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, like the golden plates and the rest of the cover illustration is perfect.
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, endnotes 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 at the beginning of each chapter by main hero Kaleo 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 as a first hand witness.
Well done Jeffrey Savage!