Does time heal all wounds? Or do some last forever?
Pennsylvania, 1971: Graham Davidson is a young man with survivor’s guilt after the death of three siblings.
Estranged from his father and seeking a direction in his life, Graham learns about vision quests from a Crow Indian. He secures seasonal employment in Yellowstone National Park and embarks on a spiritual journey.
Wyoming Territory, 1871: Under a full moon at a sacred thermal area, Graham finds himself in Yellowstone a century earlier - one year before it was established as a national park. He joins the Hayden Expedition which was commissioned to explore the region.
Although a military escort provides protection for the explorers, the cavalry’s notorious lieutenant threatens Graham. His perilous journey through the future park is marred by a horrific tragedy in a geyser basin, a grizzly bear attack, and an encounter with hostile Blackfeet Indians.
Graham falls in love with Makawee, a beautiful Crow woman who serves as a guide. As the expedition nears its conclusion, Graham is faced with an agonizing decision.
Does he stay in the previous century with the woman he loves or travel back to the future?
If you like the historical time travel adventure of Outlander or enjoyed the movie Dances with Wolves, then you'll love Burning Ground!
I grew up in rural Pennsylvania near Gettysburg. After a long career in the paper industry and writing a bestselling nonfiction book, Safety WALK Safety TALK, I decided to follow a once-dormant dream of writing a novel. I enjoy reading about adventurers and explorers, traveling internationally, riding a recumbent tandem bike, and spending time with my grandsons.
Burning Ground was inspired by two memorable summers of my youth.
As a teenager, I worked on a fruit farm in Pennsylvania. It is here I met Redfield, a Crow Indian who lived a simple life but had a profound effect on the way I saw the world and people around me.
As a young man, I spent a summer in Yellowstone National Park in the late 1970's giving guided tours on Yellowstone Lake. When I was not working, my days were spent exploring all corners of that magnificent land, often in the backcountry. My love for our nation's first national park is rooted in that wonderful experience. I've included some photos from my time in the park in the Author Updates.
I am currently working on the sequel to Burning Ground, tentatively titled Fatal Ground.
Burning Ground is the debut novel by D.A. Galloway and what a debut it is!
When Graham Davidson is young he and his family are hit with tragedy after tragedy, leaving Graham to carry around enormous guilt. He wants to find his place in the world and has a passion for forrestry. He beings working at a farm and meets a Crow Indian named Redfield that teaches him about their ways. They grow close and one night Redfield tells him about a "vision quest" where you can connect with spirits.
When Graham is at school at Penn State (which was where my grandfather went to school) he notices an ad to work as a Dock Worker at Yellowstone National Park. He needs the money to help with school so he quickly signs up.
One night when there is a full moon Graham tries the "vision quest" ritual and wakes up the next day, he's suddenly 100 years back to the past. He's in a Military camp and decides to join them. The Hayden Expedition is there checking out the area for the new Yellowstone National Park. That's where the action takes off as Graham has to deal with a lieutenant that does not like him, falls for a Crow woman, and fights off a huge bear.
I thoroughly enjoyed Graham's writing and the photos he included in the book. I am very impressed that this is his first book and can't wait for more from him! If you're looking for a unique and fascinating read, check out Burning Ground!
Science, history, myth and storytelling weave a transfixing narrative. It’s impossible to list every hidden gem within the story’s meticulous detail. Not a short or concise novel by any definition, that’s one of its strengths; brevity would negatively serve such an ambitious frontier epic.
In this multilayered book, each relationship carefully contributes to the strengths and weaknesses, and desires and insecurities, of each individual character. Racial reckoning and awakening also plays an important role, and eloquent descriptions of natural surroundings are abundant. Galloway graciously included photographs, which serve as incredible visual aides; the time period(s) are rendered with poignant nostalgia. Indeed, every detail is as impeccably placed as a Thanksgiving tablescape.
Graham Davidson grows up during the 1960’s and 70’s- they seemed to have the perfect middle class family. Brothers, a sister- father worked, mother volunteered-dad upgraded the vehicle to one with power steering, and they had dinner as a family at night. But tragedy after tragedy struck this poor family and often Graham questioned why he was still on this Earth, allowed to live and do the things that others never would be able to.
