I will be honest with you; time travel is not something I have ever really read about, I adore films and TV shows about time travel (don't get me started on Doctor Who), but I've never really stumbled upon a book concerning time travel that took my fancy. That was until I read the description of The Mine.
What I really love about the story, and writing style, is how clear the difference between the year 2000 where Joel (the principal character) travels from, and the the year he travels to, 1941. The whole era is captured really well, in particular the changing face and perception of women. 1941 and the second world war was so vitally important to the development of women in society and this is really clear in the book, but subtly so the story still flows well.
I was gripped whilst reading this book, especially for the last 50 pages or so, because the time travel offers the reader the exclusive ability to glimpse the future before it happens. Despite this ability, you are still drawn in by twists and turns, as well as the story (mostly) not being diluted with 'fairytale' twists of fate that don't happen in real life. It allows, surprisingly, for a time travel book to be, almost, believable.
My only real criticism of the book is when Joel first realises he has travelled to 1941; he doesn't really seem at all concerned, just accepts it and moves on. I can't help but think my response would have been 'holy moly how an earth am I going to get home!? *insert dramatic scream*' (maybe not holy moly but you get the idea). That being said, he is aware of the need to get back and does make an attempt; I myself perhaps would have made more attempts but then again he is a clever chap and most likely realises his attempts need to be better timed.
Joel is an interesting character, not the typical tragic hero he first appears, because, to put it bluntly, he's selfish and a bit of an idiot. I love that. Too many books focus on creating a perfect male character and although Joel does lean that way, he still knowingly makes mistakes and suffers the consequences. I am also a sucker for a cowboy, for fear of spoilers I'm not going to explain that further, but I pretty massively digress.
This is a lovely book and one I would really recommend to any age, unfortunately it is only available as an ebook, but it will make you smile and is one of those books that will make you reflect a little on both our collective past, and your individual future.
Note: This book was sent to me to review. This is no way alters or affects my opinion of the book and I only review books sent to me that I genuinely would have considered
purchasing for myself.