Into the Dim

Into the Dim

by Janet B. Taylor

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328696038
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 206,801
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

The 2013 winner of the coveted #PitchWars, Janet B. Taylor has four years’ experience writing web content for a major television network fan site (CBS) that garners over a hundred thousand hits a day. Janet travels extensively to those places where her novels are set, often roaming around at night to commune with the famous historical figures about whom she loves to write. She is a member of several writing organizations, including the SCBWI and the Historical Novel Society, and lives in a tiny town in Arkansas with her family. Visit her at janetbtaylor.com and on Twitter at @Janet_B_Taylor.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

EVERYONE IN TOWN KNEW THE COFFIN WAS EMPTY.
     I think that’s what packed the pews—the pure curiosity of the thing. They didn’t come for love or admiration. Nope. They came for the show. They came because it was big news. A juicy scandal that jolted our small southern town like spikes of summer lightning.
     Hometown boy Matthew Walton was finally laying his wife to rest. By the time my mother’s funeral began, it was standing-room only.
     Though it was only midafternoon, I was already drained. Sweat bled through the back of my shirt, gluing me to the wooden bench. As the inept fan buzzed overhead, a quick, darting movement caught my eye. A small bird flitted among the rafters. Trapped. I knew exactly how it felt.
     As the priest droned a pallid eulogy, venomous whispers began to surge from the hushed crowd behind me. The hateful words oozed up to corrode my skin, exposing muscle and tendon and jittery nerve endings.
     “. . . hate to speak ill of the dead, but we’re all thinking it.” “Personally, I couldn’t stand the woman.” “That Sarah Walton. Always thought she was so much better than the rest of us.” “Yeah. Snooty bit . . .”
     The voices trailed off as the priest wound down. But the quiet round of chuckles that followed made my teeth shriek, like biting down on tinfoil. My throat ached with the urge to scream. To tell them how they were all vapid, backward simpletons, just like my mom always claimed.
     Of course, I’d yell into their outraged faces. Of course she thought she was better than you. Because she was. She was better than all of you put together.
     My mother was far from “snooty.” She simply couldn’t tolerate these small-town divas with their sly prejudice and malicious gossip. She’d rejected them long ago, and they’d never forgiven her for it. But she was brilliant and brave and . . .
     Gone.
     The word slammed around in my brain, keeping time with the bird’s desperate circling. I could almost hear its fragile heart, beating so fast it was bound to rupture.
     My hands clenched in my lap. My legs strained with the effort of staying in my seat. God, I wanted to see their shocked expressions when I shot to my feet, spun around, and—
     I flinched at a sudden thump. The bird, in a bid for freedom, had crashed into the false security of the stained-glass window. It tumbled to the floor in a heap of floating feathers. My heart stuttered, and the rage dissipated on a wave of exhaustion. My fists relaxed. The urge to scream subsided as I stared at the crumpled creature lying so still on the ground. A life snuffed out in an instant, just like that.
     The eulogy ended. Jaw set, I followed my dad’s stooped form to our place near the altar. As his narrow shoulders hitched, I finally let my gaze drift to my mother’s beautiful, empty coffin. I sidled away, gulping. Pain pinged my temples. An iron band tightened around my scalp. Squinting against the pain, I focused on the details. Burled walnut, mahogany inlay, brass handles, and the casket’s manufacturer discreetly embossed in the lower left corner: johnson & sons.
     The words roared out of nowhere, a newspaper article I’d seen years before began to scroll through my mind in neat, orderly rows.
     Johnson & Sons have manufactured fine quality caskets locally since 1921, when Johannes Johnson immigrated from—
     My hands twitched. Not. Now.
     I struggled to concentrate on something else before the words overwhelmed me. Before they became too big for my skull. I tried to look somewhere else, anywhere else, but my gaze kept drifting back to the flower-draped coffin.
     Roses, lilies, and a huge spray of reeking blue carnations that Mom had always called by their Old English term, “gillyflowers.” The Gillyflower. Queen Elizabeth Tudor’s favorite blossom. She surrounded herself with them at court . . .
     The information swelled, marching across my vision in glowing green columns. The genus and origin of each type of blossom, followed by dates and significant events of Elizabeth’s reign. The words expanded until details of every European monarch since Charlemagne flowed before my eyes in a translucent overlay of glowing green columns.
     August 12, 30 B.C., Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, committed suicide.
