Book Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

May 31, 2012

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Mine by John A. HeldtThe Mine by John A Heldt
Series: Northwest Passage #1
Published by Self-Published on 12th February 2012
Source: Author
Pages: 200
In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
I was pretty much sold on The Mine as soon as I read the synopsis. Time travel and 1940’s history? Yes please! I was interested to see how well the time travel would be pulled off, and I am extremely pleased to say that John Heldt executed it wonderfully in this book.

The first few chapters of The Mine started off a little shaky for me. I wasn’t a fan of Adam, Joel’s best friend, and I wasn’t completely sold on Joel either. However, as the story progressed, Joel became a much stronger character, and I found myself completely invested into his story. I think my favourite thing about Joel was the fact that he was smart. When he finds himself transported back to the 1940’s (thanks to the mysterious mine), he didn’t pity himself over his ‘misfortune’. Instead, he tried to find a way back home to 2000, and when it became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, he then tried to find a way to support himself in the 1940’s by hopping a train to Seattle. It was refreshing to see someone just accept that they had travelled back in time instead of making a complete fool of themselves. I also liked that when he realised he could use his knowledge of the future to earn himself some money, he did just that. Whilst it’s not honest, it was a very clever way to earn himself some money.

Alongside Joel, the rest of the characters from the 1940’s shone. I absolutely adored Tom, a guy who Joel saves from getting a beating, and I loved how kind-hearted he was. He didn’t have to take Joel in, but he did. Nor did he really have to introduce Joel to Ginny and her friends, but he did. Tom was one of my favourite characters, purely because he was an all-around great guy, and my heart ached when I found out what would eventually happen to him. Ginny, Joel’s grandmother, was introduced in a clever way, and knew better than to take Joel at face-value, which made sure Joel was kept on his toes all the time! Grace’s introduction was possibly one of my most favourites ever. Admittedly, I did at first think that this was Joel’s grandmother, but I was quickly proved wrong, and we were able to watch Grace and Joel fall in love. This wasn’t without it’s problems, of course, as Grace was engaged, and had to choose between two men. I also thought that the significance of Katie’s character was great, especially towards the end of the book.

I don’t want to give anything away about the end, but I can safely say that it was absolutely brilliant! I thought it was a really smart way of ending the story, and tied up a few loose-ends that we had remaining. This novel was cleverly written, as most of the parts that were included all held a relevance to another part of the story, or linked two characters up together.

This was my first foray into the world of self-publishing, and whilst this book isn’t perfect, it is most certainly a great and enjoyable read!

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