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.
Being a fan of sci-fi was a big plus when it came to reading The Mine. After all, the reader is asked to suspend a belief in reality and assume time travel is not only plausible but totally doable. The sweet romance element was a refreshing touch. At first it conjured up images from the Christopher Reeves movie Somewhere In Time (1980). As I read the story, I really hoped a similar ending wasn't in my future.
Heldt does a good job working out a college kid from 2000 manages to get along in 1940's Seattle. Everything about Joel was off. His clothes, his cell phone, the money in his pocket, and even his mannerisms screamed outsider. Being the cleaver boy Joel is, he uses his knowledge of the past to get ahead by gambling on sports. His friends consist of a collection of college students, including his grandmother.
At this point, I wasn't sure this wasn't going to be one of those grandfather paradox moments. Either he did something that lead to his grandmother never meeting his grandfather or he was his own grandfather. Luckily, it turns out neither are the case. The anticipation of the non-existent paradox actually added to the suspense of the ending.
I'm not a kiss and tell sort of reviewer, but I will say Joel gets his happily-ever-after. The past catches up with him and provides the promise of a contented future. After, all nothing else will do for our reluctant time traveler.
I enjoyed this book. I think if you are the sort of person who is into science fiction, this would be an entertaining read to add to your collection. The romance is sweet and not always the main focal point of the story. There is an interesting plot twist to the ending. As the language is suitable for any audience, there would be no problem taking this book to the poolside or the beach. A story for any age group, this would make a good book club selection.
An excerpt can be found on Amazon.