The Edge of Over There

The Edge of Over There

by Shawn Smucker


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Shawn Smucker is the author of The Day the Angels Fell, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800728502
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Shawn Smucker is the author of The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at, where you can also sign up for his newsletter in order to find out when and where the Tree of Life will turn up next.

Read an Excerpt



A man follows me down the sidewalk. He is bald and his eyes are circled with wrinkles, and the wrinkles are like ripples moving outward from the place where two stones fell into dark water. His cheeks are dragged down by time and heavy memories. Skin dangles under his chin. But among the wrinkles are tattoos of small, five-pointed stars that scatter up in a mist toward his temples. His stretched, see-through earlobes gape with large gauges. Piercings dot his eyebrows and lips. More piercings than I've seen before, more than I thought possible on one face.

It's not his wrinkles or the tattoos or the piercings that make me the most nervous. It's his eyes, eyes that have the look of the ocean my mother crossed in my dreams. They have a never-ending feel to them that's hard to describe, something I would not have recognized had I not crossed paths with Mr. Tennin and Mr. Jinn so long ago. This man following me is one of them.

I can tell you that much. I can tell by his eyes.

* * *

Can you kill someone like Mr. Jinn and go unpunished?

Probably not.

I've spent the last few months looking through Abra's journal, thinking back over the day the angels fell, and I have to wonder if we have truly gotten away with it. Did Abra and I eliminate Mr. Jinn without any consequences? I seem to remember being scared when I was a kid, frightened that we would pay for what we had done. But as the years went by, the feeling faded. I stopped being afraid. I started to wonder if it had all actually happened, or if the memory I had of two angels fighting over a Tree was only part of a dream, or a dream within a dream. Children are so good at pretending. Maybe Abra and I had made it all up.

But things changed. Abra is gone, dead, leaving me her journal and the sword. Why did she leave it to me, when I still can't even hold it? Did she want me to hide it? Use it? More than anyone on the planet, I'm aware of its significance, but what am I supposed to do with it? Having it in the house feels like hiding a state secret.

All of this is flying through my mind at lightning speed because this bald man with the star tattoos is following me through Deen, toward Mr. Pelle's Antiques.

Back to where it all started.

* * *

I glance down the alley that is still there between Pelle's and the pizza place. I stare at the baseball field off in the distance. It's not used for baseball anymore. Baseball has been abandoned, at least here in Deen, and the field drowns in brown weeds and overgrown, leafless trees. Saplings are entwined in the chain-link fence that used to be a backstop. When a strong wind blows, the winter branches clatter and scrape against the metal.

I'm not sure which is worse: land that's been swallowed up by "progress," or land that's been forgotten. We want things to stay the same, but the roads between "now" and "back then" are always changing, and by the time you manage to return home, if you can ever find your winding way, you realize it was never actually yours, not forever. These homes of ours, these fields, the things that make up the landscape of our childhood, they are only ever ours for such a short time, and they owe us nothing.

I look down the sidewalk. The man is still there, pacing, stopping, looking up at me occasionally. The piercings around his eyes glitter in the cold light. I take a deep breath, and when he turns away for a moment, I limp and sort of stumble into the narrow alley. My cane catches on the gravel and slips on the frozen dirt. I panic. I move quickly, or as quickly as I can. I look over my shoulder, expecting him to be right there, running toward me. I get to the side door of Pelle's Antiques, the same one I ran through so many years ago while trying to get out of the rain.

Trying to escape the lightning.

I'm sure it's locked, but I pull on the handle anyway.

It opens.

I've only just said that nothing stays the same, but when I walk through the doorway into the warehouse area of Pelle's Antiques, I realize I'm wrong. This place has not changed, not one bit. It even smells the same. There are old mirrors and dressers and bed frames without mattresses. There are lamps without bulbs and wardrobes begging to be hid in. And through it all, through the furniture and the shadows and the shapes, there is a narrow path, the same narrow path. I'm sure there are doors to all kinds of places right there in the warehouse area of Pelle's Antiques. I'm sure you could find a door to anywhere in the universe, if you knew which hutch to look behind, which empty window to open and crawl through.

I go down that path between all things, through the shadows and gaping holes and dust. I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope between worlds and that the slightest misstep could send me plummeting into somewhere else.

