I finished reading David J. West's Heroes of the Fallen and I enjoyed it. I've heard of plenty of Biblical fiction, but personally I am not familiar with LDS circles, so I'm not sure how much fiction has been spun from the Book of Mormon - but I can probably safely say no one has sprung a pulp, sword-&-sorcery styling spin on things like David has. The originality of this work is refreshing.
I will admit the first half feels a little over burdened. There are many characters and a lot of literal wanderings. But, safe to say by the end I was interested in everyone, and invested in the growing action and tension. David not only gives us heroes and anti-heroes of reflection (Amaron, Aaron & Zelph) but we also get some well-drawn stoic strongmen in Samson & Mormon, either of who could hold their own in a tavern brawl with, well, let's just say ... a barbarian from the north. ;)
The main villain, Akish-Antum and his red-capped Gadiantons are drawn with enough pulp tone that I thought of Fu Manchu and insidious plots where his agents could be anywhere, and they are.
There are a lot of characters, as I said, but they all have some level of dimension. They have reasons and desires, and like any people, some make the right choices because of those needs and some choose the wrong path.
There are lessons in this prose about honor, duty, and defiance; both in the face of villainy and in the face of weakness and apathy of the masses.
This novel, the first half of a much longer work, ends on a cliffhanger. That doesn't mean "this is the start of a series" cliffhanger. Oh no. This means "Sam alone, Frodo taken by the Enemy and things are getting bleak in 'The Two Towers'" cliffhanger.
The good thing is, the cliffhanger works. I want to know what happens. I want to witness some showdowns and battles.
I want more.
(if you want more, then click on the book cover to head over to Amazon and get a copy for yourself)