Into the Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Series: Into the Dim #1
Genre: YA, sci-fi, historical, romance
Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.
Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.
It’s no secret I absolutely love time travel stories. Something about them is just so wonderful. The most recent one I read and reviewed was The Love That Split the World, but that was magic realism. I really wanted to read a time travel story that got down to the core of it–travelling through history and experiencing the time. When I heard of Into the Dim, I hoped it would be that story, and indeed it was.
I thought the story itself was very enjoyable. It took awhile to get to the time travel aspect of the story, so the beginning wasn’t my favorite, but the story really took off once they started traveling. The characters only went to one time period, but I really enjoyed it so I can’t complain. Sometimes “quest” type of plots can become a bit boring and drag, but that didn’t happen with Into the Dim. The object of the characters’s mission was to find a certain object that could control the way people travel, and there was an added element of suspense when you find out there are 2 groups searching for the object. I thought the story was exciting and thrilling once it really got rolling, and I didn’t see the big “twist” coming.
The pacing was well done. Even though the beginning didn’t deal with time travel, I didn’t think it was slow (I’m just impatient when it comes to getting to the good stuff, I suppose). Because of the thrilling nature of the story, I never felt like anything was really “slow,” but there were lulls in the action. It really was a nice balance between fast and slow scenes.
I thought the characters were alright. Hope, our main character, is a young 16. Sometimes she felt a bit immature, but I think I’d chalk that up to her being home schooled and sequestered away for most of her life. I like more mature main characters, so sometimes her actions and responses grated on my nerves, but overall I think she was a pretty solid main character. She was loyal to her friends and brave, which I admired. I thought the other characters were pretty well developed. The other two main characters who accompany Hope on her journey were Phoebe and Collum, two siblings. Both of them were well developed, and Collum was one of my favorite characters in the story. I also loved Eleanor; she was a force to be reckoned with, and reading this story made me want to learn so much more about her. The only character who I felt was a little underdeveloped was Bran. He felt too theatrical at times, and his sudden personality change felt a little jarring. Otherwise, I thought all the other characters were lovely.
Ah, the romance. I said it was a love triangle in “review at a glance” but it’s not an “in your face” sort of thing. The main character only focuses on one love interest during the story, but it’s pretty clear that another character likes her (sadly, my favorite of the 2 was not the one Hope was interested in 😦 , which I’m pretty bitter about). I thought the romance went from lust to love a little too soon, and that Hope suffered from special snowflake syndrome a bit. Otherwise, I thought the romance was grudgingly cute at times, even though it wasn’t my ship.
Overall, Into the Dim was a very enjoyable read. While the romance wasn’t my favorite, I thought the plot was a fresh take on a typical idea, the characters were a fun bunch, and the the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted a fun, time travel story and I got it; if that’s what you’re looking for, then I recommend you buy it when it releases in a few weeks!