These Nameless Things is my first novel by Shawn Smucker. I was not sure what to expect when I opened its pages so I was not prepared for the mysterious journey the words of the author carried me. His prose is lush and descriptive with a brooding atmosphere. Most of the time I felt like I was wandering in the dark, not certain what was actually happening. For every question that was answered, I had several more for which I wanted answers.

This tale is about a small group of people who have escaped a tormented captivity from “the moutain”. Yet these same people have elected to live almost in sight of their former prison in a sort of limbo in which they are waiting. Dan, the main character, knows he is waiting for his brother who was left behind but is uncertain why the others have not headed east. As the story progresses, the reader does learn how the seemingly unrelated characters are actually connected.

I am still not sure what I really think about this book. It definitely asks questions that we need to ask ourselves. Ultimately it is an allegory that illustrates the choices we make and their consequences, heaven and hell, and ultimately a story about forgiveness, sacrifice, and hope.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing–his escape meant leaving his brother behind.

With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother’s escape. But just as long-forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma:

How far will he go to save the people he loves?

Read an excerpt HERE.


Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at