*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is no way swayed my opinions.*
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor is the first book in a new series about time travel which is pitched as the YA Outlander. I was a little bit nervous going into the book since I do not like Outlander but after loving Passenger I thought there was still hope. I was wrong. I finished Into the Dim so I could review it but that was definitely done begrudgingly. Into the Dim follows Hope Walton as she takes a trip to Scotland to visit her mother’s family after she passes and discovers that she comes from a long line of time travelers.
My main issue with the book is that I didn’t care about the characters at all. Hope is the type of special snowflake character that has an eidetic memory so she can quote passages from books word for word no matter how much time passes. Her intelligence level far exceeds that of any average person and yet she still manages to make bad decisions when she visits the past to save the mother she thought to be deceased. Hope also suffers from anxiety and claustrophobia but it feels very forced, as if the author had to give her some ailment to offset her intelligence. Everyone feels things differently but as someone who suffers from anxiety, it was hard to believe Hope’s. It seemed like her anxiety would manifest in a very formulaic way whenever the author desired a minor conflict. Hope is also guilty of slut-shaming the type of “cheerleader” girl who’s she’s never even interacted with since she’s home schooled. I understand that she and her mother value intelligence but it doesn’t mean they should look down upon and judge young people with other interests.
The beginning of the book is very slow moving and while the story does pick up in the latter half, I couldn’t get into it at that point after having been bored for so long. I also had issues with the explanation behind the time travel and it felt like Tesla was solely mentioned to give credibility to the author’s theory. This is a device that can be used well but I found it unsatisfying and similar to the feelings I had while reading Armada. There’s also a love interest from a rival group of time travelers and again, I just couldn’t get myself to care. Because of their parents rivalry there’s a bit of a forbidden love situation but it’s not done well.
Final Thoughts: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor is the first book in a new series about time travel. The characters and narrative fell flat for me and I do not foresee myself continuing with further books. The story has a very slow start, the time travel is not very interesting but most of all, the characters feel contrived and forgettable. If you’re still curious you should check out Into the Dim and I wish you a more enjoyable reading experience than I had.
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. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail,Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens. (via Goodreads)