"Mr. Chambers," a voice says quietly, and even though my eyes are still adjusting to the dark, I know it's the man. The man with the stars around his eyes and the invisible mission on his shoulders. The shadows seem to creep away from us, back into the corners of the room, and I'm left staring at his unique face. I become lost in it, the way a child becomes lost staring up into the night sky.

"Samuel Chambers," he says, and I nod, even though he's not asking a question. He knows who I am. That much I can tell.

"Can we talk?" he asks.

I don't know what else to say, so I nod again, waiting for fire to fall from above and eliminate me as retribution for the long-ago death of Mr. Jinn. I wait for him to snuff me out. But he does not. Instead, he sighs, moves to put his hand on my shoulder, and then seems to think better of it.

"Good," he says. "I didn't want to scare you off."

He moves toward the door that leads outside, the door I just came through. I walk slowly behind him, and as we get out onto the sidewalk, I lean more heavily on my cane than I have for some time.

"Where can we go?" he asks.

I look up and down the street. There is no good place to talk privately in this town, no quiet spot, and if I take him to the diner or the coffee shop or the pizza parlor, if I go into those places with this man who looks the way he looks, the entire town will be wagging their collective tongues about it. Jerry, the man who takes care of my farm, will come looking for me, wondering if everything is okay. He'll ask if I need money — that's the first thing he asks when something out of the ordinary happens, as if money is the answer to every unasked question, every strange occurrence.

"I live ten minutes away," I say in a tired voice. "We could go there."

"Yes, but I'll need a ride, if that's okay. I don't have a car."

"Of course you don't," I say. "How'd you get here?" He looks at me and raises his pierced eyebrows, smiling.

"Of course you did," I mutter. "You didn't tell me your name."

"Call me Mr. Henry," he says.

"When people tell me to call them something," I say in a low voice, clearing my throat, "it makes me wonder if it's their real name."

He smiles again. The collection of wrinkles and tattoos and piercings makes it difficult for me to tell if it's a friendly smile or a leering one. The air feels suddenly icy, the way it feels before the snow falls.

We walk back to my cold car and get in. We drive north, leaving Deen behind us. I can see the car's exhaust clouding up, and everything is silent under the gray sky.

There is beauty in a barren winter day, the way the sky drifts lower and the cut cornstalks stand in their dry rows like beard stubble on a very old, very kind face. The mountains, covered in their leafless trees, are somewhere between brown, gray, and deep violet, or maybe all of those at once, and there are streaks of ice lining the shadowy places like diamond veins.

The wind kicks up and batters the car. There is the smell of new snow in the air.


