Synopsis from Goodreads…”Busted. Football star Kaleo Steele is caught under the high school bleachers with the wrong group of friends. Even worse, he’s caught by his seminary teacher, Brother Mortensen. If Kaleo gets turned in, he’ll be in jeopardy of missing the regional championship game. It doesn’t help that Kaleo has been cutting seminary class. But what’s the point? Mumbo jumbo stories about angels and gold plates and Joseph Smith? Brother Mortensen decides Kaleo is ready for an extraordinary “field trip” – one that could alter the course of his life and his heart.
Reluctantly, Kaleo meets with Ladan – a mysterious old blind man – and unknowingly begins a quest through time, landing in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon, Kaleo and a nineteenth-century girl named Jennie are caught up in a battle between treasure seekers – led by Alistair Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates – and the young Joseph Smith, who has 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 for himself what to believe and who to trust. Before it’s too late.”
Every once in a while a book takes me completely by surprise and I close the pages with a smile on my face. The Fourth Nephite Series is one I now have my eye on, awaiting book two. Here are a few of the many reasons I loved the first book, The Fourth Nephite:
1) The cover. The top half of the front page is gold metallic paper with rusty holes, resembling golden plates. The rest of the cover illustration fits the plot within perfectly.
2) The author. I have met Jeffrey and his wife and two book signings and decided it was time to read his books. They are wonderful people who sit together at their booths and engage fans.
3) The scenes are places I’m familiar with. It’s fun to hear of tunnels beneath Salt Lake City and travel back in time to the thick woods of Palmyra where we visited as a youth and an adult.
4) The message is positive and interesting for both teenagers and adults. Common questions and doubts about the early history of the Mormon church are answered through Kaleo’s adventures. He learns that knowledge and faith must work together as a key.
5) The author’s notes were my favorite part of The Fourth Nephite. I love that Jeff uses real historical facts and names in his scenes. I wish he would have written more. When Joseph Smith speaks his own story to Kaleo, end notes or footnotes would be a useful reference for teens or others not familiar with his quoted words.
6) The writing mixes fantasy with reality in a tasteful way. I am one who usually runs far far away from series like this. But I was drawn in to Jeffrey’s writing, his characters and the quest of Kaleo. I will be reading the entire series and one day when my children are a little older we’ll read it together.
7) The journalistic pages written by Kaleo at the beginning of each chapter bring us back to the present thoughts of an every day average teenager and show the changes in his personality as he learns the truth for himself.
Well done Jeffrey Savage! I enjoyed his writing so much I picked up the first book in another one of Jeff’s other series called “Far World.” Learn more about it here and The Fourth Nephite Series here.
To enter to win your own copy of Far World: Water Keep another title by J. Scott Savage, simply comment below. Giveaway Ends December 10, 2010.