May 11, 2016

Into the Dim (Into The Dim 1)

Into the Dim cover


book review rating 3 out of 5

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 ...continue at Goodreads

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AT THE RISK of sounding like a cliché, books truly are the most versatile and economical means of traveling—transporting us from real to imaginary worlds, and even piercing the veil of time. Into the Dim, by Janet B. Taylor, takes reader to 12th century London in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I'm not too sure on the historical accuracy of this book, though, I thought Ms. Taylor richly detailed the beauty and darkness of this period. I found myself salivating for a bowl of beef stew with aged cider, or even nauseated over the depiction of this period’s poor personal hygiene.

The story is from 16 year-old Hope Walton’s POV, which starts out well with her crisp, clear narrative.  I found her sarcasm fairly charming, and her photographic memory impressive. There is a lot more to Hope than the author initial lets readers in on as hinted by recurrent nightmares and moments of strange familiarity. Yet, I didn't find Hope too interesting. She's very sheltered, even delicate and fragile.

Where Hope’s character falls short, there is another whom I find more captivating—one of beautiful mismatched eyes, one Emerald and one Sapphire. Bran is at times charming, other times deceptive. He hides a secret and shoulders a burden so great, that I’m easily drawn to his character—to his pain.

I thought the time travel was handled well. I liked how Ms. Taylor adds a bit of her own spin on the deadly limitations and exceptions of time travel. The backstory between Viators (secret time-saving society) and Timeslippers (Viator’s evil, villainous counterpart) is very descriptive and thorough, which can seem like reading a manual. But, I appreciated it. I didn’t feel confused about events nor displaced relative to the primary timeline.

Though the pacing starts out slow, the story does pick up and moves faster towards the middle. It becomes a lot more exciting when characters from the present travel to the past and history is rewritten in a curious, entertaining and worrisome way, even if it does tie up loose ends rather too conveniently. I do look forward to the sequel, as I hope with much of the backstory already explained, there will be a lot more character-driven action and suspense in Into the Dim 2.

{ I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for kindly giving me an opportunity to review this title. }

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Do you enjoy reading about time travel? Why or why not? Is there a book you'd like to recommend?

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