Excerpted from "The Edge of Over There"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Shawn Smucker.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Edge of Over There 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this was the second book in a 2 book (so far) series before I read it – I think it would be much better if I had previously read the first book! A lot of occurrences left me puzzled since I didn’t know what had happened previously. Having said that though, I couldn’t put the book down as I kept wanting to know what would happen next. Would Abra find the tree of life? Would Leo find his sister Ruby? Who is Beatrice, friend or foe? This novel kept me on my toes as the author would skip from present to past, in this world and in the in-between world, keeping me wondering what would come next. Great fantasy, good for young adults and up. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review - all thoughts and opinions are my own.
jebsweetpea More than 1 year ago
This book was a very different style that I usually read. I chose it at first because the cover was eye catching and it sounded interesting. While the writing was fantastic right from the start with descriptive words and characters, it was a bit difficult to get in to. Realizing that this is the 2nd book, it would be good for anyone who would like to read this book to read the 1st book The Day the Angels Fell. While this was my first distopian/fantasty book by Revell, it was a bit hard to get through without reading the first book. I look forward to reading the first book and then trying this book again. Shawn Smucker has quite the talent with his way with words and I look forward to reading any book he writes in the future! Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.
AdventurousBookworm More than 1 year ago
THAT COVER!!! Wow. It is stunning, and it matches the story in every aspect with the inside of the book is also beautifully designed. Umm...This book was confusing! I was very lost for the first half of the book. Smucker has a fantastic writing style, but I did not connect with the novel at all. I found the characters are static and non-emotional. They have many memories of the previous encounter with the Tree of Life. Because of all the flashbacks, I would highly recommend that you read "The Day the Angels Fell" first. The story gave off a ton of Narnia-like vibes with the allegories and the 'Edge of Over There', the land that can only be accessed at seven spots throughout the world. This work relies heavily on the Legend of the Seven Gates, Marie Laveau, and the Tree of Life. The Christian allegories were prominent and interesting to read about. This book certainly has an interesting concept, but the characters are what pulled my rating down. For those who like fantasy, this would be a great choice. Personal Rating: 2 Stars Content Rating: 3 Stars *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
AdventurousBookworm More than 1 year ago
THAT COVER!!! Wow. It is stunning, and it matches the story in every aspect with the inside of the book is also beautifully designed. Umm...This book was confusing! I was very lost for the first half of the book. Smucker has a fantastic writing style, but I did not connect with the novel at all. I found the characters are static and non-emotional. They have many memories of the previous encounter with the Tree of Life. Because of all the flashbacks, I would highly recommend that you read "The Day the Angels Fell" first. The story gave off a ton of Narnia-like vibes with the allegories and the 'Edge of Over There', the land that can only be accessed at seven spots throughout the world. This work relies heavily on the Legend of the Seven Gates, Marie Laveau, and the Tree of Life. The Christian allegories were prominent and interesting to read about. This book certainly has an interesting concept, but the characters are what pulled my rating down. For those who like fantasy, this would be a great choice. Personal Rating: 2 Stars Content Rating: 3 Stars *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I have absolutely no clue what to say of this book, but I'll just fumble my way through. xD I had pretty high expectations going into this book because 1) the premise looked suuuper interesting 2) Kirk DouPonce designed the cover ! ! ! 3) it's the first fantasy / dystopian sort of? book I've ever read from Revell so I was really intrigued when I first saw it up for review. 4) I've heard some really good things about this book! And let's just say some of my expectations were let down, and some were met. From the blurb, I thought the plot would be more intriguing / less complicated than it actually ended up being. I don't do well with complicated plots, and although I ended up understanding everything, a lot of things were just... hard to get while reading.  I loved the gorgeous and lyrical writing style, though! That was definitely a highlight of this book, and the characters were well-written and relatable. I'm also glad that the supernatural element was low in this book (the main narrator is an angel, but you don't really notice that at all) because I strongly dislike books with paranormal / supernatural elements.  So the book left me with an overall meh feeling. I enjoyed it while reading, but it's not something I would go back and reread and also not really something I'd think of when recommending books to friends. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to give a positive review.
summer_no9 More than 1 year ago
This book was vey unique individual writing and compelling to read with that also had an amazing fantasy story it will drawing you to follow imagination the author of this book bring you to the un know world that the main character had to fight for the good and bad battle for life. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Revell Reads for this review”.
Changed-by-Christ More than 1 year ago
