Thursday, July 15, 2010
Book Review--Alma the Younger by Heather B. Moore
I was fortunate enough to be able to review "Alma the Younger" by Heather B. Moore. This is the third book in her prophets of the Book of Mormon series. I have been a fan of these books from the beginning, I love books that leave you wanting to read the scriptures. Here's a brief description of the book:
Alma the Younger, son of the aging high priest, once was taught by the wisdom of the prophets. Now, ensnared by the wiles of strong drink and harlots, he’s a bitter dissenter determined to overthrow the church and lead the people into new “freedoms.” But en route to one of his malicious missions with his royal henchmen, Alma is halted by an unexpected opponent: an angel of the Lord, a messenger of the very God he has sought to defame. What unfolds is a story of miraculous redemption, a story building on the poignant Book of Mormon account to show how even the vilest of sinners can be transformed by the Savior’s amazing grace.
Ok, this story really made me think about the scriptures and think about my impressions of Alma the Younger. At first I wasn't buying the author's view of him until about halfway through when I finally realized that she was making the character more believable. She showed the rationalizations that led Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah to become instigators of a rebellion against the church. When telling the conversion story, she used Alma's own words as he had told his son, it was a really powerful tool and I thought she did it well. However, the ending did fall a little flat for me. I'm not sure if it's just because I wanted more or because I felt the people that had been persecuted, forgave them a little too quickly. It just seemed like it needed just a little more time, or a little more story at the end. The portrayal of Alma the younger definately left me hungry to read those scriptures. I also found myself really trying to imagine what I thought Alma the younger was like before his conversion. I really did search the scriptures more and I searched within my own character to find the things and the rationalizations that could lead someone away like that. To me, that is the goal of reading fictionalized books based on the scriptures. Based on that aspect, it was very successful.
Let me also add that Heather was writing this book at the same time she was writing "Women of the Book of Mormon". How she was able to juggle writing this book and the non-fiction book as well is beyond me and she is definately one of my writing heroes. If you don't have a writing hero you should get one, I'll loan you mine, learn more about Heather HERE.