A couple of weeks ago the webmaster of MormonReads.com reached out to me. After a bit of personal chitchat, he said, “I’m in the process of reviewing your Hero Doctrine book for the Mormon Reads website and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.” Then he told me about his website’s Instagram account, where he posts excerpts from books he’s reading. I visited there and discovered a dozen highlighted excerpts from my book. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
At the time—and now with the contrast of his recent posting of his review against the rather mixed Deseret News review—it felt like the end of that episode of Doctor Who, “Vincent and the Doctor,” where the Doctor takes Van Gogh, who lived a tortured life and received great critical scorn, to the future, where he learns his works are celebrated and adored.
Okay, so maybe that’s a great exaggeration of my experience. But that’s the closest I can come to describing it. Someone noticed the book! Someone got it! I wouldn’t be completely passed over and forgotten after all!
It made all those years work worth it.
I continued to highlight as I went, but soon found that I couldn’t possibly share all of the things I was highlighting with our social media following. On our Instagram page we typically share two highlights each day from what we are reading. At the pace I was highlighting, it would take me months to share all of the things I found deeply insightful. I quickly realized I had to narrow my highlights down just to the highest level of “thought-provoking” passages. In doing so, I still found myself sharing about five times more from this book than I do with most other books.
The reviewer was also perceptive enough to note the target age demographic. Hearing the book’s premise—tying Batman and Harry Potter the gospel—you could easily assume it’s for youth. And maybe sales would have been better if it was. But here’s what the review notes:
I first thought that the audience for this book would probably be teenagers and young adult because of the “superhero” tie, but after reading it I changed my mind. A teenager would still find this book to be enjoyable, but I think the audience that would most connect with it would be adults (age 21 all the way to Methuselah age) because of its ability to make me think so deeply on gospel topics.
It’s not that it’s NOT for youth, but I wrote it with endowed members, especially millennials in their 20s or even 30s, in mind. Really, nothing about The Dark Knight screams “teenager.” And Harry Potter? Everyone loves Harry Potter, as well they should. It’s profound and wise and beautiful. I don’t think it’s quite “literature” but it’s still one of the best stories ever told.
There is no reason whatsoever adults can’t learn from stories that children also enjoy (and by the way, children should not be enjoying The Dark Knight). After all, adults wrote them.
That’s just a small portion of a rant I have on this little topic but I’ll stop there for now. I want to end on a much more resplendent note, like the reviewer does.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
So please, if you haven’t bought the book yet, ignore the Deseret News review (which is not inaccurate, merely incomplete and misleading) and read the Mormon Reads review in its whole. Then, if you believe them, head over to Amazon to buy the book for $15.21 (if you have Prime) and help financially support this adorable baby.