The Devil Colony by James Rollins

In the past I’ve been impressed with the amount of research James Rollins had apparently done for his novels.  However, while reading The Devil Colony (New York:  William Morrow, 2011), I discovered that isn’t the case since he incorporated LDS (Mormon) beliefs and culture, which I know about, into the novel.  Rollins clearly didn’t do enough research in that area.

He didn’t even get the name of the church right.  The “Mormon Church” is actually The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the “Church of Latter-Day Saints” (58).

A major character, Hank Kanosh, is LDS and a professor at BYU.  If Hank really had been chewing on a cigar (24) and had engaged in an affair (27), he would have broken BYU’s Honor Code, which he would have agreed to observe by accepting an appointment to the faculty. The honor code specifically states

As a matter of personal commitment, students, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University. . . are expected to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:

  • . . . Live a chaste and virtuous life
  • . . . Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse

Hank would also have been ineligible to go to any LDS temple, as he does at the end of the book (468-69).

In addition, no Latter-day Saints that I know “believe a more allegorical version of [any] part of [the Book of Mormon]” (199), though there are parables in sermons.  LDS scripture includes the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  Latter-day Saints “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” and “the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (“The Articles of Faith“).

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