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 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.
The Mine by John A. Heldt was an absorbing, intrguing novel that I was thinking about for quite a while after I finished it!
Obviously, because it’s a time travel book, you do need to suspend your disbelief whilst reading due to the inclusion of time travel itself (then again, who knows if this is actually possible anyway!), and some of the characters did seem surprisingly accepting of certain situations and possibilities.
The characters were all well developed and interesting, though I liked some far more than others! I actually wasn’t sure about Joel as a character at the start but as the novel went on I hugely warmed to him and felt really invested in what was going to happen to him. The people he meets in this alternative time-scale were also, on the whole, interesting characters and this added to my enjoyment of the novel.
I loved reading about 1940’s America and felt that John Heldt created (what I imagine to be, anyway) a really convincing and atmospheric world that Joel had stumbled into. The idea of time travel itself, and that possibility of accidentally or purposefully altering the future course of history is so fun and interesting! There were obvious comparisons between this story and Back To The Future, but this is pointed out by the narrator himself and as I read on I soon forgot to draw any comparisons because the story comes into its own. It really left me in a quandry as I considered what I’d do in Joel’s situation and I liked that this novel made me think!
I’ll say right now that The Mine didn’t end how I expected it to – I knew the author had written a sequel so that affected what I thought would happen at the end, but this turned out to be wrong! I can see now that he’s actually written a further 4 novels after this one in the Northwest Passage series, and I’ve purposely not looked at the synopses either before reading this novel or once I’d finished it, in case it gives anything away for future reads. I hope to read numbers 2-5 as I’d love to see how the series progresses.
This novel surprised me in many ways. It made me smile and made me think, and I would really recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy, science fiction, history and romance all mixed together! This combination isn’t something I read often at all, but I really enjoyed The Mine and would definitely like to read more from the series!
Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
Visit John A. Heldt’s blog here and find The Mine on Amazon here.