The Gifts Of Happiness

Colours of Humanity

The Sequel to The Gifts of Life

About The Book

What are The Gifts Of Happiness?

In a fantasy world where everyone is divided by colour, a young adult, Perry, and his best friend, Faith, are coerced into a life-changing adventure to prevent the slow death of their friend. Unfortunately, their friend is melting and only one person knows how to save him.

Join Perry, a young man who can teleport, his teenage sister, Teala, Faith, the most powerful being in the world, Bailey, a talking panda, Zia, a big-mouthed princess, and a collection of others like a girl who can turn into a bird and a quick-tongued demigod, as the group journey to the continent’s capital in search of an alchemist.

Experience a new world with the introduction of the Orange City, Sporangia, and the Blue City, Drewmora, where our heroes collide with politicians, corrupt militaries, paper-wearing assassins, underwater buildings and an old man on a flying carpet.

Through plenty of stress, some bravery, laughter and a few lies, Perry and his friends confront many challenges while also figuring out how to be adults. It’s not an easy task, and when the puzzle finally comes together, an even greater threat is revealed, something that is going to divide the group’s everlasting friendship.

Awards 2020-2021 - The Gifts of Happiness

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What People Are Saying

Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views Kids

“The Gifts of Happiness” is Oliver Smuhar’s thrilling sequel to his hit novel, “The Gifts of Life.” In this follow up, readers find themselves back in Everbreen and the Town of Tents with Perry, Faith, Bailey, and the rest of the crew. Kyle, an old friend from Kelton Whide, has suddenly resurfaced after it is discovered that he has spent the last years since the attacks as a cobblestone troll-like creature. When the stones fall away to reveal the human beneath, a bigger problem is realized: without the stones to hold him together, Kyle will melt to death. In order to save their friend, the team travels to Central City to find a doctor to help him. Instead of finding just a cure for Kyle, however, the friends will encounter an assassin, death, and threats from the “Masked Ones.” Politics and the quest for power are once again putting the world, and the environment, at stake. As the waters rise, literally and figuratively, the gang will have to travel across the lands to Drewmora in order to discover the truth and save the world. But who will they lose along the way, and will the survivors be able to come back out again with any hope of finding happiness again?

“The Gifts of Happiness” is a pleasant enough read. The tone of the book has a pervading optimism and theme of love and acceptance which is soothing to the mind. The familiar characters bring readers right back into Smuhar’s creative world with little effort, and the unique details and living beings encountered within the pages keep the mind interested while the political intrigue and suspense keeps the reader on their toes enough to keep wanting to turn pages.

In particular, I enjoyed the themes of acceptance that were abundant throughout both “The Gifts of Life” and “The Gifts of Happiness.” In a world where differences seem to be magnified more negatively these days, it is nice to encounter literature, especially for young adults and teens, which emphasize the importance of judging people not by what they look like or where they come from, but who they are inside and what their character says about their values and passions. I particularly thought this was reinforced strongly in reference to the Evers, such as Bailey and Assonance. Bailey, specifically, encounters a lot of hardship because of his outward appearance and species. As a large panda bear, people are easily afraid when they first encounter him, and he finds a lot of obstacles in the form of inaccessible buildings and forms of transportation. I think that authors who manage to remind readers within their books that everyone deserves common courtesy and kindness are part of an important and select few groups of people who are truly trying to use their talents to make the world a less scary, more accepting place. This goes not only for the acceptance of others, but of ourselves as well. My favorite quote in the book, for example, was when Odd said to Bailey: “Sometimes we can’t choose who we are, we just end up being something we’ve always been.”

I do think that “The Gifts of Happiness” could have stood to go through one more round of editing. There were some grammatical and typing errors that, while minor, were frequent enough to be disruptive to the flow of the story. Additionally, there were also several instances of incorrect word usage. These moments were small, but they detracted just a little from the credibility of the book. As a writer myself, I know I have also been guilty of publishing too quickly and not having enough editing done. It’s something many authors, especially us younger folks, encounter simply because we are human. I know when I finish a project, I get so excited that I just want to get it out there. Over time, however, I am teaching myself to slow down just a notch and make sure I do the extra legwork to ensure that my final product truly is my best work. It is something that comes with experience, and after reading both “The Gifts of Life” and “The Gifts of Happiness” it is evident that Oliver Smuhar is continuing to grow as a writer, and that his work will only continue to get stronger as he continues in his writing career.

I recommend “The Gifts of Happiness” and Oliver Smuhar’s “Colours of Humanity” series to young, teenage readers in particular, who enjoy reading about unique, enjoyably dysfunctional characters and embarking on exciting journeys to new worlds.

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Tome Tender Book Blog

Political intrigue, truths hidden in plain sight for those who will look and darkness threatening to suck away any happiness to be found. Welcome back to Oliver Smuhar’s world with THE GIFTS OF HAPPINESS where young heroes fight an uphill battle against evil.

Magic users, talking animals, and a ragtag group determined to set their world right, one city at a time, if necessary. Heroes are made and if becoming a hero means returning happiness to the land, this group is willing to take any journey necessary. A fascinating adventure filled with so many subplots and stories, this young adult read is the perfect follow-up to THE GIFTS OF LIFE.

Oliver Smuhar has an imagination rich with color and descriptions, wonderfully endearing characters and best of all, it is told in a smooth and flowing way, even with all that is going on!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Oliver Smuhar! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Dianne (Tome Tender)

Review with Pine Enshrined Reviews

When Smuhar reached out about his second book I got all excited like a school girl learning her crush was in her class. I was slightly embarrassed by my own reactions but hey, when a good book crosses your path – my oh my.

The story starts with the teenagers from book one from Tent City. Yet, they are not in Tent city anymore but in the underwater city called Dremora. Of course there is the siblings, friends and a killer of a well known political figure continuing into the second book. The Gifts of Happiness have so many twist from who was behind the assignation, truths in plain sight and sadness breaking in the story. I was sitting on the edge of my bed a few times reading this and stayed up WAAY to late – No self control I swear.

Of course the fight scenes break out, bonds rip before your eyes and before you know it tears will form. Between the talking animals and magic users Im not sure how our young heros did it. Yet soon your heart with skip with happiness as the next twist or turn appears.

The Gifts of Life was still lingering in my head as The Gifts of Happiness appeared in my hands. Between the surreal world to the characters growing over challenges I loved every second of it. Smuhar writing enriching with every page, with every book it seems into more depth of color and descriptions as he grows with the characters. The words almost come off the page in a buttery fashion and I absolutely adored this book. With everything that happened in this next installment i’m so impressed with how Smuhar has written this.

Cudos to everyone on his team and to him for his growth. I loved it and I can’t wait to read the third book – I hope there is a third book.

Five stars guys.. Five fricken stars. I can’t.. Please hold as I reread this lovely book.

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You will be on the edge of your seat!

An epic adventure that takes the teenagers of 'The tent city' to the underwater city of Dremora. The siblings unite, along with their friends and set off on a hunt for the killer of a well known political figure. The discovery of who was involved with the assignation has so many twists and turns you will be on the edge of your seat. The battles that unfold and the bonds that are made will bring tears to your eyes and happiness to your heart. An amazing sequel to ‘The Gifts of Life’. I absolutely loved the characters and the surreal world that challenged each and every one of them. Looking forward to reading book three.