Thursday, September 21, 2017


Genre: Psychological Fiction / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 5, 2017
Pages: 320

Shawn Smucker will capture readers’ imaginations with this masterfully written debut novel that combines elements of mystery and magical realism.

It was the summer of storms, 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.

Twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life—the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend, Abra, in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?

  Book Trailer:

 My Review:

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Who says don't judge a book by its cover? The cover of Shawn Smucker's debut novel is absolutely stunning with a magnificently-told story to match. I must admit that cover art often entices me to crack open a book, and I was certainly glad I dedicated some time to reading this one. 

Reading much more than A Page Before Bedtime, I was immediately drawn in to this engaging book. In it, Smucker introduces the fictional story in present time where a much older protagonist, Sam, is remembering the fateful summer when, as a young boy, his mother died in a freak accident. Riddled with grief and guilt as well as a longing to bring her back, the author takes the reader on a psychological roller coaster that involves part reality and part fantasy. The story vacillates between the past and present times.  
In this novel, Smucker tackles some hefty questions surrounding the theme of death. When someone dies, are they truly gone forever? Is death a destination or part of a journey? And most thought provoking for me, is death necessarily a bad thing? I also liked the secondary theme of happenstance and how one small event can trigger a domino effect of many more seemingly unpleasant happenings. 

Sam, as a young boy, along with his best friend (Abra), come of age in a relatively short period of time due to a very tragic event. There's a battle of good versus evil with Christian and religious overtones. As a reader, you will find yourself anticipating the end to find out if good will indeed conquer all. 

With Smucker's beautifully-written prose and well-developed characters, this novel takes the reader on an emotional journey that evokes excitement and introspection. You'll be thinking about this read long after you close the book. The author certainly has the talent for pulling his audience in and painting vivid pictures that make the fictional story seem all too real.  

Recommendation: This fast-paced book can easily be devoured in a day or two. While there are some violent scenes that can be interpreted as scary, there is also a moral dilemma presented that make this story suitable and educational for young adults to seniors. Pick up your copy today, or better yet enter (below) for a chance to win a free copy!  

Until next time ... Read on!
Please note: This review is based on a nearly-final electronic edition.

 Praise for The Day the Angels Fell
“Neil Gaiman meets Madeleine L’Engle. I read it in two days!” ~~Anne Bogel, Modern Mrs. Darcy
“Shawn Smucker enchants with a deftly woven tale of mystery and magic that will leave you not only spellbound but wanting more.” ~~Billy Coffey, author of There Will Be Stars
  Buy Now:

  About the Author:

Shawn Smucker lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Day the Angels Fell is his first novel. 


Copy of The Day the Angels Fell Ancient Tree Journal + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

2nd PRIZE: Copy of the book + leather bracelet charms
3rd PRIZE: Copy of the book + $10 Starbucks Gift cCard

September 17-26, 2017
(U.S. Only)

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Character Interview
Excerpt 1
Author Interview
Excerpt 2
Texan Girl Reads
Author Interview

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