Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: The Mine

Title: The Mine (Northwest Passage #1)
Author: John A. Heldt
Page Count: 288
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*The author gave me this book in exchange for an honest review

In May 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 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 is a love story that 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.

At the time John Heldt approached me to ask for a review, I was trying not to take on more review books since I already had a lot on my plate. When I read the synopsis, though, I knew I would regret not agreeing to review it and would probably end up purchasing a copy myself, so I took him up on the opportunity. I haven’t read a lot of books involving time travel, but I do watch a lot of Doctor Who, and I find the dramatic irony that the time traveler and the audience go through as they know an event that is about to occur delicious or cringe-worthy, depending on the event. Either way, it is a scenario I enjoy immensely as I reader, and this book has plenty of it!

I thought this story was really cleverly crafted, and it is always a pleasure to read a book set in places I’ve actually been to, even if it is in the 1940’s and not the 2010’s. I loved how distinctive each of the characters were and how Heldt showed Joel cope with being sent sixty years into the past. This book gripped me in a way I’m not often with books, especially the second have, and it just catered a lot to my preferences as a reader. I burned the midnight oil to finish this one, and was so geared up and happy at the end that it took me even longer to fall asleep!

There just a few distracting things that made this book come shy of four and a half starts for me. Especially in the beginning, there was a bit too much telling and not enough showing for my liking, and at times the dialogue was written in a way that made it hard for me to tell who was speaking. The characters are also referred to a lot with epithets like “the sales wundkind” or “the man in a cowboy hat” and I think the author was doing this to not have a character’s name appear too much on one page, but it was a bit distracting for me, but I suppose that comes down to preference. I had also wished that Joel would have talked a bit more about the prejudices of the time. I suppose most of the historical fiction books I’ve read have female protagonists, so they notice these things more acutely. And it does get talked about to some extent, but for me personally it would have been interesting to see a bit more.

Overall I would certainly recommend this book, especially for fans of time travel stories. The characters are the age for New Adult, and there is sex in the story but it is all off-screen, so I would say this story could be enjoyed by young adults as well.  I will definitely be reading more by this author in the future.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

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