I was graciously contacted by the author, John A. Heldt, to receive a free copy of “The Mine” in exchange for an honest review. That being said, it has not altered my opinion of the book whatsoever.”The Mine” was published in 2012 and is available for purchase.
John A. Heldt is a new author for me- I always enjoy receiving contact e-mails from my blog because it means I’m more than likely to branch out of my typical genres. Whenever I read a new author, I usually do a bit of research. I started on Goodreads (you can find me here!) and saw that he has not one, but two series published: The Northwest Passage, the series “The Mine” belongs to, and American Journey.
For the most part, I do not enjoy reading about the book, I would much rather be surprised while reading over anticipating an event I happened to read on the back of the book.
Meet Joel- your average college student venturing out with his best friend Adam. The duo has decided to take a road trip to “clear their heads” 3 weeks before college graduation, by hiking and biking at Yellowstone. Fueling up at the Canary diner, Joel and Adam discuss the return trip home. Broadcasting over the news is a “significant planetary conjunction” where for 24 hours six planets will fall in alignment with the sun.
The two set off by highway for the way home only to be derailed by stopped traffic. Being the advantageous guys that they are, Joel decides to take a detour up to a mine, hoping to wait out the traffic with a side of adventure. Adam, none too thrilled, appeases to Joel’s free spirit nature, only with a promise of adventure in 30 minutes or less.
Once parked, Adam and Joel leave the vehicle to poke around the dilapidated mine, and it’s surroundings. Adam decides to wait patiently on a rock, counting down the minutes until he forces Joel to leave. Joel goes on his own, breaking into the boarded up mine. He follows the weathered rails and veers off the path. Being a geology major, Joel is fascinated by the phosphorescent glow of the rocks. Going towards them, he realizes they are in a room of their own, along with a rattlesnake. Trying to slowly back out of the room, Joel hits his head, knocking him unconscious. Once awake, Joel scrambles out of the room in hopes to avoid the snake.
Leaving the mine, Joel notices things are not quite the same; the rails are smoother, the boards are no longer there, his vehicle is not parked outside, and most importantly, Adam is nowhere to be found. What Joel finds out is he has traveled from the year 2000, back to the 1940’s.
*Here is where I started to hang my head. Time travel is either a hit or miss. You either nail it on the head, or it’s just a no go. There is no middle ground, and if there is, it’s definitely not a a book I would be able to finish.*
Joel is now alone, with devices and currency from another era, no valid ID, no job, no home, no means of transportation, and a timeline that he could shift that would affect history as we know it. Will Joel be selfish and make the most out of his time in 1941? Or will he play by the rules of the timeline, and try his hardest not to make a ripple? With America on the brink of war with Japan, and a time traveler with knowledge of the future, all bets are off when you read “The Mine”.
I will say that I was completely taken aback by this little novella. When Joel first emerged from the mine, I was worried that I would either not be able to finish this book (how embarrassing!!!!!) or give it a poor rating (which I absolutely HATE doing, but hey, some books deserve poor ratings). I am so glad I continued reading. Heldt is able to take a simplistic start of a book, and turn it into the most glorious story you don’t want to end.
John A Heldt has also contacted me to read two other novellas,part of the American Journey series. Be on the look out for the remaining blogs about his books, and hopefully an upcoming Q&A with the author himself!