Shoemaker's book represents a crucial culmination and new bench mark in the study of the ancient Dormition/Assumption traditions for myriad reasons.
For one, Shoemaker quite convincingly exposes and refutes some of the fundamental flaws of very noble prior studies on this issue: Cothenet; Mimouni; Jugie; etc. Shoemaker also brings the convincing (yet less cohesive) works of Wenger and van Esbroeck to fruition by creating a work that effectively delineates and characterizes the diverse origins of the ancient Christian traditions about Mary's fate in one pertinent volume.
As the author himself notes in the preface (and reiterates throughout the book), he felt compelled to write a volume establishing these origins with some reasonable measure of clarity before tackling his chief goal: a work exploring the cultural and social impact of these traditions in late antiquity, particularly for Byzantine Christians. It is imperative that he finish this work.
The book is quite user-friendly to scholarly readers, even those not terribly familiar with the topic; Shoemaker's wise inclusion of several translations of the early narratives helps facilitate this