ARC: September Sky

This time travel novel by John Heldt doesn't quite hold up to The Mine, but it's definitely enjoyable. #spon | A book review by Newbery and Beyond

Note: I received a free galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, SEPTEMBER SKY follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come. (Summary via

This book is another time travel novel by John Heldt (author of The Mine, which I really enjoyed).  It follows Chuck and his son, Justin, who have been newly reunited after years of very little contact.  I found the set up is a bit poorly put together.  Whereas in The Mine time travel takes place because of the alignment of the stars and the main character’s entry into a mine at just the right moment, time travel in this novel takes place because of a stone passageway and white and blue crystals and a professor who sends Chuck and Justin into the past for no real reason.

Fortunately, after a rough beginning, the story picks up.  Justin and Chuck time travel back to Galveston in 1900, just before the big hurricane.  Chuck and Justin make their way there to solve a murder and save a good family friend from being executed wrongly for it.  While there, they struggle with how much of their future knowledge to share in order to save their new friends from the hurricane–and each man also struggles with a growing love for a certain lady in the town.

I have to say, when the storm finally hits, it is so exciting!  It’s just the opposite of the beginning–I couldn’t stop reading, and I found myself truly concerned for each of the characters.  The romances were sweet, if a little rushed (Chuck and Justin are only there for a few short months).

The ending made me cringe a little, but that’s just personal preference (I’d tell you why, but spoilers).  It looks like this is set to be the first in a series, and I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more from this series.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

P.S.  Looking for more time travel books?  I’ve got you covered: To Say Nothing of the Dog, Time Switch, Pool of Echoes.

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: