As is characteristic of her style, Traci L. Slatton begins Cold Light in much the same manner as Fallen–in the bosom of in medias res (Latin, in the midst of things). She begins just as the Roman poet Horace and Jack Lynch advises, in the heart of the story without preamble. The story also parallels Fallen because this time Emma’s eldest daughter, Beth, rather than her youngest, Mandy, is in danger. In fact, Beth is kidnapped by raiders and taken on horseback to places unknown as the book opens. Ergo, life in this post-apocalyptic increasingly dystopian society goes from bad to worse for Emma.
Fallen ended with Emma leaving Arthur, the man whom she had come to know as the other part of her soul, behind as her husband, Haywood, retrieved her and Mandy by Airplane via Canada. The family had been separated when the mists, the noxious gases created by a military experiment gone bad, consumed much of the technology, machines and modes of transportation made possible by the industrial revolution and the technological boom of Silicon Valley, leaving Emma and Mandy stranded in the Parisian countryside.
The world as they had come to know it had ceased to exist with many of the creature comforts they had come to enjoy now gone forever. And now, having her daughter kidnapped in the dead of winter, Emma and Haywood haggle over who will take on the daunting task of going to rescue her. After gathering intel and being told that the city they now call home won’t go in search of their taken residents, Emma and Haywood decide they can spare only one of them to take the dangerous journey through sub-zero weather to rescue Beth from none other than a man by whom Emma suffered being kidnapped herself.
As Emma walks through treacherous weather, she is stalked by a large cat, helped by some, and betrayed by others on the way to her destination. At the last outpost she comes to before she plans to attempt the rescue of her daughter, Emma encounters old friends and an extremely determined lover who have no intentions of allowing her to continue her journey alone. Yet, she does not want them to risk their lives to save her child. Will Emma brave this rescue attempt on her own and succeed, or will love truly demand everything of her in this gripping Book 2 of the After Trilogy, Cold Light?
If you’d read Fallen, there is no way you can forgo Cold Light. I read this immediately after reading Fallen, but am just now getting to review. However, don’t let that lead you to believe that this book isn’t as stellar as the first. In fact, this book is more action-packed and the stakes have gone even higher than Emma and her family just avoiding the mists that can consume them. This is a do-or-die, life-and-death story that leaves you guessing at every turn–How is Emma going to get out of these newest pickles? Read Cold Light and find out.
This is a dystopian romance for the mature set, (Hunger Games and/or Divergent on steroids). Don’t ignore this wonderful series.
I give Cold Light Five out of Five Stars!
ABOUT TRACI L. SLATTON:
Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, where she taught freshman composition. She lives in Manhattan, though her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal [Bantam Dell], which is currently in film pre-production and reached bestseller status in Italy, Russia and Brazil. Also the author of The Botticelli Affair and the After trilogy (Fallen, Cold Light and Far Shore [forthcoming late spring 2013]), Slatton has published The Art of Life, a photo essay about figurative sculpture; a book of poetry; as well as a non-fiction title on science and spirituality, Piercing Time & Space. Her forthcoming novel, The Mission, is a meaty historical saga set during World War II.