The first thing about this book that really stood out to me was the writing. OH MY GOODNESS, it was like poetry. Smucker amazed me with, first of all, his ability to write such lyrical stories, and secondly, his ability to transport you into the characters. As I read along, I felt like I was that 12 year old girl or the 80 year old man. No matter the view point, I felt like I was in the characters heads and I began to react just as they did. The story itself was very well done. Yes, you could tell this is geared for a bit of a younger audience, but I still enjoyed the read immensely. As I said above, the characters voice was amazingly well done, but I also felt that the characters were very realistic as well. They faced failures and setbacks and moments of weakness, just like all of us, and I really appreciated that he included their humanness in it. I already said this, yes, but the writing was amazing. Smucker used some very colorful and vivid descriptions that really helped to give the story its unique feel. I did, however, feel that some of the descriptions went a little overboard and bordered on unrealistic. I mean, who takes notice of someone else’s tongue size and color?? All in all, this was a very good book and I would definitely recommend it to someone who’s read the first. It did seem a little prolonged toward the ending, but I also wasn’t exactly in the mood to read it when I picked it up, so I know that had something to do with it. **I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts in this review are my own. I promise I didn’t copy anyone else’s thoughts!**
Cheryl Koch More than 1 year ago
I did not know that this was the second book in a series. There is a fair amount of time when this does not matter. Yet, in this case, I felt like it did matter. While, I did know that this book was going to be fanatical/mystical, I did not realize how much I would be lost in translation. Again, as I stated a moment ago that some of this translation may have been resolved had I read the prior novel. I will say it was not for a lack of trying with this book. I did try to stick it out in the hopes that it would get better for me. It did not end up being the case. I just got more confused. It was not until I read another readers review that explained things for me better. At that point I did pick up this book again to try giving it another chance. After several more chapters and no improvement I gave up on this book at the half way mark. This book just was not for me.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I started this book knowing I didn’t read the first one and trying to come at it and take it all in. Even though there was much I didn’t understand because I didn’t read the first book, I really liked this book. It is very different. My brain never got bored trying to connect dots and make sense of what was going on. I think I would have liked the book even more if I had read the first one but even so I couldn’t put this book down and looked forward to when I could get back to it. If you like things that are different, and other-worldly I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book. A copy of this book was given to me through the publisher. All opinions are my own.
FayJac More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantasy of a world between worlds. It involves children who have the destiny to destroy the tree of life and change things between the worlds. Although it involves children, I don't think it was written for children. I am not really into fantasy type books, but this was interesting and has a lot of good and evil in it. Abra is the main character and she has to travel into other cities as well as into other worlds. Part of her problem is knowing who to fear and whom to trust. If you like fantasy and books like that, this would be a great book to read. (Please Note: Although a copy of this book was given to me to review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, all opinions expressed are my own.)
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
First of all this is a sequel to The Angels Fell. So, if you really want to understand what is going on then it would probably be wise to read the first book. Secondly, this is a story that has dystopian and fantasy with spiritual themes which tend to lose me. I'm not a fantasy Give it to me straight. So, with those two things being said I had a hard time with this story. Frankly, I just didn't get it. When I picked the book I didn't read the description well. If you are a fan of dystopia and christian/spiritual stories then this is the read for you! There is also alot of symbolism in this read. Well, that's how I took it. For the life of me I just didn't understand this story. If I were "grading" this story though the author writes well and has great prose. And he puts in well thought out themes along. So, I can't fault the's me! I just don't understand fantasy/dystopia. *This book was provided for review by Revell Reads*
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Exceptional! I read The Day the Angels Fell a few months ago, and was eager to read The Edge of Over There. This tale of spiritual warfare is one of the most creative stories I've read, and I look forward to much more from this talented author! I'm happy I have hardcover copies of these books. They will be passed on to my grandchildren. Don't let the YA label fool you! These books are incredibly fast paced and deeply creative. I'm 70 years old and loved them both! The Edge of Over There is an allegorical tale, illustrating the strong forces between good and evil, and the quest for immortality. Characters are strong and unforgettable, and the settings are descriptive and detailed. The imagery the author uses is very creative and poetic. I will be reading these books again. The layers of these two novels are deep, and warrant a second or even third read. Brilliant!
elfosterreviews More than 1 year ago
