I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
When I heard about Into the Dim over on Netgalley, my interest was piqued. This book is a young adult novel written by Janet B. Taylor. It’s been described as a YA version of Outlander. YA? Outlander? Sign me up!
So right away, I should point out that although our heroine begins her journey in Scotland, she travels back to 1154 London, and the coronation of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine rather than 18th century Scotland like Outlander.
Hope Walton has just buried her mother, who has been missing and presumed dead for seven months. Her stepfather has moved on, and he already has a new girlfriend. His mother- ostensibly Hope’s grandmother since she was five years old- hates her. So, when Hope receives an invitation to visit an aunt she has never met in Scotland, it seems like a good opportunity.
Hope learns that her aunt and everyone in the household is involved with time traveling, and that her mother is stuck in 1154. One of the rules about time travel involves not being able to go back to the same time period twice. The adults in the household have already attempted a rescue, so it is up to Hope and the two other teens in the group to rescue Hope’s mother. Hope is supposed to be a valuable asset to the group because she has a photographic memory and has studied linguistics. Hope is their only hope! (Do you see what I did there?)
Into The Dim is an interesting book. I enjoyed the ethical aspects behind time travel, and I enjoyed seeing three 21st century teens trying to survive nine hundred years in the past. There’s a nice overview of 12th century England, including the royal court and Thomas Becket.
There were also some aspects that I didn’t care for, like the mysterious and brooding YA hero. There is also an odd virgin/whore dichotomy throughout the book. Hope makes several disparaging comments about “slutty girls”, and in a fit of pique, she tells the brooding hero that she could work as a seamstress or a whore in the 12th century. Wait, what?
I would recommend Into The Dim, and I would rate it 3.5 stars. There isn’t an option for half stars, so this book gets 4 stars. Into the Dim will appeal to the target demographic, and fans of the genre. Time travel seems to be a popular trend, and Taylor has created a fascinating world of possibilities. There is potential for a sequel, and it will be interesting to see what happens next in the series.