there felt very stiff. It made the book very slow to read and dense so I found myself skimming sections, especially nearer the end. I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary description that didn't really add anything to the story and there were parts that were underdeveloped which I wanted to know more about. For example the whole paranormal aspect is never really explained very well. We get a little idea about the mist but have to wait until the penultimate chapter for it to be revealed, which was frustrating. Also the abilities created by the mist weren't really developed well for me. Emma had a healing ability but I didn't understand how it worked and why she couldn't heal herself or certain condition and I wasn't keen that the author made the character unwilling to learn as for me it felt like an easy way of not having to come up with the back story. I wanted to know the limits of the ability, how they were created and what triggered it. It needed to be more developed. 

As well as this I didn't really understand the setting.  I think it was in Paris (can't be sure though). Slatton created such a diverse range of nationalities in her cast of characters that it became slightly unrealistic as it just didn't seem to fit with the location. It was hard to keep up with who was who and then it led to questions to why were they in Paris to begin with when the Mist hit - something that wasn't really explained.

My biggest issue with the book though was the relationship. The description implies a "sweet" romance but it just felt wrong to me. The first time Arthur appears, Emma basically gets him to look after her and the children by offering sex. After that Arthur seemed to force himself upon Emma and she some how went from being reluctant to pleased by it within a matter of seconds. It was unrealistic and kind of creepy. I couldn't see how she would fall for him after stuff like that and it didn't make him likable. 

Overall, although there is something I can't put my finger on that kept me reading. However, Fallen was just too slow for me to engage with it. For me it needed to be broken up a lot more with speech or shorter sentences to change the pace every now and then. It also needed more development in terms of the paranormal aspect. The premise has potential and I think with work it could be an interesting book however for me I feel slightly indifferent and that it was just an average read right now.

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