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Blend The Twilight Zone with Dante’s Inferno plus the hero’s journey and you will get the vibe of Shawn Smucker’s latest, These Nameless Things.

In this spell-binding page-turner of a metaphysical fantasy, protagonist Dan has escaped from the mountain now framed in his window, the mountain where evil lives. His memory is fractured, but he knows this: his brother—his twin—returned there and needs rescue.

Here in the shadow of the terrible, Dan lives with a dwindling number of acquaintances, including Mary, who have incomplete memories too. All seem to be waiting—for what? They’re unsure.

Now that Mary’s leaving, there’s even fewer. And why, by the way, does she say what she does about Dan’s brother?

Trouble unsettles their placid existence. Memories start to return—and they’re not pleasant. A dark-haired woman comes from the mountain; a light-haired teen comes from the plains.

Novelist and ghost writer Shawn Smucker’s on fire. These Nameless Things is newly out after last year’s success with Light from Distant Stars, winner of the Christianity Today Book Award—Fiction. His earlier YA novel, The Day the Angels Fell, also won the Christianity Today Book Award and was nominated for a Christy Award.

Smucker is a clever wordsmith. His prose is fresh and a little fearless. His ideas? Mind blowing.

Andi Cumbo-Floyd’s blurb on the back cover gives me another clue: “Beauty and melancholy and hope and weight woven together.” Yes, these words name this read for me. I clutched this novel and could not put it down. It returned me, for a weekend at least, to the teen I had been on the couch with her nose in a very good book. (Revell)

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