Monday, July 27, 2009
Review of H. B. Moore's Forthcoming Book, Alma
Heather B. Moore has done it again! As I finished reading a preview copy of her latest novel, Alma, I groaned. The book was so good I wanted to keep reading for another few hundred pages – and that was after soaking up some three hundred already.
I admire the way Heather brings scripture alive in her books, and adds a third dimension to familiar stories. Alma is no exception. Characters I met and loved in Abinidi grow and mature in Alma as they endure trials and afflictions that test the strongest faith to its limits. It’s heart breaking to witness the burdens these people carry, yet satisfying to see how prayers are answered and right prevails.
Even though I’m familiar with Alma’s story in the Book of Mormon, reading about him in Heather's fiction—which maintains scriptural accuracy, by the way—is like seeing everything open up in real time. Heather’s writing is masterful. Her descriptive passages employ all the senses, taking me into the heart of the story, letting me see, feel, hear, and smell my surroundings as though I was actually there in ancient lands.
The love stories weaving through Alma are so believable and touching, that from now on I know I’ll have a hard time putting them into the “fiction, not fact” compartment of my brain. I certainly have a much greater appreciation for Alma, the great warrior prophet, thanks to Heather’s book.
In my personal Book of Mormon daily read, at the same time as I finished Alma, I reached the Mosiah chapter seventeen account where Alma is writing up Abinadi’s words in secret after being hounded out of the city. What a happy coincidence that was. My scriptural Alma suddenly became so vivid I wanted to tell him not to worry, millions would one day read the things he was writing, and to keep up the great work as it was vital information for future generations.
I give Alma by H. B. Moore ten out of ten, and am already looking forward to her next work, Alma the Younger.
Below are a few of the many glowing endorsements for Alma, which comes out September 2009.
“Alma has it all: vibrant characters, danger, spiritual challenges, and bittersweet joy. Moore has created an epic tale that’s simply impossible to put down.”—Jason F. Wright, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Wednesday Letters
“H.B. Moore brings the remarkable characters to life through well-researched detail, a hard-to-put-down storyline, and scripturally accurate counsel that reflects the author’s own deep understanding of the scriptures. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and the way in which the books cause you to ponder the scriptural accounts.” –Al Rounds, Artist
“In a pattern that has become warmly familiar, H. B. Moore crafts a page-turning yet well-researched story of the challenges that a Book of Mormon personality faces when trying to lead a colony of believers to safety, not once but twice. Alma the Elder, who begins his life in debauchery, becomes the respected adviser to a king and the leader of his church, and more. On a personal level, this man becomes the model for all of us who seek to arrest a wasted life and turn it into something grand and meaningful.” -S. Kent Brown, emeritus professor of ancient scripture, BYU