Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

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. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.

After his mother's death, 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?

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid.

With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L'Engle and Lois Lowry.

Hardcover, 312 pages
Published September 5th 2017 
by Fleming H. Revell Company
We always think we have one more day. We always think tomorrow can do nothing but come around. It’s one of the great illusion we live with, that time will go on and on, that our lives will never end.

The Day the Angels Fell is a story of grief, relationships and love. It wasn’t hard to feel Sam’s grief and guilt with the passing of his mother. Darkness has entered Sam as he questions life and death and begins a quest for the Tree of Life which he assumes will bring his mother back and life will be the way it was.

It is through strange and almost mystical encounters that puts him on this path. Without giving away too much of the story here, the author takes us back to the Garden of Eden.  Through various scenes that reminded me of Frank Peretti‘s This Present Darkness but scaled down for a younger audience. I am not sure if this is young adult or a middle grade book. Sam is only 12 years old so to me that says middle grade but some of the subject matter and scenes seem a little more young adult-ish.

The storytelling is complex and I loved the authors writing style, it was easy to get lost in the pages as he created tension and scenes of heartache vividly. The ending finished off nicely with a sneak preview of the sequel.

Definitely an author I will read more of.
We both laughed, and that time I laughed for real. It felt good. There is something about laughing that pushes back against the darkness, even if only for a moment.

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

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