The Show by John Heldt

The Show by John Heldt(Cover picture courtesy of John Heldt.)

Seattle, 1941. Grace Vandenberg, 21, is having a bad day. Minutes after Pearl Harbor is attacked, she learns that her boyfriend is a time traveler from 2000 who has abandoned her for a future he insists they cannot share. Determined to save their love, she follows him into the new century. But just when happiness is within her grasp, she accidentally enters a second time portal and exits in 1918. Distraught and heartbroken, Grace starts a new life in the age of Woodrow Wilson, silent movies, and the Spanish flu. She meets her parents as young, single adults and befriends a handsome, wounded Army captain just back from the war. In THE SHOW, the sequel to THE MINE, Grace finds love and friendship in the ashes of tragedy as she endures the trial of her life.

[Full disclosure: John Heldt sent me a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.]

I’m so glad that John Heldt decided to return to the story of The Mine to continue where he left off.  Only this time, we get to see things from Grace’s point of view and learn how she found her way back to Joel when he fled back to his own time.  Then, just when everything seems to be going well, tragedy strikes and Grace is thrust back into 1918.  This is where things get interesting character-wise because we learn just how resourceful and intelligent Grace really is as she struggles to cope in another new time.  We also learn a little more about how the time travel portals work, although John Heldt never gets into the scientific details.  But that doesn’t bother me one bit because the Northwest Passage Series is meant to explore the effects of time travel on people, not how time travel is accomplished.

The plot isn’t what I would call fast-paced until the last 30 pages, but John Heldt’s writing style is so nice that it didn’t bother me at all.  Grace drives the plot forward with her actions rather than just reacting to events and it makes for a much more human novel.  We feel her anguish at leaving the love of her life and her two children behind, experience her struggle to adapt to a completely different time and feel her confusion about the handsome war hero John Walker.  The secondary characters aren’t just two dimensional either; they all have distinct personalities, backstories and react to Grace differently.

The ending felt rather rushed after the steady pace of the first 150 pages, but I suppose it reflects the desperation Grace began to feel as her ability to go back to 2000 was about to be cut off.  Still, The Show was a great addition to the story of The Mine and I look forward to reading the rest of the Northwest Passage series.

I give this book 5/5 stars.


*Only available as a Kindle ebook.

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