Author John A Heldt provided me with an e-copy of The Memory Tree, the second book in the Carson Chronicles.
I have had the pleasure of reading all of Mr. Heldt's books to this point. I have given five stars to each book so far on the sites that require them. That is 70 stars (I wonder where he keeps them all). The Memory Tree continues his run of fantastic books. I have been witness to his growth as an author, he continues to raise the bar for himself with each new book. Always an excellent writer/story teller, it has been fun to see his work evolve.
The Memory Tree continues the story of the Carson children playing time-traveler tag with their parents. This book, as is the first in the series, has a more adult feel to it. Some sexuality (not at all graphic, although in one case, almost. There, my spoiler), some violence, mildly graphic. Mostly though it is a good family oriented time traveling adventure. The story-line(s) cover multiple countries as the family spreads out in their attempt to finally reunite with their parents.
We have historic events weaved throughout some you will know (you may have heard of WWI), some a little less well known, at least they were to me. We also have romance, loss, heartbreak balanced with humor, adventure, terror and uplifting humanity.
Our author does not shy away from the stereotypical difficulties presented in most time travel stories, he in fact embraces them and weaves them into at times, heartbreaking moments or heart warming ones. This story so complex it keeps the reader hooked. I don't know if it is purposeful or not, but Mr. Heldt uses a short chapter format, usually 4 or 5 pages at most. What this does is allow the many story-lines to flow without the reader losing track of where the story is going. It also keeps, me at least, reading further into the night than I should. It's just too easy to tell myself, "One more chapter" until five or six later when I say "One more", you get the idea.
Author Heldt (remember, John A. Heldt, leave out the A and you'll get the wrong author) has developed a family of characters that the reader comes to really care about. I unashamedly will admit to becoming teary eyed several times, he makes their situations so moving.
I could go on and on about the virtues of The Memory Tree by John A. Heldt, but suffice to say, this is an awesome book and I highly recommend you check it out. Enjoy!