Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cold Light - Book 2 of the After Trilogy by Traci L. Slatton

Cold Light.  Traci L. Slatton. Parvati Press. October 2013. 215 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780986061103.

“Gun fire and war cries, screams of terror and hooves and explosive charges, rattled, boomed and whistled through the frigid air.” This is the beginning of Book Two of the After trilogy series.

A major raid on Emma’s village and the kidnapping of her daughter, Beth, tear Emma apart. In one sense, she’s lucky Beth is alive but doesn’t know where she’s been taken or what will happen to her by the brutal raiders who care not for life or death but only their own gain.  It’s been over a year since the last vicious battle, but once again Emma steels herself and insists she will travel through the brutal winter to find and rescue her precious child. The weather is not the only danger; the poisonous Mists that feed on the lives of the ones they surround have been seen northwards.  Add to that there are enemy towns with strict rules, especially the one promising death to any person stupid enough to steal a horse.

For supplies are thinning out and winter is the worst time as nothing can be grown.  Towns that were destroyed by the Mists have run out of canned goods and other necessities of life, but the people are learning to survive by the old ways before technology made life so amazingly easy, so unappreciated at the time.  So Emma travels through vicious storms and enters towns where she trades her skills as a Healer for basic food and shelter for sleeping, just managing to avoid those with lurid desires and plans.
In her heart as she travels, Emma longs for her lover, the enigmatic Robert who actually accidentally created the Mists that are destroying the world a section at a time. Yes, she is married but not to Robert.  Her husband Haywood is not strong enough to keep her from going and Robert has returned for Emma and another reason which he will not initially reveal.  Can Robert still control the Mists as he used to be able to do?  Is there a way to finally conquer the devastating Mists?

Cold Light continues with scenes of adventure, treachery, brutality, and passion for these feisty characters who love and live with such fierce intensity that actually seeps into the reader while reading.  Traci Slatton’s series is a notable work of science fiction and/or paranormal fiction that will intrigue and thrill readers who love this genre.  How these characters surmount the numerous threats plaguing them on a daily basis makes for a great read! The dangers of science remain a powerful undercurrent of this futuristic story that could turn into reality by those who fail to recognize the lurking threat in their experimentation. Again, nicely done, Traci Slatton!

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