Religious cults, by nature, inspire a lot of curiosity. Down from the Mountain by Elizabeth Firmer is a book that will give a fairly textbook example of what life in one of these communities is like, but it won’t be a book that surprises you. The isolation and abuse at the hands of a false prophet is exactly what readers expect to find, and as the plot takes place just as the ties that bind these believers is unravelling, there is little insight about what makes this type of community so attractive to people. Still, this is a book that can reveal the way power and faith is warped in the hands of the wrong people. It is also a coming of age story, set in the transitional teen years when many begin to question the previously sacred teachings of their parents, so middle and high school readers may find it engaging. More discerning readers will most likely find it bland.