A fantastic follow-up to one of my favorite books. This is a sequel to Smucker’s The Day the Angels Fell, which I reviewed last winter (you can read that review here). The Day the Angels Fell was instantly added to my shelf of favorite books, and The Edge of Over There will be right next to it. Smucker continues to mix Christian beliefs with other cultures, legends, and traditions. Set in New Orleans, well sort of, Smucker works the legend of Marie Laveau into his world of dark and light beings. The final product is captivating, thought-provoking, and overall a wonderful read. As expected, this story revolves around the Biblical Tree of Life and Abra’s journey to destroy it before it is too late. While the main character of the first book, Sam, is included in the beginning and end of the novel, he is not included in the main plot. It was sad to see him excluded, but it is true enough that friends grow apart. In his place, Smucker introduced Leo, a lovable young man desperately searching for the sister he thought was lost to him. As Leo and Abra cross paths and ultimately bump heads, readers can not help but wish for them to work together. They are both such strong characters, with important goals to accomplish; readers will easily see themselves reflected in these characters. Just as in his first novel, The Edge of Over There deals with some very heavy content. Life and death are debated and experienced throughout the novel in unexpected ways; some fight to live forever, others to preserve the gift of death. Ultimately, readers will question their own views on death and immortality. In The Day the Angels Fell, Smucker created an amazing new world hiding within our own. The Edge of Over There is a beautiful continuation of this world, with new additions that expand it beautifully. The allusions to the previous novel enhance that story and make Smucker’s world even more believable and beautiful. I think I’ve sung my praises of this book as best I can without discussing the entire plot, but I will say one last thing: Smucker uses Abra’s funeral (many years after the main events of this story), to bring Sam back into this magical world within the normal one, and I will be very disappointed if Smucker doesn’t continue this series with Sam’s next adventure. Until he does (hopefully), I will be revisiting this series from time to time, and patiently (or not so patiently...) waiting to hear about Sam’s search for the last Tree. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful science fiction series. Both books in the series have been fantastic. I don’t understand why anyone would want to live forever. I would have to help Abra destroy the tree of life. I do understand wanting to use it to make someone healthy again but not to live forever. This has a lot of twists and turns. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
This book was a great disappointment to me. The author is obviously a talented writer and I love the cover, but I found the book very confusing as to the characters and events going on. That is not where the problem lies for me though. There is no way I can qualify it as Christian fiction. The story refers to angels and the tree of life but not in a biblical sense and that was the first thing that came to my mind when seeing those words. God, Christ, and everything associated with such terminology was never mentioned. I felt that the sacred things of God and His Word were used as part of something dark, even evil. To me this was a sacrilege. I was unable to finish the book I found it so offensive. I do not believe you can associate the Holy things of God with demonic, sinful ideas. Sci-Fi and the Lord just do not mix. I hate to leave negative reviews but this book was not for me. I received this book from Revell Publishers for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
The Edge of Over There is the atmospheric, creepy at times, sequel to The Day the Angels Fell. I liked that this story within a story begins four years before the events of the first book. I was instantly drawn into the author’s brilliant storytelling, which did at first seem to jump around a bit, but I think that just added to the whole mystique of the story. There are new characters that we get to know and want to know how their stories pans out. These books are both ones that need to be experienced. I don’t want to give any of the plots away, which would be too much of a spoiler. This is definitely a fantastical read, one that certainly can broaden your imagination. The titles and covers alone first captured my attention and this is the type of read that I would have devoured as a kid. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
StoreyBookReviews More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a YA book filled with descriptive text and a look at what might be heaven or hell, then check out this series. The first book is The Day the Angels Fell and it is probably best to start with this book. I have not read the first book and while the author does a great job of filling in gaps, I think any reader would have a better grasp on the characters and setting reading that book first. The book starts with a brief recap of what I can assume was part of the first book. I appreciated that set up because it made a little more sense as I read the book. There is an interesting cast of characters with several story lines. There is Leo, Ruby, and Amos. Ruby is deathly ill and her father, Amos, will do anything to save her, including taking her to "Over There". Leo, her brother, is left behind but he doesn't forget about Ruby and 8 years later is able to try and find her. Samuel and Abra are neighbors and grew up together from the time they were born, their mothers were best friends. There is an even bigger twist about this whole situation at the end that was very intriguing and wasn't anything I expected to read. There are some evil characters that throw kinks into everyone's plans. The main story is that Abra has a task to fulfill as the keeper of the keys (or the sword that acts as a key). Her story is being told to Samuel because he has inherited them from Abra's husband after her passing but doesn't know what to do with either the sword or the atlas. Only in the telling of this story by Mr.Henry to Samuel, do we learn the truth of what happened to Abra over the course of her life. The story does end abruptly but in a good way because it left me wanting another hundred pages or so to know what happens next. One of my favorite lines was - "Fear always comes with a door, a door that leads straight through." This could be interpreted so many different ways and I think each reader will take it mean something different. The author weaves this tale and you do need to pay attention because the various story lines intersect multiple times and while dark at times, there is light and hope you just have to grab hold at various points in the book.
