Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mini Reviews: Northwest Passage series by John A. Heldt

I originally reviewed the first book in John A. Heldt's series back in September 2013. Then last year John emailed me and asked if I would review the newest and last book in the series. I asked if the books were interconnected and when he said yes, I reveled one of my reading quirks, I need to read a series in order. John was kind enough to send me copies of all his books so I could review them.

Be warned the following contains some spoilers.

You can find my review of The Mine here.  In this book we meet Joel Smith, a geology student, ventures into a mine in 2000 and walks out in 1941. Joel travels to Seattle, WA and meets up with his grandmother (well the woman who would be his grandmother) and her friends. Joel falls in love, but he doesn't belong in 1941.

The Journey (Northwest Passage #2)The Journey by John A. Heldt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Journey is not connected to The Mine other than it takes place in the Pacific Northwest and involves time travel.  In this novel, Michelle is trying to figure out her life after the death of her husband. She decides to go back to her high school reunion. While there she meets up with some other women who she wasn't really friends with but knew in school.  They go to a house that has been abandoned for years with a mystery surrounding it. Once inside Michelle finds that sometimes you shouldn't explore abandoned houses.

Michelle walks into the house in 2010 and walks out of the house in 1979. This is where my mind freaks because of the time travel I know doesn't mesh with the story where Michelle intervenes and influences the life of her 17 year old self. But in all honestly, if you could go back and change some things in your past wouldn't you?  While in 1979 Michelle also falls in love and learns about mystery surrounding the house.

The Show  (Northwest Passage #3)The Show by John A. Heldt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So now we put The Journey into our back pocket and retrieve The Mine from our memory.  So last we left Joel he had come back to 2000 and got a surprise, Grace had followed him from 1941 to 2000. Grace couldn't let the man she loved go away and left all she knew behind to follow Joel and to start her life with him.  Things are going great for Joel and Grace, until a visit to a theater.  Grace heads to the lady's room only to walk back out in 1918.

Back in 1918, Grace is united with family from her past. She gets to meet her parents and influence their relationship all while trying to get back to Joel and her family.  As the months go by she starts to fear that she won't get back. At one point she meets a woman who helps her figure out how to get back to Joel. I'll be honest, I was starting to get mad at this story because it was starting to feel as if Grace wasn't going to get back to Joel and here she was starting a new relationship and argh!

The Fire (Northwest Passage #4)The Fire by John A. Heldt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With this book we get the connection between Joel and Michelle's story lines.  This novel follows Kevin Johnson, a geology student of Joel's and Michelle's son (the non time traveler version of Michelle).  While on a family trip to close up his recently deceased grandfather's house, Kevin finds a time traveling portal and the means to control the travel. He also learns that his relative is also time traveling forward between the present and 1910.

Unlike those before him in this series, Kevin knows how to freely travel and in what is only a day or two in the present he spends a number of months in the past.  He makes friends, falls in love, and manages to change the lives of a handful of people.  Like some of the previous stories, John plays with your emotions again but makes it all better in the end.

The Mirror (Northwest Passage #5)The Mirror by John A. Heldt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The year is 2020 and twins Ginny and Katie Smith find themselves going through a mirror into 1964.  Ginny and Katie didn't believe the stories their parents had told them about their time traveling experiences but now, maybe dad did go back to 1941 and mom did come forward and back to 1918.  In 1964 the twins meet up with their great-grandmother and their mother's best friend from 1941.

Like those that came before them the girls find themselves stuck for some time. They make a life for themselves and fall in love. Like those that came before they have to find their way home.  What I really liked about this story is how John finally explains his time travel idea of once someone goes back they create a new time line for the future them to then inhabit.

I really enjoyed this series and how it flowed from story to story even when I would get annoyed, and angry, and heart broken over these characters. I had that connection and wanted to know how they progressed and how these adventures changed their lives and those of the people around them both in the past and back home.

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