Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor

Into the Dim
Janet B. Taylor 
Series: Into the Dim, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the eARC I received via NetGalley!

Hope has been homeschooled her entire life - she has a photographic memory, and her mother has schooled her a very specific way so that the knowledge wouldn't overwhelm her. When Hope's mom dies in an earthquake, her aunt reaches out to her and Hope ends up going to visit her mother's family in Scotland. When she gets there, she finds out her mother isn't actually dead - she's trapped in England in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine - and Hope needs to travel back in time to save her.

The way the time travel aspect was explained and portrayed was absolutely wonderful. I really enjoyed the detail Janet B. Taylor included with the science aspect behind the time traveling, as well as how much work went in to preparing to travel to a different time. From the proper way to walk, to the proper dialect, to the correct clothing - everything was so precise and well thought out.

I really enjoyed the time period of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I had no knowledge of this period prior to reading this book so I can't really say if any of the historical basis was accurate (I'm hoping that it is) but the political elements of the time were really interesting to learn about.

Hope wasn't a particularly outstanding heroine, but I enjoyed seeing her interact with her newfound family. These people took her in and made her a part of their group without even really knowing her. Given Hope's sheltered past, she was never able to make friends or interact with anyone her age. Seeing her friendship with Rachel, Collum, and Phoebe.

The thing about Into the Dim that was most unexpected to me is that most of the book happens in present day. While this makes sense given that Janet B. Taylor needed to set up the background of the plot, have Hope travel to Scotland, and show the training involved before time traveling, I really wish there had been more of the historical aspect of the book. Everything in the first half of the book felt really elaborate and thoroughly explained, but some of the action in the second half while they were time traveling felt rushed. I wish the things that happened had just been stretched out a bit more - fleshed out with more detail.

Overall, Into the Dim wasn't an outstanding book, but I really enjoyed it while I was reading it. From the time traveling element to the promise of a bigger conspiracy in future books, Into the Dim was worth the read!

- Kiersten

If you could travel back in time, when would you travel to?
Let us know in the comments!

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