Author: Janet B. Taylor
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)
Oh my god. This book...
This book was so boring it took me weeks to finish it. I'm sure you're wondering why I didn't just DNF it, well, it's because I don't DNF books. Even if it's boring or has terrible writing, I just go with it because to me, I'm respecting the author by finishing it. I don't regret reading the whole thing but the plot confused me, the writing was unimpressive and the pace was so. Damn. Slow.
When I first read the blurb of Into the Dim, I thought it sounded exciting and all kinds of adventurous, especially since a number of 2016 debut authors were raving about it. And before I delved into the book, a close friend of mine told me how much she loved it, so that added to my excitement even more (plus it was compared to Outlander so that added more clout to it, in a way). So when I finally cracked open my copy and flipped through the first few chapters, this was literally me:
I thought that Hope, the main character, would be super interesting because 1) she had an eidetic memory 2) her mom is a time traveler and 3) she'd be moving to Scotland to learn all sorts of secrets, but nooooope. All I was met with was a flat, judgey MC who stereotyped people and had the oddest voice in my head. To say that I didn't click with Hope would be an understatement, her character was just too underdeveloped and I could not see myself wanting to get to know her, even as the novel progressed. But honestly, it was not just Hope who fell flat in terms of characterisation, it was most, if not all, the people in Into the Dim. Her love interest, Bran, was charming but it was hard to like him because all you would get from him are vague details of who he is. And Aunt Lucinda and her crew of time travellers? Yup, definitely not interested in getting to know them, majority of them were super sketchy and just hard to believe. The only one I kind of liked was Doug but Janet B. Taylor seemed to really not take her time when it comes to building up and fleshing out her characters. There was not enough of their person to like and connect with.
In terms of the time travelling aspect of Into the Dim, I will commend Janet B. Taylor for the flush of information. I am not too sure if the info fed to me was accurate but I went with them anyway because the explanations sounded intelligent and legit. (There were explanations about Tesla, Sources and a bunch of other jargon made for physicists and scientists.) However, I was disappointed that the book only revolved around the idea of saving Hope's mom from the sixteenth century and retrieving the Nonius Stone which, coincidentally, also happened to be in that same time frame. There were no other exciting time jumps, and that just showed how limited the scope of Into the Dim's plot was.
Into the Dim was obviously disappointing to me, it had so much potential to be great but the whole thing was flat and had no personality. The details were amazing though, the way Janet B. Taylor described the different sceneries and places was great but one can't rely on great descriptions to carry a book. I was surprised to find out that Into the Dim will have a sequel because I thought the ending was okay, but I know that I definitely won't read it because I don't think I can stomach another dragging book that leads to nowhere.