Moore's book begins as the newly converted Ammon and his brothers leave each other to go preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a wild and ferocious people in a neighboring kingdom. The action of the story recounts Ammon's experiences.
Moore had a delicate task. She had to weave together the well-known episodes that every Mormon child knows. At the same time, the account doesn't give enough information for a complete narrative. Consequently, she had to use her imagination to fill in the gaps in a credible way. It seems to me that it would be much easier to either write about someone you create from scratch or about some historical figure where there are enough data to create a narrative. Moore's characters essentially give her the worst of both worlds--she can't let her imagination have completely free reign, but she has to do a lot of imagining.
This is a task she does deftly. Ammon is a well-imagined, well-crafted book. She managed to keep the tension up with some plot twists that grabbed my attention. Even more admirably, she created a hero who is virtuous and good without being one-dimensional or shallow. I found the character Ammon likeable and well-fleshed out, and I believed him as a human. Moore also did an excellent job creating a believable milieu for her book. She has clearly done a great deal of research on Meso-America and was able to include enough historical, cultural, and geographical details to provide texture to the story without becoming pedantic.
Ammon is an enjoyable read by a skillful author who knows her craft. I look forward to reading more of Heather's work.
Watch the book trailer here.