Graham, trying to find his way in life- gets the chance of a lifetime when he is offered a position out at Yellowstone as a dock hand. It may not pay much, but this is something he cannot pass up. He loves the outdoors, has a change to travel west and work in one of the most amazing parks in the world while getting paid.
While he is awaiting this summer job, he has been working at Big Hill Farm and has befriended a man from the Crow Indian tribe, Redfield. As the two get to know each other and become friends, Redfield knows that Graham is the one he has been meant to help. Their paths were meant to cross, all the signs are there and he needs to prepare Graham for his journey to Yellowstone.
Graham does as Redfield has taught him, and wakes up in the same place, but yet what appears to be a new land. He soon finds himself among a military camp. He has done it! This is what Redfield had worked with him on and he is seeing history in the making. Graham integrates himself into the military camp and his journey through 1871 begins. Although Graham has to be careful to not reveal that he is from the future, while explaining away how he knows some of what he does about this territory.
As the exploration through what is now known as Yellowstone, is happening Graham is often getting threatened by the lieutenant who is not quite sure of him and all of his training from when he was a dockhand comes back to mind when they encounter bears and a gruesome attack happens. As was happening in his life in the “future”, death is still a theme, but he also has found an emotion he never really felt before, when he starts to fall for a Crow woman, Makawee.
Now having to make the ultimate decision of his life, does he risk it all in the name of love – or does he go back to where he came from? This really is a novel for the Outlander fans! I thoroughly enjoyed all of historical tidbits the author put through the novel, as well as the photos and how he weaved Graham’s story into it all. Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book, and HFVBT for the invite.
With the sesquicentennial of the establishment of Yellowstone National Park on the horizon, it is important to recognize the influence the Hayden Expedition, and its members, played in its creation. Author D.A. Galloway brings to light some of the significant discoveries of that exploration in his time-travel novel, Burning Ground. Pennsylvanian Graham Davidson suffers numerous family losses growing up. While working on a nearby fruit farm in the summer of 1970, he befriends Redfield, a native American from the Crow tribe in Montana. As their friendship evolves, Redfield teaches Graham about Crow culture and the region he is from, including Yellowstone. Responding to a bulletin board announcement advertising summer employment opportunities in Yellowstone National Park, Graham applies to work for the Yellowstone Park Company. Redfield shares his heritage with the young man—especially details of his vision quest. Graham becomes interested in pursuing his own vision quest to heal the wounds of his youth. His acceptance to work in Yellowstone in the summer of 1971 sets the stage for his adventure and the opportunity to pursue that goal. Hired to work with the tour boats out of the Bridge Bay Marina, he learns about the history of the Yellowstone Lake area. When the timing is right, Graham makes his way to the Mud Volcano area to start the quest. Awakening from what he believed to be a dream, Graham finds he has traveled back to 1871 where he encounters members of the Hayden expedition. Fabricating a story about how he came to be there, he is soon employed as a member of the expedition. As luck would have it, his backpack and modern-day contents are with him in 1871—including a modern day map of the park. His knowledge is of value to Ferdinand Hayden as he assists in the routes followed around the lake and to the geyser basins. D.A. Galloway has written an enticing novel along the lines of Marlys Milhiser and Diana Gabaldon. He draws the reader in to an unexplored and pristine Yellowstone where danger abounds from nature as well military members and Native Americans. His research and personal knowledge of the park supplies believable descriptions of both the Hayden Survey activities as well as the places visited in 1871. Particularly enjoyable are the biographical descriptions of expedition members such as Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson and Henry Elliott. Photographs, some historic, are included which adds value to the story. As a librarian/historian, the one item that would improve the work is a map or two. There are some available from the 1871 Hayden report and including a modern day comparison would aid the reader in visualizing the routes followed. Galloway’s research is thorough and I loved reading about Hayden’s exploration in a popular framework. The twists and turns in the story line are credible and lead the reader onward. This is a quick, engaging read which leaves you ready for the next volume in the series. One of the best novels set in Yellowstone I have read.
