Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage

"Kaleo Steele is starting to cut seminary and hang out with some new “friends”; in fact, he’s not even sure what he believes anymore. When his seminary teacher finds him at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kaleo is in jeopardy of missing his high school team’s regional football game—a game where college scouts will be coming to see him play. But his seminary teacher realizes that much more than a game is at stake, and sends him on a soul-searching quest.
Guided by Ladan, a mysterious old blind man, Kaleo pushes through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon he is caught up in a battle between treasure seekers—led by Allaster Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates—and the young prophet Joseph Smith, who is sworn to keep them safe. In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide what to believe. Before it’s too late." (from Deseretbook.com)

Jeffrey Savage has once again written an action packed adventure that will appeal to both young and old. I especially loved the characters in this book. Kaleo is easy to relate to, as a young man teetering on the edge. He has his doubts about religion and isn't planning on serving a mission, but he hasn't done anything wrong. . .yet. I also liked the portrayal of Joseph Smith and his family. Savage shows them as real people who enjoyed life but were also busy trying to protect the plates and live their religion despite the animosity it created in their community. The historical details were interesting and woven in skillfully so they didn't overwhelm the story but provided the perfect backdrop for it. Kaleo overcomes his doubts about Joseph Smith, not because of heavy preaching, but by just watching Joseph interact with his family and others. My favorite character, in a creepy way, was Allaster Blackburn. Savage always writes great villains and this one was no exception. From the way he looked to the way he spoke, this character gave me chills.

This is a fun book and one that teenagers, as well as their parents, will enjoy. I'm looking forward to the next book.

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