Review: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Monday, February 29, 2016

Into the Dim #1
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Pages: 432

Summary (from 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.

Into the Dim is another excellent time travel novel for 2016! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the characters.

Hope Walton has a photographic memory. She's incredibly smart, but she suffers from a lot of fears and phobias. She seems to be incredibly sheltered by her mother up until her mother disappears and is declared dead. She's kind of an outcast because she was always kept too busy to have friends and her father's mother has always made it her mission in life to make sure that Hope doesn't feel like she belongs in her family. 

When Hope's mother's sister invites her to come to Scotland after her mom's funeral, she learns that her mother is a part of a group of time travelers and is not actually dead, but is stuck in 12th century England. Hope trains alongside her new friends Phoebe and Collum to prepare herself for the journey back through time to go save her mother.

I really enjoyed Hope as a main character. I don't think that it's fair to her that she is made out to be pretty much scared of her own shadow. She's been so sheltered and babied by her mother that she's never had a chance to be anything, but scared of everything. But once she's thrust into this strange new world, she really kicks butt. She can talk herself out of her bad moments and can push herself through the things that scare her with the help of a group of new friends.

But really, this book makes her sound like she's scared of everything saying she has so many phobias and anxieties, but really besides this reoccurring nightmare type thing she has, the only real fear I can remember her having is near crippling claustrophobia. Which isn't as bad as I was imagining her to be from what they were saying. So I thought that was a smidge misleading. 

And despite what fears she does have, when they get back to the 12th century, it is Hope that basically gets them all the leads on her mom and even gets them in with the royalty! So really, she's a lot tougher and braver than anyone will give her credit for. She can hold her own!

Besides Hope, this book had plenty of other likable characters. Hope's aunt Lucinda took a bit for me to warm up to for a few reasons. I enjoyed Mac and Moira, Collum and Phoebe's grandparents, except that they really put off Hope's questions when she arrives in Scotland. Like almost in a rude way, I felt. Her aunt should have been there when she arrived to answer her questions, but she was off somewhere in time and I don't know if we ever find out what she was doing there instead of waiting for Hope?? Anyway, yeah. For the most part, I quite liked the characters in this book! 

There is a romance brewing in this book that I enjoyed. Hope somehow has a strange connection to him that I liked learning about. It's really interesting the history they have. There is not a love triangle in this book, but I don't know, I can't decide if there is another character in this book that has feelings for Hope or if they are just being kind of over protective of her.

I enjoyed the writing of this book. It was a bit slow in the beginning, as I am starting to feel that a lot of time travel novels might be, when Hope is learning about the whole time travel thing and learning what she needs to know about 12th century London and how to act and defend herself and everything. But once they got back in time, things really started to pick up!

As for negatives, I found this book to be kind of really predictable. I feel like there are passages in this book that basically take future plot twists and slap you in the face with them so you know they're coming. So, while there were a couple of things that surprised me in this book, if the writing were kept a bit more vague, I think this book could have been full of far more surprises. Also, the villain. I know that we don't see a whole lot of her in this book and we don't really know her story, but she's just awful for the sake of being awful. I don't like that so much.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Going into it, for some reason, I didn't think I was going to like it as much as I did. I was pleasantly surprised by this book! If you liked Passenger, I think you might like this one! It is a very different book, but some of the explanations gave me Passenger vibes!

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