Been excited about this book since the book cover reveal! I simply adore time-travel novels and I love Westerns so this is perfect!
Here we follow Graham who is trying to find himself and find some sort of happiness after his tragic past. There has been a lot of tension and some estrangement over the years due to lots of guilt and sadness from losing three of his siblings. He learns about vision quests from his friend who is Crow. He accepts a summer job at Yellowstone to try to have a vision quest. Under a full moon, Graham finds himself being transported to 1871 and goes on a journey that will forever change him. Should he stay in 1871 or go back home to the future?
Poor Graham. He has had a lot of sadness and guilt. I can't even imagine his guilt or his parents' guilt. So tragic. He for sure needed to get away. Maybe a whole century away seems a lot, but I think it was good for him.
Awwww Makawee. Loved her. I did want more time with her. I want to learn more about her. She was so strong and she deserved love. OoooOOoo it's so hard to give away spoilers. ;)
But yes, Graham and Makawee deserved each other. I was for sure rooting for them!!
I am super curious to see what is next in the series. This is book 1 and there was a slight cliff-hanger so I want more for sure!!!! Ooooo! I want everyone to be happy!!!!!! I can't wait for the next book. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!????
Oh! I loved the photos that the author included here. It helped bring the story a live. It felt like Redfield or someone was writing Graham's story or something. It was really neat.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. There is something here for everyone. Love, action, drama, and a people story. This was really good. I highly recommend it. I'll give this 4 stars.
The book definitely had potential. However I just couldn't finish it. To be honest, the use of the phrase "the time traveler" got to be pretty irritating. The history and descriptions of Yellowstone are wonderful! It's just too bad that the characters weren't developed better. To be honest, I just got bored with it.
Graham Davidson is a college student in Pennsylvania, 1971. He is carrying a large amount of survivor's guilt after the death of his three siblings and yearns to make something of his life. When working on a farm Graham meets Redfield, a Crow Indian who tells Graham of a vision quest that he believes Graham is part of. When Graham receives a job offer to work in Yellowstone for the summer, Graham decides to follow Redfield's advice for undertaking a vision quest of his own and complete a spiritual journey. Graham's vision quest transports him to 1871, where he is found next to a geyser by a member of the Hayden Expedition. The Hayden Expedition was a federally funded geological expedition to explore and survey what would become Yellowstone Park. Graham joins the expedition as a civilian and is able to help with his modern knowledge of Yellowstone's geography. Graham also becomes close to the expedition's two Crow guides, Makawee and Rides Alone. He knows that he can confide in them about his vision quest as well as have them help him find his way home. As Graham spends a month with Makawee, they fall in love; however, Graham's time in 1871 is coming to an end and he must make a decision to complete his vision quest on the next full moon.
Burning Ground is an exciting time travel adventure romance. Graham's story grabbed me from the very beginning with the death of his little brother. His character is well written and easy to relate to as Graham goes through a rollercoaster of emotions. I enjoyed watching Graham grow and evolve in his vision quest and was astounded at the descriptions while exploring Yellowstone. I knew nothing of the Hayden Expedition and was excited to learn about how the National Park was formed. The author has included many of the real people who were on the expedition as characters and I liked being able to see the group dynamics between the many different characters including geologists, guides, artists and mule handlers. The descriptions of Yellowstone before it was a park were amazing; I could easily visualize the geysers, waterfalls, and the obsidian outcropping. It was also interesting to see the interactions with the Native Americans in 1871, Makawee and Rides Alone were amazing characters who were able to find a place within changing society while still keeping their traditions. Graham and Makawee's relationship progressed very naturally and I was surprised at where it took them. I can't wait to read more of their journey in the rest of the Frontier Time Traveler Series.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
When reaching the end of a chapter in this book, you'll want to read what happens next. I love that the author makes us want to turn the page and not put the book down. It brings history to life in the adventures of the time traveler, connecting the future with the past, and gives us an appreciation for everything that has come to pass before our time so that it is what it has become today. It also brings to mind, what are we doing today that future generations will someday be grateful for. It's a great read!
