Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker - Book Review & Interview

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Review by Suze

Twelve-year-old Samuel and Abra are best friends. Abra is there for Samuel when he's going through the worst imaginable time. Samuel's mother died in an awful way. Encouraged by his reclusive, slightly creepy neighbor and through information from a trio of fortune tellers Samuel starts looking for a way to bring her back. He needs the Tree of Life for this, but are the people who are helping him look for it actually trustworthy? Together with Abra Samuel continues his search. Who can he trust and if he finds the tree would it really be wise to make his mother return to life?

Could death also be a gift? What will Samuel do when he discovers the whole truth behind the Tree of Life and its powers. Is he willing to do anything to bring his mother back or are there consequences he isn't willing to face? What will Samuel's decision be once he has all the right information and which role will Abra play in his search?

The Day the Angels Fell is a beautiful story. I was immediately intrigued by Samuel's desperate mission and the question it raises. I love thought-provoking stories and this is definitely a good one. Samuel is a regular boy whose life is being turned upside down in one fatal moment. My heart ached for everything he has to miss. It's understandable that in such a situation it's easy to be influenced and I loved that there are two sides of the same story that are being given to him. I couldn't wait to find out what Samuel would do if he'd find the Tree of Life and read the book in one sitting because it made me curious and moved me at the same time.

Shawn Smucker's writing has a good natural flow. I love his clear descriptions of every important thing he writes about. He makes his settings come to life incredibly well and his emotions have multiple interesting layers. I like the way he deals with the topic of good and evil and how he writes about death in an honest, understandable, raw and fascinating way. It's mind-blowing and I was intrigued from beginning to end. The Day the Angels Fell is a fantastic book. It's a story filled with history, ancient battles, wisdom and questions. I absolutely loved this gorgeous story.


If you love beautiful thought-provoking stories you should definitely read The Day the Angels Fell. For me this is a book that can be read by people in any age category.

About Shawn Smucker

Shawn Smucker lives with his wife and six children in 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.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/shawnsmucker


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Sure! I grew up in farm country, here in Lancaster, PA. For 13 generations, my family has lived in this area, and I feel very tied to the land, the people. I think it’s a wonderful place. Now, my wife Maile and I live in the city of Lancaster with our six children, and I co-write and ghostwrite books full time. The Day the Angels Fell is my first novel.

2) How did you get the idea to write a story with the theme death as a gift?

One of my co-writing projects took me to Istanbul, Turkey, where I helped a man dying of cancer tell his story. Being in such close proximity with death, and watching this man die with bravery and peace, started me down a path of introspection. I started asking a lot of questions about my own death and mortality. Spending time with him changed my life and definitely inspired the main question in the book, Could it be possible that death is a gift?

3) What inspired you to write about the Tree of Life?

Ever since I was a child, I have been intrigued by the story of the fall and the events that surrounded it. I always felt the story about the Tree of Life ended prematurely, so I thought I’d make up a myth about what happened next and then drop my characters into the middle of that struggle.

4) Could you describe the main characters of The Day the Angels Fell in seven words each?

Samuel is a grieving, determined, lonely boy.

Abra is strong and a true friend.

Tennin is scary but wants to help.

Jinn has his own selfish, ancient motives.

5) You write about how someone good can do something evil because of the circumstances this person is in. What’s your view on the much written about topic of good versus evil?

In my opinion, most books, and especially children’s books, are written in a way in which good and evil are too clear cut. Too easily discernible. Good and evil are rarely so black and white in the real world. I tried to write a book where the children involved struggle with discerning between what is the right and wrong thing to do. We all live in this tension.

6) You’ve chosen a remote setting as the main setting for your story, what is so attractive about the countryside as a basis for a good scary story?

There is something about the countryside that isolates us, that makes it very clear who we are because we can’t hide behind crowds of people or noise or busyness. I grew up in the country and I love how mysterious it can be.

7) How did your writing journey start?

I started writing when I was very young, although my primary interest in those years was reading. But as I got older, in college and beyond, I was a prolific writer in my journals. I played around with short stories. I started co-writing for other people in 2008, when I was in my early 30s, and finally got around to writing this book in my late 30s.

8) Where do you write and do you have a routine?

I like to write in local coffee shops but I also write at home, in bed, and in my car while I drive for Uber and Lyft. I am always trying to squeak in an hour of writing here or there.

9) How did your love for books begin?

My love for books and stories began when a Sunday School teacher read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to us. It changed my life. I sat there listening, in complete awe, wondering why no one had ever told me stories could be like that. I was eight or nine years old.

10) You write together with other authors as well, could you tell a bit more about that?

My co-writing is usually not done with other authors. Rather, it’s with people who have been approached by publishers to tell their story but who do not have the time or ability to write a book. So, I interview them and use the recordings to help them write a book.

11) What are your plans for the future?

The sequel for The Day the Angels Fell comes out in July, 2018 - it’s called The Edge of Over There. After that, I have a nonfiction book coming out in the fall of 2018 and another novel in the summer of 2019. So, stay tuned!


  1. I love how the author described the main characters of The Day the Angels Fell.

  2. Amazing review! Would love to check The day the Angels fell soon!!definitely adding it to my TBR pile

  3. Amazing review! Would love to check The day the Angels fell soon!!definitely adding it to my TBR pile

  4. I think this will a great story to read.

  5. Amazing review and interview! I'd give this book a chance to read soon!

  6. What a great interview peeked my interest - a beauty gpr my book list 2018

  7. This books seems quite interesting- I know what I'm putting on my birthday wishlist! :)

  8. This book sounds creepy & very intriguing.

  9. They say never judge a book by its cover but I have to say this book has a gorgeous cover!

  10. Might be heartrending, but I'm intrigued!


  11. Great interview and review, thank you for sharing it.