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The Fire (Northwest Passage #4) by John A. Heldt

The Fire, Northwest Passage, John A. Heldt, book review, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: September 1, 2013

Back Cover

When Kevin Johnson, 22, goes to Wallace, Idaho, days after his college graduation, he expects to find rest and relaxation as his family prepares his deceased grandfather's house for sale. Then he discovers a hidden diary and a time portal that can take him to 1910, the year of Halley's comet and the largest wildfire in U.S. history. Within hours, Kevin finds himself in the era of horse-drawn wagons, straw hats, and ankle-length dresses. Traveling repeatedly to the same time and place, he decides to make the portal his gateway to summer fun. The adventure takes a more serious turn, however, when the luckless-in-love science major falls for pretty English teacher Sarah Thompson and integrates himself in a community headed for disaster. Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, THE FIRE, the sequel to THE JOURNEY, follows a conflicted soul through a life-changing journey as he makes his mark on a world he was never meant to see.


After the death of his grandfather, Kevin Johnson and his family head to Wallace, Idaho to prepare the his grandfather's house for sale. Unable to sleep after a visit from an unwelcome, eight-legged visitor, Kevin stumbles upon a secret cache and a journal that reveals the location of a time portal and how to use it. When his family leaves him alone at the house, he decides to use the portal to explore Wallace in 1910.

During his first trip into the past, he briefly meets a beautiful and witty young woman, Sarah Thompson. When he returns to his time, he finds that he cannot get her out of his head and decides to return to 1910 for a longer stay. Upon his return, he meets his great-grandfather who helps him establish himself in the community; a community that Kevin knows will face a seemingly unstoppable tragedy.

Will Kevin be able to warn the citizens in Wallace of the tragedy and prevent the deaths of the people that he has come to know and love, or will he end up being one of the victims of this tragedy?

One of the first things I noticed immediately was that Heldt incorporated characters from the previous books in the series into this book. I enjoyed this immensely as I have recently read the second and third books in the Northwest Passage Series.

I was once again stunned by the thoroughness of Heldt's research; especially since the average person does not know about the fire that struck Wallace, Idaho in 1910. I was impressed how he created plausible reasons for Kevin being in Wallace and learning about the fire that torched most of the town in 1910.

I found myself liking all of the story's protagonists. Some of their colloquialisms seemed a little too modern for 1910, but it was pretty easy to overlook this as the characters are captivating and the plot is compelling. The romance in the book is pretty clean, you know that there is sexual activity going on; however, Heldt avoids giving details.

Heldt has a knack for writing a happy ending without being repetitive, but even I did not see the tragic twist that popped up near the end coming. It was certainly an interesting way to settle a romantic triangle once and for all.

Heldt brings the 1910's to life with gorgeous and accurate details. He provides readers with an enjoyable history lesson inside an exquisite and poignant story that is definitely worth reading.

About John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt, author, The Fire, Northwest Passage series, On My Kindle Book Reviews.
John A. Heldt, author. Photo courtesy of Goodreads.
John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at

What time travel novels have you read lately? Have you read any by John A. Heldt? Let me know in the comments.