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September Sky by John A. Heldt

September Sky

by John A. Heldt

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If you had the chance to go back in time, would you do it? I know I would do it, as long as I could come back to the present day. Would I bring my kids? I mean, they’re adults, but still, I don’t know that I’m comfortable with them taking the same risks I would take myself.

Chuck Townsend and his son Justin get a chance to travel back in time to 1900. Both are at loose ends, looking for new experiences, and what could be more exciting than visiting the past? How about catching a murderer, falling in love, and getting caught in a hurricane? Sounds like this book would be really exciting.

But for some reason, I found it rather boring. There was so much dialogue about so many trivial things. Then the author skipped back and forth between POV so often than I never connected to any of the characters.

I want to end on a positive note, so I will say that I was impressed by the amount of research that the author did into the Galveston hurricane. It was truly a horrible catastrophe, and I think the author really captured what it must have been like. ( )
  cmbohn | Jul 21, 2017 |
September Sky is a sci-fi, time travel novel, with some romance thrown in, by John Heldt. It has been a long time since I read a novel like this. The story was entertaining and the plot worked well for a sci-fi book. The characters were particularly engaging. I rate this novel as 4.5.

Sometimes I find this type of sci-fi story clunky because the method used to get through time is so ridiculous that it is an insult to intelligence. Not so with this one. The only real problem I had with the story is the professor that allows the main characters, the Townsends, to time travel. Why he chose the Townsends is not really plausible. I kept waiting for the professor to reveal another motive for sending them.

Charles “Chuck” Townsend has just been let go from his job as a reporter in San Francisco. At the same time his son Justin decides to drop out of school where he has been studying to be a doctor. Both feel that they need to reset their lives. Chuck has been an absentee parent and wants to reconnect with his son; therefore, he decides they should take a cruise to begin rebuilding their relationship. On the cruise they meet Professor Bell who eventually chooses them for time travel. All he asks in return is for Chuck to keep a journal about his experiences.

The Townsends are sent back to 1900 with instructions not to become involved in the history of the time just to observe and document. We soon discover that Chuck’s plans are entirely different. He sets out on a mission to right a wrong to a distant relative that is living in Galveston, TX. Once in Galveston they find 1900, their relative and two special women irresistible. The question becomes, can they leave all they have found behind or are will they stay and risk changing history.

I obtained a copy of September Sky through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. However, the author did ask me to review his novel.

You can see this review, and others, at my blog www.thespineview.com as well as author interviews. ( )
  purpledog | Jan 15, 2017 |
September Sky by John A. Heldt is a 2015 publication.

September Sky is the first in a new time travel series and I’m glad I was able to start at the beginning. I have read other books by this author and have been quite impressed with his work.

This story centers about Charles- aka- Chuck, and his son Justin, who get a second lease on life in the most unusual of ways.

Chuck is a reporter from San Francisco, but his job has been phased out, right at the moment his son, Justin, begins to have doubts about his chosen profession, expressing a need to take an extended break from university.

Chuck had neglected Justin when he was a child, choosing to pursue his career, and is now filled with many regrets. So, he and Justin board a cruise ship in hopes of making up for lost time. As it happens, time will indeed become a priority for this father and son, but will it work for them or against them?

Novels that employ time travel are sometimes hit or miss for me, but I try really hard to remember this is just a fantasy and not to be taken too seriously. Still, I don’t like my intelligence insulted with ridiculous methods of time tripping, or cheesy science fiction. Thankfully, this story doesn't fall into those traps, and handles the true historical events surrounding the great hurricane in Galveston in the 1900’s with respect and authenticity.

Chuck and Justin do not waste their golden opportunity to travel back in time, either. They decide to solve a murder case and prevent a man from hanging for a crime he did not commit.

In the process, Chuck meets the woman of dreams, as does, Justin, but of course their time in the past was limited and certainly complicates any chance of a happy ever after.

The characterizations are vivid and the mystery is compelling, but it often took a back seat to the complications of romance, especially with Justin and Emily. I admired Emily because she was a woman well ahead of her time, but her petulance was hard to take, a trait she never could quite shake off.

However, all the pieces do eventually click into place, and although there were a few convenient occurrences, and the plot did grow implausible a time or two, this is a very well thought out and well written story that is quite entertaining.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series with much anticipation! ( )
  gpangel | May 17, 2016 |
September Sky by John A. Heldt

Chuck Townsend and his son Justin take a trip to mexico. It is 2016 and they both are trying to rebuild their relationship and battle some inner turmoil. The come across an almost unbelievable opportunity, to travel back in time to 1900. Although a bit skeptical they both decide to go for it.

Once they arrive in 1900 the go to Galveston Texas, and things get a bit complicated. They each meet wonderful ladies they, know a horrific hurricane is about to destroy Galveston and come face to face with two business rivals.

A fantastic well written time travel story. Both Chuck and Justin are very likable and their personal problems are real. Watching how they change (personally), the choices they make, what the consequences of their actions is gripping. Not only a time travel story, but one of family, bonding, unconditional love, friendship, heart ache and page turning suspense.

I highly recommend September Sky to those who love Time Travel/Suspense/Romance.
( )
  SheriAWilkinson | Mar 11, 2016 |
John Heldt produced some marvellous escapist reading in his Northwest Passage Series of books and this new series, American Journey, beginning with September Sky promises more.

With a convincing collection of eclectic characters; heroic and dodgy, good and evil, September Sky does not fail to absorb the reader in its tale of time travel to Texas in 1900 at the time of the disastrous Galveston hurricane.

Until I discovered John Heldt’s books I was not a fan of reading time travel novels but his stories are enthralling, believable and historically sound. September Sky is not any different. It grips the reader from the start and never fails at being totally engrossing.

I know few authors who can effectively and believably combine murder mystery, romance, history, natural disaster (and the associated aftermath and grief) and family relationships all interlinked in a gripping plot.

September sky is a brilliant combination that fulfils my love of history and a good mystery novel.

I must give John Heldt a highly commended for his history research. His list of books and people in the acknowledgement at the back of the book are an indication of the depth of his research. I knew nothing of the Galveston hurricane but September Sky had me looking it up on the internet. I have been entertained and educated in one story!

I would love to see this Heldt’s books in print so I can have them in my library alongside my two other favourite writers, Agatha Christie and Dennis Wheatley.

Write faster John, I can’t wait for the next one.

My review is also available on my website www.pam.id.au ( )
  Hostie13 | Jan 30, 2016 |
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