John Heldt – The Show/The Mine – Combined Reviews
Northwest Passage series – Book 1
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 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 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.
4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
The Mine written by John A. Heldt is an incredible book. This had a different feel to many of the books that I have been reading lately, and I absolutely loved that. I am not normally a huge fan of time travel romances, but if it’s well composed and realistic than I am sold. I am SOLD on this book.
We first meet our leading man Joel Smith in year 2000 while travelling with his buddy Adam through Montana. Joel is about to graduate from college, has the world at his fingertips and intends to live life to the fullest. Joel is described as a handsome, carefree, adventurous, full of wit soul that generally loves being himself. I totally fell in love with him, but not for the gushing, swooning reasons I normally fall in love with my heros, but because he was believable and could be the guy next door. He’s adorable, intelligent, risky in some ways, confident (but not in that arrogant way) and ultimately SO MUCH FUN.
So … while coming into some traffic blocks, he manages to talk his buddy Adam into taking a rough road up to a shut down mine so he can explore. Turns out this so happens to be on the day that planets are aligned just right and there is some freaky cosmic phenomenon going on. Joel notices a funky light in the cave (he is a geologist at heart so really the poor guy had no chance ..lol), has an encounter with a snake, a low level beam and somehow manages to come out the cave in 1941.
Joel comes to terms pretty quick with his time travelling ways (despite the fact that the moula and cell phone in his pocket are of NO HELP to him), jumps on a train (yes literally) and heads to Seattle. After a rough few days, he meets a guy named Tom who befriends him, gets him employment and becomes his new best buddy. Just so happens, Tom is engaged to his grandmother “Ginny”, but isn’t his grandfather. Joel becomes completely smitten with Tom’s group of friends and really begins to live the 1941 way of life.
In this group he also meets Grace. Grace was a bit of a colder fish for me at first but she has much to deal with in her life and as I continued to read I found her to be very “real” and likable. Grace becomes Joel’s love interest and ultimately a huge part of the choice he has to make of “should I stay or should I go?”
In many of my reviews, I love to indulge the romance of the book, and while the romance was beautiful in this book, it was not the highlight nor the most enticing part for me. It was Joel and his dilemmas about how to not intercede in history in the event he changes the future and perhaps his own existence. He develops a true friendship with his grandmother, falls in love with her best friend and is best buddies with her fiance who he knows will not be his grandfather (nor why he won’t be). Can you imagine having all this kind of knowledge and not being able to stand up and say “I KNOW WHAT’S COMING!” Especially something as pivotal as a countries entrance into a world war. That isn’t a small thing to carry on one’s shoulder’s. Mix into the equation finding your soul mate and good grief, I am surprised this guy didn’t self com-bust!
I am going to leave the story explanation at that .. seriously so much happens, and chunks of the story are just way to good to spoil for you. The only reason this was not a solid 5 out of 5 for me was because I did find Joel’s reaction to time travel a little too accepting. There was no freak out just a simple “yah okay I’m in 1941!” I did find that a little far fetched. I also am not in love with this book cover! This is such a great book and that cover is way too dull.
Leaving this review on a super happy note though, I add that this is an adventurous, page turning read that is hard to put down. John A. Heldt is an honest to goodness very talented author. From the beautiful descriptions, tidbits of history, the conversations between characters and the relationships formed, I was completely drawn in. Do yourself a favour though, grab some tissues is you plan to dive in .. I sure needed them! 😉
Northwest Passage Series – Book 3
Seattle, 1941. Grace Vandenberg, 21, is having a bad day. Minutes after Pearl Harbor is attacked, she learns that her boyfriend is a time traveler from 2000 who has abandoned her for a future he insists they cannot share. Determined to save their love, she follows him into the new century. But just when happiness is within her grasp, she accidentally enters a second time portal and exits in 1918. Distraught and heartbroken, Grace starts a new life in the age of Woodrow Wilson, silent movies, and the Spanish flu. She meets her parents as young, single adults and befriends a handsome, wounded Army captain just back from the war. In THE SHOW, the sequel to THE MINE, Grace finds love and friendship in the ashes of tragedy as she endures the trial of her life.
5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
Oh John A. Heldt, how you write a beautiful story. I completely loved this book and how it all tied together into a continuation of the first book in this series called The Mine. The Show is a continuation of Joel and Grace’s story but this time it is told from Grace’s POV.
This book begins with Grace’s determination to make her way to year 2000 to be reconciled with her soul mate Joel. She has come to terms that he was in fact from the future and her journey through the mine was an absolute joy to read. It was wonderful to have some pieces filled in and revisiting little details that where mentioned in the first book and how she interacted with all these details.
Once Grace finds herself in year 2000 she is befriended and cared for by other kind souls (much like Joel was in The Mine) and is assisted in her reconciliation by none other than the very friend she had in 1941. Reading Grace’s and Joel’s realization that they get their happily ever after was a bit of a tearjerker! LOL Fast forward a couple of years, they are now married, have twins and they are madly in love. Grace has adapted to the future beautifully .. all is well!
One night Grace and Joel attend a retro movie night (kinda funny considering it doesn’t feel so retro to our couple) AKA “The Show” and Grace finds herself traveling through another time portal landing her in 1918. Well let me tell you, our Graceful Grace isn’t so graceful when she realizes paradise is no more. She FREAKS OUT! Can’t say I blame her as now nothing is certain. She has a husband and children in the future and tries desperately to return to only to find out it’s pretty much impossible. She is thrown into an epidemic (Spanish Flu), and reunited with family she thought she had lost forever. She gets to experience her parents young and falling in love (her parents died too early in Grace’s life) and become close and in love with another man (although not her soul mate) Captain Walker. Captain Walker seems to ease the ache that Grace feels in her tornado of a life and it was quite endearing reading these two together. BITTERSWEET!
John A. Heldt is so eloquent in his words. His writing absolutely flows and captures a beautiful picture in the reader’s mind. I dare say he is the best self published author that I have ever come across. He effortlessly weaved a continuation of a time travel story from one book to another and added more depth to it all the while keeping the reader completely captivated.
Once again, like The Mine, this isn’t just a love story. I appreciated the love story, but again it was the history and the cast of characters that kept me intrigued and that were highlighted in this book. Once you start reading, you will have a trouble putting it down! WINK!
So… do Joel and Grace once again reunite or has Grace resigned herself to the fact that she has time traveled twice in her life and it’s all for a reason?! Does she concern herself with changing anything in the past only to negate the future?? You’ll have to pick up a copy of The Show to find out! LOL
HAPPY READING! 🙂
Reviews by Rachel
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