     1775, Russian czarina Catherine the Great defeated the Pugachev Rebellion.
     On and on it went, until the chapel and the mourners—the real world—filtered away. I felt myself swaying, listening only to the symphony of knowledge in my head. Then, cutting through the din, the sound of my mother’s voice, low and incessant.
     A true photographic memory is extremely rare, Hope. It is imperative that we devise a way to keep your mind organized. People with your kind of eidetic abilities must learn to contain all that information, to tamp it down, or it will overwhelm you. Concentrate. Stay firmly grounded. Focus only on what is right before you.
     My training kicked in. I shoved back the mass of useless information, spooling it down into the mental image we’d come up with. A battered gray filing cabinet, like the one in Mom’s office. In my head, I slammed the door for good measure and glanced over at my dad.
     He hadn’t noticed. That was no surprise. Pasting on a smile, Dad heaved a quiet sigh as curious mourners began to thread their way toward us for handshakes and awkward hugs.
     Firmly grounded. Focus on what’s right before me.
     Yeah. ’Cause that’s so much better.
     The endless line passed, leaving behind a sickly odor. Too many flowers mixed with a crap-ton of cheap cologne. My gut began to rebel as Dad turned to me, brown eyes owlish and distracted behind thick frames. When he couldn’t quite meet my eyes, a last phrase—a straggler—loosed from the billions I’d tucked neatly away. It curled and flapped like a ribbon set loose on the wind.
     A miasma arose. The decaying bouquet of a doomed queen’s garden.
     Who wrote that? The answer came to hand like a well-trained dog. Oh, right. It was—
     “Well, thank God that’s done and we can all get back to our lives,” my grandmother said as she marched toward us. “Though I still say it was a ridiculous waste of money to buy a casket, Matt. You could’ve had a nice little memorial service, but—”
     “Hope and I needed closure, Mother,” Dad said. “Leave it alone.”
     Beatrice “Mother Bea” Walton gave a nod to the petite, round-faced woman who had moved to stand at my father’s side.
     “Stella, honey,” she said, “would you be a dear and go make sure the car’s ready?”
     “Of course, Mother Bea. Happy to.” Stella proffered a tremulous smile before rushing off to do my grandmother’s bidding.
     My father’s new girlfriend was a nice lady. A librarian. And one of the few people in this town my mother had genuinely liked. I didn’t blame her for jumping at my grandmother’s command. Everyone from the mayor to the bag boys at the grocery hopped to when Beatrice Walton issued an order. I was always mildly surprised when they didn’t bow.
     I didn’t really blame Dad for being with Stella either, though it had only been seven months since Mom died. When he’d fallen apart, Stella had been the one to pull him back together. She’d tried to befriend me, too. But I didn’t want a friend. I wanted my mom.
     After Stella scurried off, my grandmother directed her words at my father, her son the scientist. Her youngest, her pride and joy until eleven years ago, when he’d gone against her wishes and married my mom, taking on five-year-old me in the process.
     “I assume you’ll get Hope registered at the high school come the fall,” Mother Bea said. “No more of that silly homeschooling, now that your wife’s gone.”
     Mother Bea never called my mom by name. Just “your wife.” I shot a look at Dad. He wouldn’t look at me. But when he nodded to my grandmother, a cold dread began to spread through my veins.
     High school? Actual high school? This was a joke. Had to be.
     When I was younger, I’d begged to go to “real” school, but Mom wouldn’t hear of it. And waste your talents on that inbred travesty they call an education system? Hardly.
     Now they meant to thrust me into that world of Friday night football games, pep rallies, and “good ole boys” with decapitated Bambis in the back of their mud-spattered pickups?
     The very thought filled me with horror.
     “And the letter?” Mother Bea was saying. “You’ve explained about the letter?”
     Ignoring her, I turned to Dad, confused. “What letter?”
     For an instant, he only glared at his mother. Finally, he forced a sickly barely-there smile and reached for my hand.
     “Hope,” he said, “a few weeks ago, I received an email from your mother’s sister, your Aunt Lucinda. She’s invited you to spend the summer with her in Scotland. Isn’t that wonderful, honey? You’ll get to meet your mother’s people. I’ve told her you would come, of course, and—”
     “What?” The word bounced against the walls of the empty chapel like the poor, doomed bird. “What are you talking about?”
     “W-we”—my dad stuttered over the word—“that is, Stella and I, feel that it would be good for you to get away, honey. You need to heal. We all do. And . . . well . . . we’ve planned a little trip ourselves. A—a cruise. So I thought . . .”
     He trailed off, helpless in his betrayal. Mother Bea gleamed with triumph as he reached into a pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. He smoothed it out, and pressed it, limp and damp, into my hand.