thelegendarylibrary More than 1 year ago
I did receive this book at no charge for my unbiased, honest opinion. I absolutely loved this book! While it is listed as an adult fiction, it could easily be a great read for Young Adults as well. Abra is fearless! She is a wonderful lead character who is dynamic. I loved reading about her overcoming hear fears in order to do what she knew was right. Without a doubt, she is one of the best female characters created in a heroine/lead role. The characters were also just as relatable. The storyline was easy to follow and excellently detailed. I thought it was brilliant how the author incorporated history and legend/folklore into the story. It afforded the narrative a sense of realism that is otherwise otherworldly tale. It was incredibly imaginative story and an overall great read!
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Looking for an intriguing read? The Edge of Over There The Day the Angels Fell #2 By Shawn Smucker The battle at the Tree of Life changed everything. Destroying the Tree cost Abra Miller her friendship with Sam Chambers and left her with a sword that no one else could hold. And then there is the dream - the dream of that night and the last message that Mr. Tennin left her. When threats to those closest to her compel her to seek out another Tree Abra travels to New Orleans where she must open and enter a Gateway that the living should never cross. Her journey will introduce her to a young man who has been seeking this very Gateway for years after having lost his own family to it. But destroying this second Tree of Life that between Here and Over There will take her to the Edge of Over There. But the Edge of Over There is a dangerous place to be - a place of sorrow and pain. With no one to trust Alba is truly on her own and she must destroy the Tree before any eat of the fruit which it bears. And she must withstand the temptations which she will face in this battle. The Edge of Over There is an interesting book as we are taken to the point where The Day the Angels Fell left off. Sam has received the sword and notes that Alba has been keeping for years and a stranger approaches him. Now this stranger is about to tell Sam about Alba's story, at least a portion of it. Now if one hasn't read the first book you could probably make it fine through this one though there are references to incidents from the first that will be a bit unclear. This is most definitely Speculative fiction and I think it is better than the first book. Alba is a character that one can empathize and connect with. And I will say I want to know more about what happened between the end of Alba's portion of the story and Sam's portion. Those who enjoy James Rubart or Billy Coffey will most likely be fans of Shawn Smucker's work as they strike me as similar story types. I would love to have this book as a book club selection and get the various takes on just what everything means to the various readers - so this will be getting my vote. I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ All opinions expressed are my own
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
The Edge of Over There is very different than I expected. It doesn’t feel or read like a Christian fiction book. I don’t normally read fantasy novels, and that’s what this book seems to be, so it is far from my preferred genre(s) and carries too dark of a feel and theme for me. The writing is crisp and clear, but the plot doesn’t interest me much and I found myself skimming pages. I suppose those who enjoy fantasy anticipate this type of theme with a dark ambiance, but it is too heavy and gloomy for my taste. I expected something softer, more inspiring. I received a complimentary copy from Revell.
JLYoung More than 1 year ago
I came into this book not knowing that there was a previous book. I started reading and was confused. I had no idea what was going on. But I liked the way the author wrote. Such beautiful imagery. I felt like the book gripped all 5 of my senses and took them for a wild ride. When I went in search of a little explanation for my confusion, I found that there was another book. Ok! This is not a book that you can skip over the first book. I trudged through though and began to slowly understand a little of what's going on. It's Christian allegory, which is not a genre I'm really familiar with. I felt like it was dystopian fiction meets literary fiction. The descriptions were superb. The flow of the language was song-like. The imagination involved was interesting, unique, and I found myself captivated by the new world the author created. I definitely want to go back and read the first book. The ending seemed to leave room for a 3rd book so I'm curious if that will be the case. Overall I give the book 4 stars. I'm glad I read it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “Our weaknesses are poised to become our greatest strengths. If we are patient and if we believe. The switch will often happen when we most need it to. Weakness … to strength.” ** Shawn Smucker offers a fantastic sequel to “The Day the Angels Fell” with his latest novel, “The Edge of Over There,” a continuation of the story of Abra and Samuel and the mission to destroy the Trees of Life growing on Earth. Told from the perspective of an elderly Samuel, the book actually spans eight years with the prologue beginning immediately after the first book ended, when Samuel and Abra defeated the dark angel and beast, killing the Tree of Life that grew near their home. Next we travel four years in the past to the story of Leo, whose young sister Ruby is deathly ill. When a mysterious doctor offers his father