I wasn’t planning to post a blog review on The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker.
But then I read it.
Last night I stayed up way too late with Abra looking for the tree of life. This morning I was late for an appointment because I was stuck in a tunnel with Leo. This afternoon I abandoned all hope of getting work done because I needed to know if the door got sealed shut.
And then I sat and wailed, “Why isn’t there a sequel already?!”
I finally managed to get some work done this afternoon, but each time I took a break I reached for the book before remembering I had finished it. There was no more.
Abra (and her friend Sam) first came to life when Shawn Smucker wrote The Days the Angels Fell. I’m not into fantasy lit or even mystery, but I knew Shawn and I knew he had a way with words. So I took the plunge and was carried away. The story was suspenseful and beautifully written and thought provoking.
It revolved around an interesting question, “Could death be a gift?” It might seem an odd question on which to pin a young adult fantasy. But kids confront death in their lives, and it might not be bad for them to think about what death means. Actually it might not be bad for adults to think about what death means.
In The Edge of Over There, Abra must once again deal with forces of good and evil. She travels to New Orleans, where she meets Leo, and then is given a dark and difficult mission. Again the book leads us to think about why we avoid death at all costs. It makes you consider if you really would want to know what your future holds.
But really, it’s simply a great read. It had been a couple of years since I’d read the first book and so I found the first few chapters a bit confusing. After a quick refresher in the last chapters of The Day the Angels Fell, I sailed on into The Edge of Over There and never let go.
Here are a few well-crafted phrases that make me appreciate Shawn’s writing:
“At night, a hospital holds its breath.”
“He took a deep breath and was amazed at how incredible the air smelled, as if it was unused, fresh, unlike the stale air back home that had been breathed in by people and machines and exhaled over and over again for thousands of years.”
“Darkness is nothing but fear, and fear is nothing if you go straight through it.”
Either way, just be sure you block out some vacation days to read them, because you won’t be able to put them down.