Indie Authors Rock Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

Today I am pleased to present the debut novel for author John A. Heldt:  The Mine.  Read on to find out more!


The Mine
John A. Heldt
Northwest Passage Time Travel Series
290 Pages (approx.)
ISBN: B0078S9B6G
Genres: Time Travel, Historical Fiction. Romance
Purchase Now:  Amazon
Stars:  4 

About the Book:

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.

Book Review:


In a uniquely presented reformulation of a time travel story, Heldt has created an engaging book, full of history, humor and some unusual quandaries that are always present in time travel.  Joel is not a particularly empathetic character at the start of his senior year in university in 2000: far too full of himself and too self-absorbed.  Although he does emerge at the end of the story a far more adult character, with a better understanding of his own family and the relationships that came before.

While there were some difficulties with the story: there was a frequent change in point of view that was not always clearly defined, many characters are referred to using a descriptive phrase rather than a name, and there were some odd lapses in language that would not have been common in the 1940’s, the story did pick up in pacing and become quite engaging, with a solid ending that was a complete surprise to me as a reader.

Heldt has a very chatty writing style, with a great knack for description sometimes to his detriment.  The pacing of the story often was sidelined due to the descriptive passages, and often I found myself pushing forward to see what would happen next.  I can say that Joel’s repeated encounters with the younger version of his grandmother were incredibly well done: moving him back to his hometown gave the character a sense of place and grounding, and made his encounters just that much more fraught with difficulties as he was aware of what would happen.

This is not a book without some issues, but it was one that was very worth persevering through to get to the end.  As a first-time effort, this book shows much promise and is a unique entrant in the time travel stories we know so well.

I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review in the Indie Authors Rock promotion for I am, Indeed.  I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

About the Author:

John A. Heldt is a reference librarian who lives and works in Montana. The former award-winning sportswriter and newspaper editor has loved reading and writing since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of both the University of Oregon and University of Iowa, he is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. Heldt is the author of The Mine and The Journey. He will publish The Show, the sequel to The Mine, in February 2013.



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