Book Review: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

into the dim janet b taylor book review
Title & Author: Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction, Time Travel
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Series: Into The Dim #1
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
How I Got the Book: bought
“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.”

Time Travel Adventure

Into the Dim is another time travel book out this year. The setting of this story is probably one of my favorites – the Middle Ages during the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
I’m getting ahead of myself – the story starts with Hope traveling to Scotland (which is unfortunately not a main setting of the book) to spend the summer with her family while she continues to mourn the disappearance of her mother. There she uncovers secrets about her mother’s past that lay long uncovered…
So yeah, I think you can guess one big secret: Hope’s family can time travel. Many readers have a real problem with the mechanics of how time travel is described in stories, but for me I let the scientific explanations just wash over me (I feel it’s better to suspend my disbelief). Into the Dim explains it with Tesla’s rods or something…yeah, I’m not sure, sorry.
My issues with the story didn’t lie with the science, they were with the characters and the plot.
Hope felt very bland to me – she felt like a paper YA heroine: shy but strong, awkward but cute. The endearing qualities she had rubbed off fairly quickly.
Not to mention a sort of love triangle (unless I misread the sitch). I can’t here. The great setting of history was overshadowed in some places by boy swooning and angst and feelings. It was too much for this story.
And then sadly, the story and writing were very straightforward and linear. I love concise, clean writing, but Into the Dim came across as bare bones with little distinctness. The twists in the story were even pretty sad – I saw them 10 miles away.
The strength of the book was in the historic detail, but for me it wasn’t enough to make it a stand out novel.

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