What an amazing read! This story kept me engaged till the very end. I am in awe about all the references to actual people involved with the expedition. I now want to read more with the books provided used as reference. I can't wait for the next book!
I thoroughly enjoyed this time travel book from 1970 to the 1800s before Yellowstone became a park. Graham actually travels with the famous Hayden expedition to map the park. Surprisingly, the author utilized many events from his own life to create this narrative. What a find! I can’t wait for the second book, Fatal Ground.
I learned lots of history while reading this novel. While the plot was somewhat predictable, I still thoroughly enjoyed the read. I must admit that I have no idea what the sequel will bring. So ... maybe not quite as predictable as I thought. I will have to pick up the sequel.
I enjoyed this ‘Time Travel’ historical fiction book. It was well researched and gave an interesting perspective on the founding of our 1st National Park-Yellowstone. I did not realize it was a series but it is certainly stand alone if you only want to read one book.
I have had my eye on this book. The spectacular landscape and the tiny bison on the cover, together with the book description, invited me to put this book on my to-be-read list and compelled me to bump it to the top.
Inside, landscape images add tremendously to the experience of reading the book. I have the book on my phone, and even though they are very small, these pictures are a wonderful enhancement to the facts and fiction. The author presents stunning color images on his website at dagalloway dot com.
Burning Ground opens in 1961, and we are introduced to the Davidson family, residents of south-central Pennsylvania. Over the course of about 100 pages, the family suffers a series of unbearable tragedies. We follow a child named Graham through a difficult decade as he experiences devastating losses and stifling guilt. He distracts himself by toiling to becoming an Eagle Scout and working during the summers at Big Hill Fruit Farm. Eventually, he attends Penn State, majoring in forestry, during the Vietnam War era.
At the fruit farm, Graham meets a Native American named Redfield, who drifted around the country through the years. Graham is intrigued by the mysterious man’s Crow ancestry, culture, and western homeland. When Graham gets the opportunity to work at Yellowstone in the summer of 1971, he won’t be dissuaded by a car that isn’t road-worthy or a father who doesn’t believe he should go.
Perhaps I should have been born a hundred years earlier because I was more than ready for the time slip when it came. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I loved the premise, the storytelling, and the surprise ending, though I must admit my ESP enabled me to foresee the ending.
The characters are well-formed, from protagonist to villains. At some points, I think the historical facts and background biographies of nonfictional characters, presented in italics as brief asides, interrupt the flow of the storytelling. I might have liked that better if it were presented after the end. Flora and fauna were employed masterfully and were another strong element in Burning Ground.
Yellowstone sparkles and gets star treatment in this book. I can’t imagine a more glorious setting. Congratulations to the author on an exceptional book.
I highly recommend Burning Ground by D.A. Galloway.
Loved everything about this book. A good story with a plausible time travel element. As far as I can tell (I am not an expert) - accurate and fascinating historical information about Yellowstone and the local Indian tribes. Well written and easy to read - just hard to put down. Have recommended to friends already and really looking forward to the next book.
Having spent a five days at Yellowstone, I delved into this book anxious to learn more. Oh, what a delight - a great story interspersed with accurate history. I love every minute of reading this time travel book..
Sorry to say this was a slow start and too much unimportant detail. I would have been interested in the ending if I didn’t have to fight my way through every chapter. This story could have been condensed. It was a “Did Not Finish” for me.
I enjoy well researched historical time travel, appreciate descriptions of the natural world and love the unique area surrounding what is now Yellowstone National Park.... so this novel released just this month as an ebook was irresistible to me. (While there is no audio version available yet, I find that Alexa will read Kindle books aloud... a nice option to continue the adventure on my sunset strolls).
In 1971, Graham Davidson's plans after HS graduation include escaping his childhood home in Pennsylvania to seek adventure and fresh western horizons. His family is haunted by the separate untimely deaths of his three siblings but he finds the courage to break free for a summer and join the ranks of seasonal employees in Yellowstone National Park.
A Native American friend entices him to see this area through the eyes of his ancestors who consider the beauty of Yellowstone sacred and call the thermal areas "burning ground". So begins a magical personal spirit quest....
