September Sky by John A. Heldt

cover-september-sky

Score: 4/5

 

Genre: Historical romance, historical fiction, time travel, mystery

Series: American Journey (Book 1)

 

September Sky mixes a few different concepts together, time travel to the 1900s, a father and son who are both in transitional situations and seeking out to replace lost loves, and a murder mystery. Most of this can be established by the story blurb.

Here are a few points for those wanting more; action is secondary in this book with little tension until the hurricane hits in the last fifth. The plot itself moves forward at a decent clip but the story is more about our protagonists interacting with love interests and researching to uncover a mystery. In that way, it feels almost like a historical fiction that was rewritten as time travel instead. It’s not just using obvious references to established disasters. Many of the characters are actually people who existed during this era (At least the names are, and I admit this could be sheer coincidence). Honestly, the question of ‘how much of this story is based on real events and people?’ drove me to brave the internet for further information. The writer succeeded in generating more interest in history than my high school teachers did.

There are only three major points that mitigated this work; I often wondered if there should have been more era-appropriate vernacular used. I often wondered exactly who was talking due to light dialogue tags. Finally, I often wondered how the time travelers were so blasé about falling into ‘doomed’ relationships, as if they were going to go ‘Nah, you’re coming with me’ and somehow abduct people from the past – eventually, this last point self-corrects but it felt weird for a chunk of the book.

So, in the end, I can’t give it full points. It doesn’t help that histories rarely reach entertaining in my mind. While the tension didn’t grip and enthrall me, this storyline did keep me interested enough to reach the end (and I actually learned a little). Time travel helped put a good spin on it. Fans who find the story’s blurb attractive will likely enjoy the book but may not move on to the sequel if they seek constant pulse-racing moments.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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John A. Heldt

Author of the Northwest Passage and American Journey series
Blog: http://johnheldt.blogspot.com
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