Amos a way to save Ruby, by taking her through the New Orleans grave of Marie Laveau, a portal to the Edge of Over There, Amos quickly takes her up on the offer. The only catch? He must also carry and plant a small tree over there — a tree whose leaves will heal Ruby. Eight years later (four years after Samuel and Abra’s conquest), Abra is sent on a solo mission to travel to the Edge of Over There and destroy the Tree of Life that is now growing there. What follows is a supernatural tale of light and darkness, and good versus evil, with evil beings and the evidence of their influence upon people. It is also a bit of a dystopian novel as society in the city that has developed in the Edge is about to undergo a war. Smucker also offers a different and unique perspective of what happens to us when we die, what would happen if we had eternal life before death occurs, and what heaven and hell would be like. The book also delves into themes like dealing with the seen versus the unseen; we are all here “for just such a time,” sometimes needing to be the one to step and fight the battle; there is grace in everything, even in the most negative of situations; and we all have the power of choice (as helper Mr. Henry tells Abra: “The small choices we make today and the next day and the next day, combined all together in a long, crooked path, can lead us here, or they can lead us there, and the difference between here and there can be a great distance after so many choices. But most choices seem small at the time. Inconsequential.”) Common imagery that appears again and again throughout “The Edge of Over There” includes light and darkness, and doors, locks and keys. Smucker, besides crafting an amazing story, writes in a deliciously descriptive manner, like describing the fields as “the cut cornstalks stand in their dry rows like beard stubble on a very old, very kind face.” This is an incredible sequel to “The Day the Angels Fell.” I would highly recommend not treating this as a standalone. And based on how this book ends, I’m guessing there could be another coming. I certainly hope so! Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
RuthieJonesTX More than 1 year ago
The Edge of Over There is filled with Christian allegory, the folly of humankind, greed and the desire for immortality, and strength to resist the fruits of the Tree of Life. I highly recommend reading Book 1 in this series, The Day the Angels Fell, because the story flows from book to book, with references to events and people that will only confuse and confound if you haven't started from the beginning, from when the angels fell. While Book 1 is about two children tasked with an impossible task, Book 2, The Edge of Over There, takes on a more dystopian vibe, with most of the action taking place in an entirely different world, accessed through a gateway at Marie Laveau's grave in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. in New Orleans. I recently visited this cemetery and this particular grave site, so I had a vivid picture in my mind as I read. The overall plot is quite melancholy, but don't be fooled into thinking the book is slow and sad. Time is of the essence for the characters in this other world, one looking for his sister, and the other looking for the Tree of Life. Without offering any spoilers, I can say that the story will provoke profound thought about what it means to embrace both life and death. What it means to be alive and not merely living. What it means to be afraid of what you know in your heart you must do but still find the strength and the courage to do it. The main characters, Abra, Leo, Ruby, Mr. Henry, Amos, Beatrice, all of them are unforgettable in that they show all sides of humanity in all its glory and its grotesqueness, because life is about good and evil intertwining and battling for a foothold. But oh how hard it can be sometimes to tell one from the other. Even though this story is classified as Young Adult, the plot and characters will appeal to all ages because we can see ourselves in these characters in every stage of our lives. Like the characters, we are subject to the pitfalls of avarice and the need to have it all. But we are also subject to the good virtues, such as honesty, determination, trust, and the strength to pursue good and not evil. Fine storytelling, excellent writing, and memorable characters will draw you in and keep you engaged until everything is said and the story comes full circle.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
The Edge Of Over There is a fantastic journey. A journey through 0 well 0 that is for you to read for yourself to find out exactly what their whole journey entails - I don't want to ruin it all for you. It is a sequel to "The Day The Angels Fell", but it can be read as a stand alone book. Some of the characters no longer exist but have left things behind for other characters to help them along with their journey. It has Voodoo, cemeteries, a bunch of things along that ling as well as The Tree Of Life - from Genesis in the Bible - How can you miss out on that. GOD is all throughout and you can't beat that can you? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to
JudyinHuntsvilleAL More than 1 year ago
This is not the usual genre’ of books I would choose to read, but I found this story so intriguing as we find an older Samuel with a visitor who tells Abra’s story. Many of you know, Sam and Abra had quite an adventure together and grew apart as friend sometimes do… It took me a few chapters to get a ‘feel’ for the characters [I had not read The Day the Angels Fell at the time] and feel comfortable reading this story of Abra’s next adventure. Once I sorted everyone out I couldn’t put it down as Abra’s story is full of mystery, magic, intrigue, and yes, even spiritual insights if you’re looking for them. Along the way she and her new found friends encounter good and evil on her quest to complete her purpose for where she is /was at the time. A favorite quote - “If we are patient and if we believe. The switch will often happen when we most need it to. Weakness – pause – to strength.”