When he arrives for his seasonal employment, Graham is assigned duties at the marina, taking tourists on guided tours of the lake. He spends his free time exploring the area and navigating its dangers. Midsummer, he ventures to a sacred spot and while bathed in the light of a full moon he initiates an adventure into the unknown. Being transported a century into the past, Graham finds himself in the ranks of the 1871 Hayden Expedition- on a quest to explore and document the wonders of this area before fortune seekers could lay claim to the area for their own personal gain. The techniques they used to map, measure and survive while exploring are expertly woven into the storyline along with enchantingly accurate descriptions of familiar natural wonders before roads and rules attempted to tame this unique wilderness.
Getting to know the personalities and background of expedition members through their daily interactions with Graham is so much more personal than reading from a history book. Jackson's photographs and Moran's paintings appear alongside accounts of the day and revelations that echo their own words regarding the experience. The daily chores, the task of navigating thru wilderness with an odometer cart, taking soundings to map the immense lake, finding food to nourish 30 men, identifying the native flora and fauna while tending to injuries and dangers from animals and humans are all part of the story. The characters are memorable and the circumstances are historically enlightening. Graham also befriends a young Crow woman who serves as a consulting guide to the group while her brother spends his days hunting to help keep the food supply for the expedition replenished. Their friendship blossoms into a romantic relationship that ties the two together across the years.... and ultimately into the next books in this emerging series.
I'm not sure that I will continue reading the series but I do recommend this historical fiction novel as one that has much more to offer than just a fantastical adventure in time. My curiosity is piqued to delve into some of the resources listed in the back of the book that provided many of the historical details that kept me enthralled.
Once in a while, a unique and creative story comes along that captures your heart in so many ways. “Burning Ground” turned out to be one of those books!
I adored so many things about “Burning Ground.” To begin with, I loved the time travel element where Graham goes back in time to 1871. Even though the book is a big one, I never noticed the time fly by when I started reading it, as the story completely immersed me. Moreover, I loved the details the author provided about Yellowstone Park. After finishing the book, the tale tempted me to add this to my wishlist of places to see, including the lake and the colorful thermal features. The author describes the locations so vibrantly, and it felt that I was with Graham on his adventures in Yellowstone.
Coming to the plot, the author adds a little bit of everything to make the tale memorable. I loved the action and adventure elements when Foley fell into a hot spring, or Alec Sibley fell in the water. Similarly, the author adds the time-travel element beautifully, where it doesn’t feel out of place, even if it borders science fiction. There are also characters like Lt. Doane who get on your nerves. However, the highlight of the story was the romance between Graham and Makawee. The two of them share such fantastic chemistry, and I loved their scenes together. Even though they are from worlds apart, the author wrote their relationship wonderfully. There are so many memorable moments between the two, where he shows her the gadgets from the future. They were the highlight of the story for me.
Overall, “Burning Ground” is a fantastic piece of literary fiction, and I cannot wait to read its sequel!
Burning Ground is the first of a series, Frontier Time Travelers. The second novel, Fatal Ground, published fall of 2022.
The Crow Native Indian name for what is now Yellowstone National Park translates to "The Land of Burning Ground". In this excellent historical novel set in, for the most part, Yellowstone, we travel from Pennsylvania and through time with young college student Graham Davidson.
Graham in the spring of 1971 is the only surviving child in his generation, having seen the death of his three siblings during his youth. Suffering from a fairly strong bout of survivor's guilt, he is nevertheless looking forward to his senior year at Penn State University and accomplishing a degree in forestry management. He is offered and accepts a summer job with a service provider at Yellowstone National Park, which doesn't sit well with his father. The pay is lower than Graham would make working his normal summer job on Big Hill Farm, expenses will be higher, and his car needs major work to be dependable enough to commute to his last year of college. There is no way it would make it to California.
