Featured Review: Into the Dim by Janet Taylor
About this book:
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she's alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.
*Review contributed by Kristie Lowry, Staff Reviewer*
A Good Addition to the Genre
Hope Walton is understandably crushed when her mother is missing and presumed dead after an earthquake overseas. Hope's mom, Sarah, was her teacher, friend, and ally, and Sarah kept Hope well insulated from the rest of the world as she trained Hope to manage her photographic memory and many anxieties.
Seven months after losing her mom, Hope's step-father plans a getaway with his new girlfriend, and Hope has the opportunity to visit her mother's sister in Scotland--a trip she hasn't made before because of her fear of plane travel. Hope is willing to make it now to learn more about her mom's background and to avoid staying with her step-father's family.
Hope's arrival in Scotland sets the stage for a story that is a time travel thriller with a bit of romance. Sent with two others to 12th century England to find her not-really-dead mom, Hope's photographic memory serves her well as she navigates the time surrounding the coronation of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II.
Although the pacing of INTO THE DIM is slow as the plot and characters develop, the historical details are rich and vivid--they're definitely the best part of this book. It would have been lovely to spend all of my reading time following the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and whenever she left the scene I wanted to go with her to see what she would be doing rather than Hope. That said, Hope is a good character. She's not perfect and unreasonably strong (in mind nor body), but she's also not a complete weakling who needs to be rescued at every turn. Her resiliency is her best trait, and her personal challenges make her relatable. The romance that develops through the course of the book between Hope and one of the male characters isn't one that captures the imagination, and the accents of the historical and present-day Scots characters don't ring true at all times, but INTO THE DIM is a good addition to the YA time travel/historical fiction genre with a lot to recommend it. It's the first in a series, and I'll happily read more about Hope and her friends as the rest of the books come out.
*You can find this review HERE!*