     Dear Matthew,
          As I’ve already offered my condolences, I shall not do so here. This letter is, instead, in reference to your daughter. I wish to request that Hope come spend the summer with me, here at Christopher Manor. As you are aware, the manor is located in a lovely area of the Scottish Highlands. I feel its pastoral landscape could be soothing to Hope. As there are other young people who live at the manor, she will not lack company of her own age.
          Attached you will find the pertinent information regarding the first-class ticket I have selected. I look forward to hearing from you.
     Sincerely,
     Your sister-in-law, Lady Lucinda Carlyle

     Postscript: Please inform Hope that I also believe there are insights she might gain at her mother’s childhood home which would not be feasible for her to discover in her current circumstances.

     My lungs constricted as I let my eyes rise slowly from the paper to stare at my dad, the man who’d raised me since I was five years old. The only parent I had left.
     My voice came out so small. “You’re sending me away?”
     “No!” he exclaimed. “No, it’s not like that, Hope. It’s just that now—”
     Before he could say more, the pale-lipped funeral director arrived to usher us out to the waiting limo. I jammed the paper into my own pocket as the two of us slipped inside. Deciding to ignore the fact that my dad wanted to get rid of me, I turned to him on the wide leather seat. I had more urgent issues to deal with.
     “Dad.” I tried to infuse calm into my voice as we pulled out behind the flashing police escort on our way to the gravesite. “Please. Please don’t bury that awful . . .” I had to stop. Swallow. “What about the video?”
     “Not this again.” He mumbled as he leaned back against the stiff seat, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.
     With a sharp exhale, he nudged the glasses back into place and turned to face me. “Sweetie,” he said. “I know you think you saw something. And I believe you. I do. But we researched it for weeks. None of the U.S. or foreign networks recognized your description of the news footage.”
     “I know what I saw, Dad.”
     He scraped a hand across his mouth. I recognized the gesture as poorly-disguised annoyance. I’d seen it before, though not often. Once, when I’d accidently deleted his paper on ‘Karenia Brevis,’ the organism responsible for red tide in the Gulf of Mexico. And again at eight, when I’d scribbled Socrates’s speech to the Athens jury in permanent marker on his office white board.
     “This isn’t easy for me, either, Hope.” His voice was hushed and so, so sad. “But we have to face facts. Your mother was inside that lecture hall when the earthquake struck. No one on the lower floors survived. It’s been over seven months now, honey, and I . . .”
     His jaw flexed. A lone tear escaped and rolled down my father’s cheek. “It’s time to let her go.”

After the quake, I’d become obsessed with the news. I didn’t sleep, I barely ate. The extra pounds I’d always carried around had melted away as I pored over each picture, every article, hundreds of hours of news footage. The video had aired only once, on one of the satellite channels in Dad’s office.
     Most people wouldn’t have noticed.
     I wasn’t most people.
     With crystal-clear recall, my mind never stopped replaying the ten-second clip.

