Blog, books, Interview, Reviews

‘The Gifts of Life’ by Oliver Smuhar Review with an Interview

What are The Gifts of Life?

Inside this book hides a magical world that is celebrating something special! It’s that time of year where every major city gathers for another Ascension Day. But this year it’s different.
Inside, awaiting and resting, are Perry’s powers. On this day, he, his friends and everyone else who lives and breathes, can use their powers through the ceremony of a godlike light. But this day is different.

Inside the White City there is an evil army. After the destruction of his home, Perry finds himself lost with his best friend, his sister and their servant, Bailey, an Ever who leads them to safety.
Outside, on their journey, the group is forced to use their powers. But as time fades, so does their humanity. Releasing their gifts of life to the world, only leads to mutation. And what was, may never be, but this time it’s different.
From the plains of the White City, Kelton Whide, to the forest of the Green City, Everbreen, nature takes its course. And where the Panda talks, a Masked Man mumbles and many white orchids turn to red, what is sacrificed inside this book leaves this magical world truely in awe!

Series: The Colours Of Humanity (Book 1)

Paperback: 540 pages

Publisher: Moutain Blue Publishing; The Colourful edition (July 21, 2018)

Genre: Fantasy | YA | Metaphysical | Fairy Tale

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

This is the first book to my own little magnum opus. However, unlike Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson, as my characters grow up from 16, to 19, to 23 and so on, so will I. I’m going to grow with my characters and my audience and as this happens my writing will improve and more rewarding. 

Oliver Smuhar email to The Tired Buyer

Oliver Smuhar is a young Australian author living in the Blue Mountains. He is currently completing his Higher School Certificate and is intending on studying journalism at university next year. In 2018 he published his first book ‘The Gifts of Life’ and aims to create a series as well as many other novels within the upcoming years. 

See what more Smuhar has to offer through his website!

How do you fight writers block?
I feel like writers block often happens when you put your characters in situations or moments of development that doesn’t fit the story or its overall themes. I rarely do find myself stuck with writers block, but if I’m having trouble, I’ll often write down the characters that are in the scene and outline their wants and goals. How do their motivations push them forward. Would they argue with what’s going on, be neutral or scared? If that doesn’t work, I sit back and really think: is this where I want the story to go? What’s the ending I want? Does this help achieve the theme of the story?

When you are not writing what are you doing?
I’m a university student, so I study, work, draw/paint the many picture and symbols in my books, read (often the genre I’m writing at the time), play games and hang with friends. Marketing also takes up a lot of my time. I want storytelling to be my full time career, so I spread the word of my book and hope people like it. If not, I take in feedback and write notes on how I can improve my next story.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It’s strange. I don’t think I want to be a writer necessarily, however, I do want to tell stories. I was around 11, in year 5, when I wrote a short story for my teacher and that’s when I realised how much I love being creative and telling epic stories—smaller, more down to earth stories are just as great though.

How long does it take you to write ‘The Gift of Life’?
9 months of writing and another 7 of editing. Then a year and a half after that, I spent 4 months making the maps and artworks for the book.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I aim to get around 1 – 4 hours of writing in a day, depending on my book drafts. I don’t like writing anymore than three stories at a time, so some of that time goes into editing as well!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
With my recent books, and a little for The Gifts of Life, I often found myself listening to philosophical lectures about life. Alan Watts is someone I would highly recommend; he’s a real eye opener on how important the little things are. Besides that, I go on a lot of bush walks, and just being in the moment, taking it all in often triggers something in my head for a story idea.

Which method do you use to determine who your target audience is?
I compare my books to others in the genre. The Gifts of Life is YA Fantasy because it’s not as dark or gruesome as Game of Thrones, however, it does touch darker underlying themes and situations. The original edition had swearing, however, I took that out to make it more friendly so younger readers can grow with me and the series. Recently I’ve noticed that reviews do help you find a niche within each genre as well.

What is the most important part of writing to you?
Helping others! I’m not very strong or smart, but I can write an amazing story with themes and morals and hopefully one day, someone can read what I write to escape whatever’s going on, or maybe what I’ve written opens their eyes on something. I think my aim as a storyteller overall, is to help people.

The Gifts of LifeThe Gifts of Life by Oliver Smuhar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Received by Smuhar in exchange for a honest review. A indepth look can be found at

The Gifts of Life is Smuhars first peak into writing and this one is quite the tale. How Smuhar creats the world around you is stunning and the philosophical tibits on life gets you REALLY thinking. What really helps draw you in is the descriptive writting which is over done and gets you knowing where the characters are in this story. They all just draw you in and you want to keep going.. till you finish the book.

We are introduced to Perry — Main character– with Faith, his sister, and their friends as they are on their own just trying to survive in this breath taking world Smuhar created. Against all odds, obstacles included, they mature before our eyes while getting acquainted wit their powers. We see them find their way and navigate through danger as ell. Every time they use their powers they are evolving and morphing. To use their power has them lose something that we take for granted. Something we need. Something we will miss. At one point this group, takes a stand and fights back. When they do we see how much danger everyone is in and not just these kids but EVERYONE.

Told from multiple view points and at times it is hard to distinguish whose view we are seeing it from. Smuhar is pretty clean as we see loyalty and a little romance with characters maturing and so does Smuhar’s writing as things progress. A great story on survival, maturing, finding oneself and learning who to let go of prejudices and learn to work together to find freedom, peace and strength.

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