Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Publisher-HMH Books for Young Readers
Released- March 1st 2016
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.
It's been 7 months since the death of Hope's mother and even though her father has moved on, Hope is still very much missing and mourning her lost. When her father tells her that she's been invited to spend the summer in Scotland with her Aunt Lucinda, Hope can't bare the idea because of her crippling claustrophobia and anxiety, but not wanting to be alone while her father goes on a cruise with his girlfriend, she reluctantly agrees. There, Hope will finally learn the secrets her mother has always wanted to share with her, that she is a member of a group of time travelers and very much alive. Now it's up to Hope, Collum and Phoebe to bring her back from twelfth century London, that is, if they can all make it out in one piece...
Wow! Was this ever mind blowing stuff! Into the Dim, has just about everything I love in a good escape. The storyline is gripping and thrilling, the writing is smart and sensational, I adored the romance and these characters are quite unforgettable. I loved the setting and world building. Christopher Manor alone was glorious and I'd gladly want to lose myself inside for a few hours. Or days. I also loved seeing twelfth century London from the eyes of these characters. What a vicious time period, but it was so masterfully told I was glued to the pages. Even now it's so hard to wrap my head around everything that's happened, Janet B. Taylor has some mad skills. There is so much going on here plot wise I wont even try to explain it. I've read my fair share of time travel books but I gotta say, this one is probably the most baffling and intricately detailed of them all. The storyline itself is very elaborate and there is a lot of information to process that I needed complete concentration to understand everything fully, which wasn't always easy for me since I'm not a big fan of historical to begin with and if there is one thing there is a lot of in this book is history. Event, stories, people, time and places, everything is precisely specific and richly imagined. And then we have the explanation of the time machine (the Dim) which had the most elaborate instructions but was so wonderfully inventive I couldn't help be impressed. So yes, there was a lot to take in, but once I finally pieced everything together I couldn't stop myself from getting properly fascinated and quickly absorbed with this extraordinary story.
On top of the extreme storyline is a long list of wonderfully developed and remarkable characters that all made a huge impact in the story and on me.
Hope has always been taught in a rational, realistic and educational truths since she was adopted by her mother at age four. She has an uncanny gift of a photographic memory, but her very rational mind can't seem to grasp that time travel is real. It's the stuff of science fiction and not reality. But the need to find her mother outweighs her doubts of fairytale reasoning and soon agrees to help her Aunt Lucinda go back to twelfth century London where her mother has been trapped for the last 8 months, and they only have seventy-two hours to do it. I really enjoyed Hope's character. She's obviously intelligent but she's got a lot of spunk, bravery and determination. She's not easily intimidated and I think she handled herself quite well under the circumstances. Lucinda is a very elegant women with great dedication and moral values. I respected her immediately. I loved Mac and Moira, they are great people and play the proud and protective parental figure well. Phoebe is a sweetheart and I loved her bubbly and positive personality and Doug is just as adorable and kind and I loved them together. Collum was really hard to like or even understand at first. He was a mixture of attitude, jealousy and desperation, and even though he made a wrong decision, I couldn't help still love what he brought to the story. As for Bran Cameron? He was easy to love from the start. He's funny and confident and endlessly charming but he has his share of secrets and mystery that incidentally tie with Hope deeper then I ever anticipated (great twist!). I really enjoyed the romance, it was on the lighter side but what we did get was pretty adorable.
All in all, Into the Dim turned out to be quite the fascinating read. This has some great writing that kept me absorbed and engaged the entire way through, I loved all the unexpected twist and turns and how much heart Taylor gave her characters. Even though this book left us on a satisfying note, I still really can't wait to see what happens next! If your a fan of sci-fi, time travel or historical escapes then this book goes out to you.
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