It is for Graham a dream come true, however, and after a three-day and night Greyhound bus ride, he thrives in the park, making friends and learning more than he ever dreamed possible. He is in awe of the history, the beauty, the thrall of the place. And he is able, with the advice and shared knowledge of his Pennsylvania friend Redfield, a Crow coworker at the farm Graham has worked with every summer of his high school and college years, to make his own personal vision quest while he is in Yellowstone, at a site considered powerful by the Crow/Absaroka tribe, the Dragon Mouth Spring. It might give him a chance to make peace with himself and absolve the guilt he feels over the deaths of his siblings.
And thus began his travel through time, 100 years back to 1871. What an excellent tale! If you love Yellowstone and all that it stands for, you must read this series. It brings the park to life, both before it was chosen as America's first National Park and today.
Reviewed on August 9, 2023, at Goodreads, AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, and BookBub. Not available for review at Kobo.
Burning Ground is an epic time-traveling debut from D.A. Galloway.
In his youth, Graham Davidson experiences several tragedies that assault his family. His younger brother dies falling through the ice one winter. His sister is killed when a car rear-ends their newly purchased station wagon. Then, his oldest brother dies in the Vietnam war. The middle son of four, Graham deals with survivor's guilt.
His escape comes in the outdoors, from Boy Scouts, working on a farm, and landing a job at Yellowstone. Along the way, he learns about "vision quests" and decides to try it out one night. But, instead of communing with spirits to find his path in life, Graham gets transported one hundred years back in time.
He becomes part of the Hayden geological survey that took place in and around Yellowstone in 1871. A very wild west adventure begins, and Graham must deal with being disliked by his lieutenant, the trappings of living in the times, fighting off wildlife, and falling in love with a Crow woman.
As a debut, D.A. Galloway does a supreme job of creating a unique story. Typically our time travelers with romantic interests tend to be women falling for men in the past, so this is a refreshing perspective. The point of travel into American history is also fun. Exploration and the expanse to the west is a story filled with intrigue, darkness, despair, guts, and glory. These tales become quick favorites, as we enjoy seeing how our country was formed.
Some of the writing is clunky and transitions abrupt. The car accident, in particular, felt rushed and also lacked realism. Character reactions and speech choices felt a tad rehearsed, rigid, and lacking authenticity. However, the characters themselves were well developed. Graham grows and changes with his interactions, losses, depression and grief, and choices he makes. The subject of grief was handled exceptionally well, with Galloway excelling at illuminating the many ways we grieve as people, parents, and children.
Burning Ground is like The New World meets The Revenant meets The Last of the Mohicans. It is an exciting start to a series, and I look forward to seeing D.A. Galloway grow as a writer.
There are some topics I can never resist: anything related to books (i.e. bookshops, libraries, etc) being one, and time travel being another.
So, when audiobookworm promotions looked for hosts for this tour, I was glad to join.
The premise sounded fascinating, and the book didn’t disappoint.
The book starts slow; the time travel event doesn’t happen until well into the story, but I didn’t mind, because the book drew me in right from the start.
Yellowstone National Park is a fascinating place of which I knew very little when starting the book. Its history is interesting, and I’d really love to visit one day.
We learn a bit about Yellowstone’s past and recent past, its meaning to the Native Americans, and some of the problems that came with the white usurpers.
My impression was, that the book is very well researched. I didn’t look up any of the historic people mentioned, but I never doubted that D.A. Galloway got his facts right. I imagine that Hayden’s 1871 expedition is well documented in text and photos and paintings, but D.A. Galloway weaves an intriguing tale with fascinating characters and vivid descriptions of the trials and tribulations such an expedition would bring, as well as the joyful, stunning moments.
Everything is described so vividly, I felt like I was there. The book makes me want to go and follow the trail this specific expedition took — although I’m not fond of mosquitoes, and the wildlife would scare me.
Michael Bauer did a terrific job as a narrator, I actually ‘heard’ all the different people and was never at a loss as to who said what; all the characters are distinctive. Mr Bauer’s diction was excellent, making it easy for me to understand every word — English is not my first language, so a clear diction is essential for me to enjoy an audio book.
The whole experience was absolutely great, and time flew by — I never even realized the length of the book.
I would recommend this book not only to readers who are interested in history, or geology, but to everybody who wants to enjoy a great story.
