This book is an exciting and interesting exploration of the followers and enemies of Alma and how they might have been involved in and affected by what happened. Not only do they struggle to survive, but the characters love and mourn and laugh and misunderstand and grow together, or apart, as the case may be. [Heather] Moore is true to what is known about that time and place, and this book offers worthy speculations of what surrounded those events. — Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Association of Mormon Letters
As always, Moore takes familiar Book of Mormon characters and gives them thoughts, feelings, and personalities. Of course, much literary license has been taken in this regard, but Moore never intended these books to be mistaken for scripture or used in scripture's place. Instead, these books are meant to help us visualize as we read our scriptures, to understand that these men and women of God were real people, not just marks on a page, and to help us internalize and personalize the scriptures for our own benefit. — Trisit Pinkston, Book Reviewer
King Noah is thundering with rage. The former high priest Alma has vanished from the city of Nephi, and every night more of his believers manage to escape. The king blames Amulon and threatens certain punishment unless Amulon recaptures Alma — a seemingly impossible task. But Amulon has a plan. An equally valuable prisoner is at his fingertips: Noah’s wife, Maia, whose newfound faith means bitter humiliation for the king and an opportunity for Amulon to seize power.
Amulon’s disavowed daughter Raquel has plans of her own. Despite her grief, she is determined to begin a new life in the colony Alma and his followers are building. When Lamanites plunder and burn her settlement, Raquel and her young son are forced to flee to the waters of Mormon.
Drama and danger escalate as Alma the Elder organizes the Lord’s Church and baptizes its members, bringing an outpouring of divine grace and power. But even as they rejoice, the believers have profound and perilous trials to face, from the outward threat of Amulon’s treachery to the inward threat of pride and disobedience. With poignant emotion, gripping suspense, and rich inspiration, this new epic story from H.B. Moore vividly brings the Book of Mormon to life.
By Danyelle, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I was so excited when Alma came out and couldn't wait to get my hands on it! This is once again, another incredible story where H.B. Moore brings the people from the scriptures to life. I've been telling all of my friends about her books. Thanks for offering such incredible books that help me to understand the scripture stories better.
By Cheri, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Just to let you know, I purposely chose to read Alma cold--meaning I have never read any of H.B. Moore's books before and did not read Abinadi before reading Alma. I also haven't looked at any of the other blog reviews of Alma so I wouldn't have anyone else's opinions to mix with my own.
Having said that, I'll tell you I picked up the book Saturday evening and had it read by Sunday night. I've actually never read any historical novels based on the events of the Book of Mormon before, so this was a new experience for me as a reader. I found Alma to be an engaging read without being overly complex. The characters had me rooting for them right away, and even though the author gives the reader insight into four different character's thoughts and feelings, I didn't find this confusing.
I'm not a scriptorian by any means, but in reading Alma I did recall things I had read in the Book of Mormon and I personally liked being able to link the two. It's clear the author did extensive research of the time period and what resources were available to people back then. That kind of attention to detail may seem less significant, but if a weapon or type of food is out of place in the story, it would jump out at the reader and distract them from the point of the book.
I would recommend Alma to anyone who likes historical fiction or wants to know more about life in ancient times. It's really a great book and I'm anxious to read my copy of Abinadi now, as well as Alma the Younger when it's released next year. 5 stars.
By Teri, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Alma by H.B. Moore
As this was my first H.B Moore Book of Mormon novel, I was sort've hesitant to read it, but the up close and personal life of Alma and his family really blew me away, as the story reads like what our Country is going through now. From reading Alma, I was able to learn a few little tidbits about the area and culture of thse Nephites and the Lamanites.
As the story begins, we see Alma leaving King Noah's Court after Alma has repented an d changed his ways. Abinadi has recently been killed and King Noah is also killed, leaving Limhi as king. Alma, Helam, Abinadi's brother, and Raquel,widow of Abinadi, leave Nephi to find a place to live in peace, to be able to worship how they may. Maia, widow of King Noah, is kidnapped with some Lamanite women and winds up being a slave to the new King Amulon, a former High Priest in King Noah's court and former friend of Alma. Maia has help from The Lord in keeping from being King Amulon's 2nd wife. Alma has feelings for Maia and so does Helam for Abinadi's widow.
When Amulon and Korihor band together to take over the City of Helam, it takes all the courage that Alma has to keep from keeping his people safe. When he receives assurance from God that the Nephites will be saved, he feels calm and waits until The Lord says it's time to leave The City of Helam.
If you want an up close and personal look at this wonderful man and prophet who comprises a third of The Book of Mormon, this awesome historical novel is it. My three favorite Book of Mormon people are Nephi, Alma the Elder and Younger and Moroni.
Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.
Pub. Date: September 2009
By Laura, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Years ago I read an observation of Marjorie Hinckley’s that went something like this: “Poor, Mrs. Moroni . . .” It impacted me deeply because I had never before given a thought to the anonymous wife of brave Captain Moroni, let alone to the sacrifices she unquestionably must have made as she endured her husband’s years of military service.
The scriptures are filled with people and events recorded with brief mentions that slide under our spiritual-radar, failing to entice us to study further. But there is hope, and help.
Lifting Book of Mormon characters from the typed page and breathing life into them is two-time Whitney Award-winning author, H.B. Moore’s, forte. ALMA, her current novel, extracted from the pages of the Book of Mormon, picks up where ABINADI, her previous Whitney-winning novel, leaves off, vividly bringing Alma’s world to life—illuminating the settings, stories, sacrifices and support characters essential to understanding this remarkable prophet-leader and missionary, and thereby helping readers place the beautiful lessons and principles from the Book of Mormon into dazzling context.
