Ammon by Heather B. Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was immediately drawn into H.B. Moore’s story “Ammon”, based on the scriptural account of Ammon in the Book of Mormon. The action, excitement and humor of the opening chapter drew me in instantly.
Ammon and his three brothers were very rebellious, and were doing all they could to drive people away from the church of their father Mosiah, the King of Zarahemla. They were brought to repentance after an angel rebuked them, and they were determined to spread the Gospel to the Lamanites, the enemy of the Nephites. They renounced their birthright, and left their homeland to preach to the Lamanites.
“Ammon” starts as the brothers and two others are traveling in the wilderness at the beginning of their mission. They split up, in hopes that they will come across as less of a threat to the Lamanites, and will be able to teach more people. The story follows Ammon’s journey to the Land of Ishmael where King Lamoni reigns.
I love the author’s talent at bringing scriptural figures to life. Ammon is a popular character in the Book of Mormon, mostly known for his defeat of rebel Lamanites that were trying to scatter King Lamoni’s sheep. Ammon is the “arm guy”. It was intriguing to have his possible feelings brought out. I liked thinking of him as more than just a great missionary and defender of the king’s flocks.
I was somewhat torn with the romance between Ammon and Elena. Romance is definitely not a focus in the scriptures, but I love a good romance, and it added a lot to Ammon’s character to see this side of him.
At the same time, I wondered how likely it was that Ammon would have been in a position to be able to have a relationship. These concerns were addressed in the book, and I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the story as much without the romance element. But, it still left me conflicted.
It appeared that there was a lot of research behind this book, and it was well used. I had fun doing a small bit of “research” myself to look up pictures of the tapirs and quetzals that were referred to in the book.
I definitely recommend “Ammon”. Add it to your summer reading list. Maybe you’ll also be inspired to re-read the actual account in The Book of Mormon.
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author.