Burning Ground combined two of my favorite things; time travel novels and Yellowstone National Park. Graham is a young man who has seen a lot of tragedy in his young life and he somehow feels guilty for surviving when his siblings have all died. Seeking an escape he takes a job in Yellowstone National Park for the summer. Before he goes he learns about vision quests from a Crow Indian.
One night in Yellowstone when the conditions are right Graham tries his Vision Quest and wakes up 100 years earlier with the Hayden Expedition as they are exploring Yellowstone for the first time. With them is Makawee, a Crow woman who will play an important part in Graham’s life.
As Graham explores Yellowstone, discovering it’s secrets and marveling at it’s beauty he finds that not all is as it seems for there is danger amidst the beauty. But he also discovers that love can be found where he least expects it.
I found this to be a really interesting book. As I noted I am always thrilled with a time travel book and this was very well done. I found myself quite immersed in the story and felt I was back in Yellowstone before it was developed. It is a truly beautiful place and it was a delight to envision it without any of the manmade elements that have been added.
This was a fun and entertaining read with a diverse and entertaining cast of characters.
I've never been to Yellowstone, but this was a delightful trip. #lifegoals
I thought it could have used tighter editing—we spend nine chapters in the 20th century when all I wanted was to get to the 19th. I really did not need to hear entries from Graham's cross-country bus journal. It was also weird to get omniscient mini-biographies every time a member of the Hayden Expedition was introduced. I suspect these were footnotes in the text version. I'd say the villain who literally twirled his handlebar mustache was over-the-top...but on Amazon, the author provides a historical photo of the real-life evildoer, and his handlebar mustache is unmistakably twirled!
I could tell the author did his research, and it contributed to my enjoyment of the story. I learned a lot about a place that was a pleasure to visit in two centuries, full of natural surprises. I love that this novel is a wilderness adventure but in a historical setting. The isolation and primitive medical care heightened the dangers. Thank goodness for Makawee and her Native medical wisdom.
The ending is both satisfying and leaves plenty of drama to come. I appreciated the preview of Book 2 in the series. The title Fatal Ground has me worried, but in a good way!
I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Disclaimer: This audiobook was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
This is the first time I picked up a historical time travelling book and I did not regret it at all. Although slightly slower at the start, I believed they help set the stage for the story to move forward. As the book progresses, I became more and more absorbed and attached to the characters in the story. Especially as different events start to tie back to various things that happen, it really pulls the story together and has some pondering questions that I would think about post-book. I did not know anything about the history of the places and stories that the story took place in prior, so the book also enlightened me on some of these. Definitely glad I gave this book a try.
Narration by Michael Bauer was enjoyable. He has a slight switch between characters and narration that took some time adjusting to, but later became very appreciated. His pacing was good, and some accents and voice acting here and there for many different characters also help bring them to life and is truly a joy to listen to.
““Most park visitors don’t appreciate what they’re lookin’ at. They think geysers, springs, and mud pots are simply wonders of nature. They are. But to the people who lived there before it became a national park, it’s a sacred land. Treat it that way.””
Loved the concept of time traveling to the Beginning of Yellowstone National Park and was all too excited to dive right into Graham’s story. However, the dialog was a little hard to read, some other reviewers described it as “clunky”. Maybe more of a young adult feel to the writing style. Really enjoyed the historical references and pictures included in the story and informative parts about the healing powers of natural vegetation. I’m a sucker for anything historical and I have a sweet spot for anything Yellowstone and the American West so this story line was a no brainer for my reading list. Overall, I really enjoyed the concept just wish that more detail and description was included along with some more flowing conversations between characters.
I had some mixed feelings about this book at first. I found it a bit slow in the beginning and was getting discouraged because of all of Graham’s losses. His relationship with an older Crow Indian that he worked with is what turned the story into the direction is was intended to go. After that the story took off for me as I enjoyed the adventures of this young man that was misplaced into a time that he knew nothing of. His unique experiences taught him things about himself that he would never have a warrant without making this spirit quest. I am looking forward to the next book as he makes choices as to whether to stay in this time or go back because of the live he found there!