The girl’s body lay only a few yards from the collapsed university high rise. She’d obviously tried to run when the building came down, but an immense beam had fallen, crushing her beneath its weight. The footage had panned over her mangled corpse for only an instant, but it was all I’d needed. The neon-pink flyer crumpled in the girl’s limp hand was ripped and bloody and coated with white dust. I could make out only the first few words, written in Hindi, then in English.
     Today’s lecture series with renowned author and historian Dr. Sarah Walton is can
     That was it. That was all. But I knew, I knew, what that last word really was.
     Not can. Canceled.
     For some reason, my mother had canceled her lecture that day. She had not been inside that tower when the earthquake brought it down.
     Ecstatic at first, my father had contacted the American embassies in Mumbai and New Delhi. Then every hospital, shelter, and rescue organization. But as the days and weeks dragged on, he’d slowly let the hope and faith that we’d find her just slip away. When I refused to let it go, his look had turned from pity to concern.
     “Hope.” He spoke carefully over the limo’s purring engine, as if to a small child. “We’ve been over this so many times. If Sar—” He paused, took a deep breath through his nose. “If your mother was alive, she’d have contacted us. If she was injured, someone else would have. They’ve identified all the survivors. I’m so sorry. But, sweetheart, it’s time to move on.”
     I threw up my hands. “Oh, you’d love that. ’Cause if she’s dead, you can stop feeling so guilty about hooking up with Stella.”
     Since the day my mom—the sun around which we both revolved—went supernova, Dad and I had existed in a kind of wobbly orbit. Two orphaned planets. Polite, unfailingly cordial, but never quite synchronized.
     “Bet you wouldn’t just throw me out like this if I was your real daughter,” I muttered, staring out the glass at the trees whipping past.
     My dad flinched, hand pressed to his heart as if to keep it from stopping.
     I hadn’t cried when he made me go with him to pick out the coffin. I’d remained stubbornly mute while Dad and the funeral director made all the arrangements. During visitation the night before, I heard my grandmother whisper how I was an unnatural, cold child.
     None of it had touched me. It wasn’t real.
     It took the horrified, wounded look on my father’s face for it to finally break through. I heard it happen, a quiet snap deep inside.
     “Dad?” I choked. “Daddy? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t. It’s just that I—I can’t . . .”
     “I know, sweetie.” He pulled me across the seat to wrap me in his arms. “I know.”
     The tears came then. Because he was right. They were all right. My mother was dead, and I had been so stupid.

