Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim #1)
Published March 1 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers, 425 pp.
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
How goes it?
While Into the Dim didn’t exactly meet my expectations, it’s still interesting enough if you have an intense love for Scotland (where it’s set, although the description of the Scottish countryside is minimal), and time travel (which everyone does in this book). That being said, if you don’t, I don’t think you’d feel the same way I do. Though really, give the book a chance.
Honestly I like this, maybe love, but when I think about it, I just can’t pinpoint what about it I do love-like. Like the elements are there – time travel, Scotland (OMG Scotland my number 1 dream destination), a girl who breaks out of her shell and overcomes her fears – but when they meld together they somehow don’t create magic? There are moments I did like, and stand out – when Hope rescued Rachel and the whole chase that ensued afterward, I liked that one. When Hope had stumbled onto the Big Secret, her process of discovering the costumes, the technology, I could almost see it.
But when it came together it all kind of just melted into each other and can’t pick out what stands out. Although, what Into the Dim does have going for it is it sticks with you after you read it. It lingers because it is an interesting concept, but it does need a bit more oomph to it, like everything just needed a bit more to make it really amazing.
The characters are okay; and it kind of pains me to write okay because I want to rave about this, really. Hope was okay, sometimes she was great, but I wish she had a bit more courage, or faith in herself because everyone else seemed to believe she’d do just fine. Bran as well, he was okay as a hero I guess, although he sometimes laid it on thick (my notes read Bran you cryptic little shit) because the hints he drop aren’t even subtle, like this one: “Hope, just remember, today, by the river, it- that was real,” and I’m like, well, thank you for adequately warning me of your impending turncoatism. My heart is ready.
Collum though, Collum I would like to see more of. The boy looks like he has a lot of pent-up rage inside of him, and him letting it loose in the 13th century (with a whole royal court looking on! How’s that for not altering history? How’s that for blending in? So much for all those lessons eh?) looks like a very interesting preview of things to come.
3 paper planes. Overall, would I read the next book? Yes. Would I enthusiastically shove this face in my friends’ faces when they ask me for recommendations? Not exactly, but I would if you know of my penchant for all things Scotland and time travel.