Book Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

themineThe Mine by John A. Heldt

Published by John A. Heldt on December 6, 2013

Genres: Historical Fiction, New Adult, Time Travel

Pages: 291 – ebook

Format Read: ebook

Source: Author (John A. Heldt)


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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.


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views.

Woah, just woah. I definitely did not expect this story to blow me away as much as it did; I literally have no words to describe it. It was so, so well-crafted and phenomenal. Trust me, this is the type of book that’ll stick with you. It took me a while to start reading this book and an even longer while to get into it, but in my opinion, the rest of the story more than made up for it. The pages really flew by. Plus, it wasn’t the book’s fault I couldn’t get into it. In this case, it was mine – the circumstances never allowed me to just sit there and fully enjoy the book. Staying up until 2 am just to finish this was definitely worth it.

At the beginning, I thought the characters were alright, but as the book progresses I felt like you really start to notice how developed they are. I totally loved them, faults and all. The way they were written managed to portray so many realistic, human personality traits. I was invested in their relationships & dynamic with each other and I do admit I’ve shed a few tears toward the end. Joel was hilarious and charming and I loved how he managed to cope with the fact that he had accidentally travelled back 59 years in the past because of an abandoned mine. Totally happens everyday, people. I think his was my favorite character just because he made me laugh and because of his character realness. He managed to face quite impossible odds and yet still managed to smile and be happy, which I greatly admire. He even won Grace Vandenberg’s heart over whole he was at it!

Grace and Joel’s relationship is possibly one of the cutest I’ve read about. I was really happy about the way their relationship progressed; I thought it’d be insta-love, fortunately it wasn’t. I loved how Joel pursued Grace but still gave her time and space to make her own decisions, since she was engaged. He respected her as a person. I looked forward to their interactions and found myself smiling at how cute and perfect they are for each other. Also, another couple I smiled at was Tom and Ginny! I was devastated when I learned that Joel knew who Ginny was going to marry — and it wasn’t Tom. Even though they had completely different personalities, Ginny and Tom were just perfect for each other! Maybe they’re polarity is what made them so compatible.

The way the world was built, slowly and subtly immersing you into it, is praiseworthy. There were no boring historical info dumps or pointless, winding descriptions. I think the author did a really swell job of portraying the atmosphere in America before the war was brought to it. Everything was so raw and perfectly portrayed and emotional — commendable work, really! I actually cried at the emotions I felt. I’m so glad the book ended the way it did *hint hint* because at the beginning, I kept wondering what’d happen between them. I’ve never really read time-travel books and thought this wouldn’t be my thing, but if they were all like this book then I’d have been sorely mistaken.

All in all, I’d like to say that reading this book was definitely an experience to remember. The realistic, lovable characters, engaging dynamic between them, and praiseworthy character AND world building was everything I wanted. I never thought time-travel stories would be my thing until I read this. If you’re a person who enjoys historical time-travel, then this is definitely the book for you!

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish


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