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Into the Dim 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
Goodness, I had high hopes for this book, especially upon hearing that it was perfect for fans of Outlander, which I loved. What I found was a lot of potential but nothing memorable. So some similarities. It’s hard to not compare this book to Outlander if you’ve either read the book and/or watch the show because Into the Dim is about a girl who travels back in time to Scotland. And there’s a romance involved. The issue is that I constantly found myself comparing the two and found Into the Dim lacking. Outside of that, I can’t say I found the book particularly memorable. I struggled to push through it and retained very little upon finishing. Hope was a decent protagonist but didn’t stand out among the many other heroines of YA fiction. She was neither overly strong-willed nor was she a mouse when faced with opposition. If anything, she was a good balance within a group of more “extreme” characters (at least extreme compared to her own personality). Hope was just… there. She goes to Scotland after the death of her mother and becomes the special snowflake the world needs her to be, finding a boy who hangs on her every word while she doesn’t realize how “amazing” she is. This blossoms into a forced romance that rears its head later on in the story. It’s a lot of insta-love and not in the good way. Now there is time travel in this book and that’s always a hit or miss with me. I had hoped that maybe they would travel back to the Scottish Highlands since the story was keeping up with the Outlander similarities so far. Instead, the only mentions of Scotland come through with the characters before they travel back to London instead. Alright, historical YA, that’s cool. We’re going to explore the world, right? Eh… not really. Hope follows the rest of her small team around London but you don’t really get to see the world. You meet a few characters but it didn’t feel like I went back in time. Except for the use of the really strong accents that were a bit over the top (both while in historical London and modern day Scotland). I’ve read a number of historical fiction novels and somehow they all manage to come across as authentic without driving the reader crazy as this tended to do to me at times. I can’t say I would recommend this book to fans of Outlander because you’re likely to be disappointed. The combination of the insta-romance and the lack of historical elements make it a poor comparison, and I don’t think it’s an accurate one to make. Into the Dim wasn’t an altogether bad book but didn’t make me overly eager to read the sequel.
Chelsea016 More than 1 year ago
This was an intriguing start to this series. Hope both surprised and frustrated me. Although a lot of my frustration with her stemmed from her mother. I mean, honestly, what parent wouldn't want their child to have friends? Having friends and interacting with people is kind of a staple of growing up. Even knowing where she'd come from, she should have still been interacting with kids her own age. Hope exhibited an amazing strength, especially when everyone else, those that were supposed to be in charge/protecting Hope, had either given up or weren't thinking straight. She stood up and took charge and she made sure that everyone got back together, if not necessarily in one piece... Bran Cameron was an enigma to me. When he was first introduced, I didn't fully buy that he was stalking the stag. True, it was completely possible, but there was an underlying feeling to his character. He is definitely someone I'm intrigued with and I seriously hope that things work out alright for he and Hope in the end. Rachel and William were a cute little side couple. Although part of me has to wonder if Hope may have inadvertently changed some piece of history by getting involved like she did. Either way, I was kind of happy that Rachel and William were able to figure things out and they can start on their own happily ever after (in whatever manner it may present itself). Speaking of changing history, I seriously wonder how much Hope and the Viators may have changed things by being so involved with Eleanor and Hectare. Something tells me that Hectare may have been a little more in the know than was initially thought, but Eleanor seemed to understand that the less she knew, the better.
MarisaR More than 1 year ago
I need the sequel. NOW. This book is so much fun and so fascinating. I miss Hope already.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
**Thank you so much to the publisher for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** I don't know about you guys, but I'm a sucker for historical fiction. I just don't read it as much as I'd like to, but when I do, I love it. There's just something magical about going back into the past and experiencing what it possibly could have been like. Into the Dim follows a girl named Hope whose mother just died. Her mother's sister gets in touch with her father and suggests that she come to Scotland for the summer. Hope ends up going because her father has a cruise planned with his new girlfriend. When she gets to Scotland, she finds that there's many secrets that her mother kept from her. Not only that, but her mother is actually alive but is stuck in the past, so she has to use time travel along with her two new friends in order to save her. Okay, so you know how I said that I love historical fiction? Well I also love time travel. Combine those two together and then add in a romance and you've got me completely hooked. This book was honestly the perfect combination of all three. In regard to characters, I absolutely loved them all. First of all, there's Hope, who is the main protagonist. She's extremely clever and strong. She's also pretty great at handling tough situations. I don't know what I would've done if I was told that my mom was trapped in the past and that I had to time travel back to get her. There was also Phoebe and Collum who went into the past with Hope. They were siblings and I really liked the both of them. They were wonderfully developed side characters. Last but not least, there's Bran. He was my favorite character! He actually met Hope before she travelled back into the past. Even though he may kind of push you away with his attitude, trust me when I say he's a good guy. You're going to like him! I keep seeing that this book is perfect for fans of Outlander, which I have never watched or read. I'm definitely going to have to check it out while I anxiously await the sequel to Into the Dim!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much!! But I was disappointed in all of the errors I found, and I felt like it dragged on at points. But I can't wait for the sequel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the deepest thing ever, but fast-paced and entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was pitched as Outlander for teens and that's exactly what it is. This book is full of history with a fabulous cast of characters. I can't wait for book 2!
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
