Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Review: The Star Prophecy by Joan Sowards

You are crazy. No Nephite has ever returned.

Most people laugh when they hear of Enoch's dream of returning to Jerusalem to find the infant Messiah. Even Enoch's future father-in-law mocks him when he asks for a postponement of his long-awaited wedding to his beloved Rebekah. A few take Enoch seriously - the shipbuilder Omnihah, Enoch's teacher David, and the prophet Nephi.

Five years before, a Lamanite named Samuel had stood on the wall of Zarahemla and prophesied that "five years more cometh" and the Christ would be born in Jerusalem. Time is running out! Enoch knows he must set sail across the great waters in search of his dream - to see the face of the Messiah.

The Star Prophecy is a surprising story of courage and love, faith and foritude. Sail with Enoch and his friends across the sea through hardship and adventure in search of the Christ child.

When I first started reading The Star Prophecy, I had no idea what it was about. I hadn't read the backliner or looked it up online ... I know, I know - very unusual for me. I generally do some checking and find out what I'm getting into when I agree to do a review.  But not this time, for whatever reason.  I found myself completely swept away by the premise.  What if someone from the New World did try to return to Jerusalem?  What obstacles would they face?  How would they know where to go?  How would they finance their journey, what kind of boat would they need - would it even be possible?  Joan Sowards answered all these questions and wove them together masterfully.

I'm not an expert on these things, so I can't say if it would or would not be possible to make a trip of this kind.  But this book made it all seem very plausible.  I appreciated the research that must have gone into this undertaking, the outlining and planning that went into the timeline and making all the events fit how they needed to in order to coordinate with both the Bible story and the Book of Mormon account.  It was truly well done.

If I were to point out one thing, I did wish that just a little bit more time had been spent in Jerusalem.  I understood the need to condense that visit - they were in danger, and had to flee for their lives - but I wished we could have stayed there for a few more pages.  It was the climax, the closure to their year of journeying and strife, and it seemed over far too soon.  But really, that's my only gripe about this very intriguing and unique story.  

While the plotline does revolve around Christ's birth, there's no need to feel as though this is just a Christmas story.  It can be read and enjoyed at any time of year, and I very much recommend it to anyone who wants an adventure, a romance, or a historical novel that asks the question, "What if?"

Stay tuned for my interview with author Joan Sowards.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my review, but this did not influence my opinion. 


Kellie said...

Very interesting idea. I'll have to check it out.

Steve Westover said...

Nice review Tristi. I too enjoyed this book. Well done Joan!

RaShelle said...

Sounds like an enjoyable, interesting read. Thanks, Tristi and Joan. =D

Joan Sowards said...

Thank you for the great review of The Star Prophecy!

Mary L Walling said...

Another book I will have to add to my "to be read list".

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