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Book review: 'The Chief Captain' first in Book of Mormon trilogy

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, June 24 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"THE CHIEF CAPTAIN, Volume 1: Genesis," by Coral V. Hicks, Coral Publishing Company, $14.95, 221 pages (f) (ages 9-12)

“The Chief Captain, Volume 1: Genesis” by Coral V. Hicks is an adventure based on the life of Mormon, one of the last great prophets of the Book of Mormon.

The story begins when Mormon is about 10 years old. His father, also named Mormon, is a teacher at the Zarahemla Military Academy and the chief military adviser to Chief Judge Laconius.

After his mother dies giving birth to a stillborn child, Mormon — or Moro, as he is called in this novel — makes the dangerous journey with his father from Zarahemla to Teomon in order to attend school at the center of learning run by Ammoron, the prophet.

When his father is ultimately summoned back to Zarahemla, Moro determines to win a spot in the prestigious Zarahemla Military Academy. Wanting to win on his own merits and not as the son of the Chief Captain Mormon, he wins a spot using a pseudonym.

There is only one problem: He has not told his father that he is studying in the military academy. Captain Mormon is never home long enough for them to have a conversation. And he is not sure his father will be pleased.

Hicks has done her research and describes what life might have been like in the last days of the great Nephite civilization.

“I just had a feeling it needed to be written,” Hicks said in a recent interview. She said the main message of her writing is that “good people do good things, even though bad things happen to them.”

Overall, the story is interesting and full of action — with a unique magic of its own. It is full of miracles based on faith and hard work. A self-published book, "Genesis” contains a few misspellings and word problems, but nothing major that gets in the way of the story.

"Genesis,” the author's first novel, is the first in a trilogy on Mormon's life. The second book is scheduled for publication sometime this fall.

A good read for any age, the book would especially appeal to 9- to 12-year-old boys.

Hicks, a grandmother of 47 grandchildren, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lives in Pleasant Grove. "Genesis” is available at the Brigham Young University Bookstore.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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