Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Fire by John A. Heldt

When Kevin Johnson, 22, goes to Wallace, Idaho, days after his college graduation, he expects to find rest and relaxation as his family prepares his deceased grandfather's house for sale. Then he discovers a hidden diary and a time portal that can take him to 1910, the year of Halley's comet and the largest wildfire in U.S. history. Within hours, Kevin finds himself in the era of horse-drawn wagons, straw hats, and ankle-length dresses. Returning to the same time and place, he decides to travel again and again and make the portal his gateway to summer fun. The adventure takes a more serious turn, however, when the luckless-in-love science major falls for pretty English teacher Sarah Thompson and integrates himself in a community headed for tragedy. Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, THE FIRE, the sequel to THE JOURNEY, follows a conflicted soul through a life-changing journey as he makes his mark on a world he was never meant to see.

This is the fourth book I've read and reviewed by this author, I do believe.  What I love about these books and what keeps me coming back is the way the author makes moments in history come alive for me.  It's like getting a history lesson without knowing it.

In this book, we go back to 1910 with Kevin who stumbles upon his great-grandfather's journal, a cache of money and the secret to time travel.  Kevin's curiosity demands that he try the portal out.  He is a bit of a dreamer, after all, and never even bats an eye that he can travel through time.  I really enjoyed learning about Halley's comet and seeing it viewed through the eyes of 1910.  It's an amazing testament to how far we have come since then in our scientific discoveries and probably how far we still have to go!

I also loved the bit when we finally got into the wildfire part toward the end.  I didn't know anything about the largest wildfire in U.S. history before this book.  Wowza.

Aside from that, I didn't find this book as much to my liking as I have the previous books I've read.  The book had a slow start and I didn't connect as well with the characters.  I honestly didn't really like Kevin much and I didn't love the ending at all.  I don't know, this one just didn't hit the sweet spot for me like the others have.  Which is, I think, completely normal when reading a series of books by one author.  You are naturally going to like some books more than others.  This book just wasn't my favorite.

Content:  There is some swearing.  There is a character who visits a brothel frequently and also has casual sex with his landlady.  There is a fade away sex scene that you know happened but you do not have any details.

You can purchase this book and check out the other Northwest Passage series books by John Heldt at Amazon.

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