David West's debut book this weekend while on a road trip with my husband. For his setting, David has chosen a unique, interesting, yet familiar period of time: aproximately 400 A.D., western hemisphere. Those of you familiar with the Book of Mormon know that this is the time when the Nephite nation gets wiped off the earth. That is basically the premise of the story, and David does an excellent job of showing the wickedness of the Nephites and their prideful manner that makes them think they are invincible from the attacks of the Lamanites.
He begins the story with a prologue. I'm not usually a prologue fan, but he has done this one very well, capturing the reader's attention and drawing them in. The prologue introduces a character named Amaron, who I immediately bonded with. Amaron was a large, strong, almost invincable Nephite solider who has chosen the path of righteousness and is there to defend Moroni so he can flee with the records and take them safely away from the last battle. At the end of the prologue I envision that I was going to see the events that led up to the destruction of the Nephites through Amaron's eyes.
Unfortuantely, I was only allowed into Amaron's eyes on periodic occasions. The author chose to write this story through numerous points of view. Some readers really enjoy that type of story. Being a writer and reader of Y.A. I tend to shy away from the use of multiple POVs. I find that they tend to compete with the reader's finite emphathy, preventing the reader from falling in love with the characters. I found myself doing this in Heroes of the Fallen. When a scene came on the page with Amaron, my eyes perked up and my interest intensified. The same was true with some of his other good characters. But I found that there were too many characters, especially "bad guys" to keep track of, and too little time to connect with them. I also found that there were POV shifts within a scene, that left me distracted.
However, this is the style of writing that I noticed Gerald Lund uses, and apparantly a lot of readers gobble it up. So if you like Gerald Lund, and you like action, battles, and great historic detail, you will like David West's new book, Heroes of the Fallen.