Powerful: "The day the angels fell" by Shawn Smucker

Cover Art

about the book....

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident--and young Samuel Chambers would have done anything to turn back time. Even today, he can hardly believe it all happened . . .

Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Sam begins his search for the Tree of Life--the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back.

His quest to defeat death will entangle him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict, forcing Sam to grapple with an unwelcome question.

Could it be possible that death is a gift?

my review....

With a clever plot, compelling characters, and moments that will pull on your heart-strings, "The day the angels fell" is a powerful addition to the world of young adult fiction. I can honestly say that I've never viewed death as a gift, and this novel explores this question in a manner that will leave this story lingering long on my mind. The idea of the Tree of Life and the beings searching for that Tree for very different purposes absolutely fascinated me.

"The day the angels fell" is well-written, and it's hard to believe that this is Smucker's debut novel as it is written in a manner that immediately pulls you into the story and doesn't want to let you go. And though I don't always enjoy novels where the author switches back and forth between the character's point of view, Smucker's use of that technique here (where we get brief glimpses of Sam's life as an old man before returning to his boyhood view) really does work and moves the story forward. Smucker has taken the concept of good versus evil and given it an utterly original twist, and the result is that I just couldn't get enough of Sam's story and his struggle between darkness and light. Although Smucker may not be presenting a clear gospel message here, readers will leave this novel thinking about death and eternity, and longing for the author of life who offers assurance that this life isn't all there is.

I greatly enjoyed the journey that Smucker led me on through this excellent novel, and award it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Shawn Smucker lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Day the Angels Fell is his first novel. You can find him online at www.shawnsmucker.com, where you can also sign up for his newsletter.

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