Review: Into the Dim (Into The Dim #1) by Janet B. Taylor10:00
Series: Into The Dim #1
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Published March 1st 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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.
Just before Christmas, last year, I decided to preorder a ton of books, and many of them were ones I'd seen on GR and Twitter, loved by bloggers I trust. This book was one of them, but by the time it arrived in March, I was going home for Easter, and then had assignments and revision to contend with. So the first chance I got to read this, was after my exams, and I flew through the book.
Set mainly in Scotland, Hope is sent to her aunt's house, more like castle, and discovers that her mother's disappearance may not simply be because of the earthquake, when she was presumed dead; in fact, her mother is trapped in 12th century England, at the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Now that Hope knows about her family connection to a secret group of time travellers, she finds herself having to journey back in time, and save her mother, in less than 72 hours. She's alone, apart from other two teenagers, Collum and Phoebe, and gets drawn to Bran, someone she met in Scotland, in the present day. Now that she's falling for someone from the enemy group of time travellers, she's not only at risk of losing her mother, forever.
I love time travelling books, especially ones that explore historical periods I love. British monarchy is one of my favourite aspect of history to study, and Eleanor of Aquitaine is my favourite queen consort, of all time. Really, it would've been so much better if she just had the crown in her own right, but, let's be honest, she ran the country anyway. I felt as though the period was researched really well, and seemed realistic as you were reading, especially the whole animosity between Eleanor and Thomas Becket.
The main reason why this book isn't a 5 star, is because of the characters. I wasn't too keen on most of them, and they seemed sort of flat. There's a sort of love triangle brewing between Collum-Hope-Bran, but Collum has a lot of work to do, if he wants to be taken seriously. The only time that Hope really seemed to have something about her, was when she was with Bran, and we find out why this is towards the end of the book. I can see that the characters are likely to improve in the sequel, and I am really looking forward to that.
Though I have my reservations about the characters, the plot was really good, and I felt like it has set the series up to be really good. The synopsis mentions being a sort of YA Outlander, and I could see the connections - which was great for how much I love that show. Book 2 can't come soon enough.