Book Review - ALMA
I just finished reading Alma by H. B. Moore. After reading Abinadi last year, I knew I would enjoy Alma as well, so I was excited to get my hands on it. And by about the middle of the book, I almost couldn't put it down.
Moore does an excellent job of putting in tons of cool details about the people, lifestyle, and customs of the ancient Nephites, while still writing in an easy-to-read storytelling style that keeps the pages turning fast.
I loved seeing what happens "next" for all of the fabulous characters from Abinadi. The action was great, and I felt the tension held pretty taut throughout the book. The story just came alive for me in so many ways. I even got out my Book of Mormon at one point to check it and see - did that really happen? And, come to find out, of course it did. It just never hit me the way it does in the book because I didn't care so much about the characters until Moore brought them to life for me.
The only complaint I have of the book is that Alma isn't in the forefront of the story most of the time. I'm sure it was partly due to the fact that there was so much going on during that time period with Amulon and King Noah and the Lamanites, and then you throw in the plot lines that involve Helam, Raquel, Maya, and other characters from Abinadi, and there just isn't a lot of billing space left for Alma's personal life to be developed in great detail. We got what we needed, though, and he came more to the forefront near the end of the book as well. And Alma was well developed in Abinadi, so I already knew the character and didn't need as much setup and such in this book.
It's not that I didn't enjoy the rest of the storylines, either. In fact, the opposite is the case. Everything from Abinadi flowed nicely into Alma as the story progressed. All the characters I cared about were back with new challenges and heartaches and triumphs.
I do recommend that you read Abinadi first, although I think this book could stand just fine on its own, too. You'd think with historical fiction, when we already know what happens, that there's no way to "spoil the ending," but you'd be wrong. Moore has developed many characters that aren't in the scriptures, based on the people of the time period, and there's no way to know what happens to them without reading the book.