by Janet B. Taylor
Amazon / Goodreads
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.
Review:Into the Dim is a novel full of adventure and excitement. There's the suspense of whether or not Hope and her team can find her mother in twelfth century England, especially when there's another team of people intent on preventing her, and there's the richness of the history and the setting which is wonderfully brought to life by the author, and then the drama and fast-paced plot to keep the reader completely engaged. Not to mention the perfectly pitched romance, which was not overwhelming to the story, and held more than a few surprises for me. As indeed this whole novel is full of fresh twists and unexpected turns.
Hope Walton, the main character, is a relatable, normal teen, except that she has a remarkable memory and a surprising family secret. I thought she was the perfect character to take us on this journey, because I found her so empathetic, and it was easy to imagine myself on this adventure with her. She is perhaps not the most stand out character in this book, but I loved how she went from being shy and uncertain to more determined and capable.
Although the plot summary doesn't really hint about the villain in the story, there is one, and she's fantastic. The whole backstory was intriguing, and obviously there is more to learn about her. There is real danger for Hope and the other time travelers, and the countdown for them to get back to their own time made everything even more nerve-wracking. Especially because there were a few characters you didn't know if they could trust.
The time travel aspect was what initally drew me to read this. And while the publishers tout this as a YA Outlander, it might be just the mechanism of time travel that makes them similar. Into the Dim has a lot more of an explanation than just touching a stone though - there's some revisionist history when it comes to famous scientists, and an interesting naturalistic explanation about ley lines and places of power. It makes the time travel seem believable, and the resulting secret society that comes from the discovery lends more realism. I also really liked how the book explains what happens if you try to change the future. It was a lot of information and exposition, but I think it flowed well, and it always supported the action.
The romance is another aspect of this novel that attracted me, and I'm happy to say that while it did look to be going down a love triangle path, it turned sharply and became a wonderfully fulfilling romance. There's a real connection (that has an interesting twist near the end!) and a forbidden aspect to it, that made it even more addicting. I loved the romance so much and was very happy with the person!
This is a great, fun and fast-paced read, that is historically enlightening, imaginative and completely satisfying. I loved the adventure!
(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.)