There are, of course, aspects of the stories that are, by necessity, speculative. But Moore’s treatment of Alma’s story exhausts the resources obtainable from the scriptural account, and then she fleshes out the story using research gleaned from noteworthy LDS religious scholars—experts on Meso-American and Hebrew cultures—who also lend their endorsement to her work. Her research is sound, her informational leaps are plausible, and the resulting stories are compelling as the reader is drawn into the pivotal scenes of Alma’s life. They experience his profound regret over his years as a priest in King Noah’s court, his sorrow and guilt over Abinadi’s martyrdom, his deep humility as he begins his mission, and his self-sacrificing commitment to protect the faithful who risk everything to follow the teachings of Christ Abinadi gave his life to impart.
Women will be particularly drawn to the tender family element that runs through the book, but all gospel scholars should feel increasingly connected to Alma and his band of believers who risked death to follow the doctrine of Christ. I have read the account of the baptisms Alma performed at the Waters of Mormon, as recorded in Mosiah 18, many times, but those verses were never more personal to me than they were after reading and pondering Moore’s description of the terror that threatened the believers as they fled the Land of Nephi seeking baptism at Alma’s hands. Suddenly, Alma’s words ring with compassion over the suffering and sacrifice of these new converts, and for me, they now echo that same compassion to everyone who has sacrificed for, or served to bring to pass, the gospel of Christ.
Moore’s description of the suffering and deliverance of Alma’s followers under the despot Amulon’s rule was another story that leapt off the pages for me, becoming more personal and intimate through Moore’s delicate storytelling. No longer mere characters on a page, we are more able to identify with them, and therefore their trials and deliverance carries renewed power and hope for those who suffer in every age.
H.B. Moore’s ALMA does not replace pure scripture study; Moore would be the first to say that. And first-time readers of the Book of Mormon may be wise to avoid confusion by identifying scriptural characters from the fictional ones before jumping in. But reading ALMA will enhance its readers’ connection to, and appreciation for, the people whose accounts make up the Book of Mormon, and teachers and parents will find it an outstanding springboard for discussions on the characteristics of disciples of Christ.
ALMA’s three-dimensional glimpse into the lives of this great prophet and his followers is a book I recommend to Book of Mormon students of every age.
By G.G. , Submitted on 2015-02-25
H.B. Moore takes the admonition to liken the scriptures to ourselves seriously. Her writings enable us to do the same. Her book, Alma, is well-written, with her own voice so unobtrusive that you will feel like you have lived through one of my favorite slices of the Book of Mormon. You can feel, hear, see and taste what life was like in Central America over two millennia ago. I have had a tough time returning. I grew to love her fictional characters, Maia (a former wife of King Noah who had embraced the teachings of the gospel), Raquel (the widow of Abinadi), and Helam (Abinadi’s brother) nearly as much as I love Alma. And Amulon! He is the snake of all snakes! Moore is careful to make him human, but as he grows in wickedness, we can see what an oily character he must have been.
It would be hard to find a story from that era that is so meticulously researched, and yet the research is so well integrated into the story that it doesn’t stand out as it would in a lesser writer’s hands. The story of Alma the Elder, when broken down into its individual elements and challenges, is really quite suspenseful. Moore didn’t have to speculate much, as she told the tale of the egregious King Noah, his flight into the wilderness and his death by fire. The story of the capture of the Lamanite women by the priests of Noah was told in an ingenious manner with a clever twist.. Amulon’s hatred of Alma and the believers was the bow string of the story, being drawn tighter and tighter with every chapter. When the people of Alma eventually escape, and the arrow cannot be fired, the reader feels the matchless power of the God of the Universe and a profound sense of relief. And, since you have been in Amulon’s head, you can sense what a hideous feeling of defeat he was going to have as soon as he wakes up from his divinely instituted nap!
Moore’s characterizations are stellar, and the way she has woven her story around the well-know scriptural facts is brilliant. She has created women for her heroes who match them in strength and endurance of hardship. As their faith is tested and they grow in their convictions, it is easy to put yourself in their shoes, experiencing what they are enduring, and learning what they are learning. Their love stories tenderly touch the heart.
I recommend this book, Alma, for both men and women. It will make the life and times of this remarkable prophet live in your heart, and you won’t want it to end.
By Gary, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Heather's story telling is getting better, and this is a good story. However I'm afraid that I get to caught up in the less than mature prose of this writer.
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I am not one that usually reads novels based on scripture for two reasons: first, many times the stories are not accurate and second, I tend to internalize the story and it mixes up in my daily scripture reading.
But Heather's books are different. Heather's writing is descriptive and accurate which keeps me IN the story. I can almost see, touch and smell the areas where the story takes place. She brings the scriptures alive in very readable way.
Heather is good at making her readers root for the good guys and boo the bad guys. A few story lines made me angry and wonder how things could get better. Other story lines gave me hope.
I see Alma different in my studies now and feel I have internalized him possibly in the way he really was 'way back then'. I've hopefully come to see Book of Mormon heroes as real, third dimensional people, thanks to Heathers writing!
By Anne, Submitted on 2015-02-25
As I finished reading Heather B. Moore's 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, adding a third dimension to familiar stories. "Alma" is no exception. Characters I met and loved in "Abinadi" 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 carried, 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 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 story that weaves through "Alma" is so believable and touching, that from now on I know I’ll have a hard time putting it 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."