Original review @ 125Pages.com Into The Dim is described as Outlander for teens. Since I have not read any in the Outlander series (I know, I know, no judging. I have heard they are amazing, but I hesitate to start another new series) I can’t compare the two. What I can say is that Into The Dim doesn’t need to be compared. Hope is a fragile and sheltered sixteen-year-old who lost her mother in a tragic accident. Eight months later she discovers the family secret, her mother was part of a time traveling group and has been trapped in the past. Faced with a chance to save her, Hope and a group of other teens travel back to a dangerous time and face the ugly consequences of altering history. Janet B. Taylor created a very real world with Into The Dim, even the time travel element made perfect sense in the context of her setting. The pacing was good, a few scenes dragged a bit but the action would begin again and then it was fine. The writing was sharp and had a great attention to detail, with nice foreshadowing and allusions. The emotional quotient was high with teens traveling in time, missing parents and potential pairings all in one story. The characters were great and I really connected with them. I was glad that they were all very unique and that they did not mesh perfectly, as in real life people aren’t instant friends. Into The Dim is an impressive debut and Janet B. Taylor crafted a well told tale. Yes, there were scenes that could have been sharper, but the action and the characters helped keep the story moving. As I have said before, I want to feel with the characters and I was able to do it with Into The Dim. I am excited to see the next in the series in 2017 and what else Taylor may create. I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Mel_Poole More than 1 year ago
Hope believed her mother died during an earthquake months earlier overseas. Then she receives an invite to stay with her aunt in Scotland and everything changes. Hope's family are part of a secret time traveller society and they need her help. She has seventy-two hours to go back in time and rescue her mother or be lost forever. I love when a book doesn't fit into a single genre. It's a nice change and can provide quite the interesting plot. I'm a fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Into the Dim is a great read-a-like for teens. This book has time travel, humor, romance, and history. It is non-stop plot action from beginning to end. I found the love interest aspect of the novel to be quite predictable, but then Taylor threw in some curveballs and I'm intrigued to see how it plays out in future novels. Speaking of characters, I really liked them. Each character had a unique personality and secrets that made them well rounded. I feel that we get a good introduction to the characters, but the plot moved fast, which didn't give us enough time with them. I hope to learn more about their past as the series continues. Into the Dim appeals to many readers and I wouldn't be surprised to see this series become the next big thing. ----- I received a complimentary electronic ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
AvidReaderREE More than 1 year ago
I was given an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. This is one of those books that right now, I love and I hate. I hate it because I want more RIGHT NOW!!! And I love it for SO many reasons. First, I realize that Diana Gabaldon did a lot for the 'time travel' concept but it makes me sad to think people don't know about a MUCH earlier AMAZING time travel novel that I have loved since I was 12 called The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. If you like this book, check out that one too. Second, from the beginning this book was just interesting! It's odd that a book kind of starts out in the realm of sad as you are seeing Hope's mother's funeral through her eyes, but then all of the sudden Hope's aunt from her mother's side, Lucinda, who she's not met before, invites her to come to Scotland for a vacation....or so it seems. I do not even know how to properly review this book because I do NOT want to give anything away at all! It was an amazing novel and if I wasn't working so much I would have loved to finish this in one sitting, because the last few chapters my brain did not care how late it was, I just had to know what happened! Now the painful process of waiting for the next one.....
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
I’m a Doctor Who loving reader, so when I had the chance to read this novel which purports to be targeted at teens and young adults, I just couldn’t resist. This takes the theory of time travel in a new to me way, complete with scientific hypotheses, Tesla effects and lay lines. It is a story in which new theories are suggested in a logical, reasoned, manner, where historic events are witnessed live by folks from our time as well as the past. It is a story where only by overcoming personal phobias and fears will the main character, Hope Walton, have any chance of helping her adoptive mother return to her own time. This is a well though out story with plenty of historical information, scientific theories and drama. It has mysteries galore, new friends to be made and dangers to be faced. I found the pace inconsistent so whilst the plot is totally engaging the implementation wasn’t quite as much. It is a definitely different take on the time travel adventure and will also appeal to those who wish to learn more about this particular era as it is packed with pertinent references. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
INTO THE DIM by Janet B Taylor is a must-read for anyone with an interest in twelfth-century history. And time travel, of course! I enjoyed the gentle start – intriguing from the first page but it gave space and time for the reader to really get to know Hope. Her pain from losing her mum oozed from the pages. Then BAM! Everything Hope knew about her life is challenged, and a thrilling adventure begins. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. The plot is full of brilliant surprises and I just loved spending time in twelfth-century London - in all its gruesomeness. A brilliant page-turner.
terferj More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was just okay. Was it intriguing? Yes it was but I found the beginning to be quite boring. It just didn't hold my attention until Hope went back to the past to search for her mother. I loved the descriptions of that time period; from the mannerisms they had to pull off, the way they had to dress, and even the way they had to speak. It's a time period I love to visit (after I was heavily vaccinated). I found the characters to be alright. Hope was very smart but very clueless. Some of her actions I was questioning. She went to someone who figured out what needed to be done to someone that acted like a lost puppy. It was very puzzling to make her like that. Phoebe and Collum were good sidekicks if I had to described them. Bran I liked but I wasn't feeling the romance connection. Despite the predictability of the story and lacking the certain oomph to it, I look forward to continuing the series. *I received through NetGalley
EmilieSG More than 1 year ago
Into the Dim is a mix of adventure, suspense, and history, with a dash of romance thrown in. I enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it. Hope Walton, a sheltered teenager with a remarkable memory, travels to Scotland for the summer after her mother's funeral. There she learns that her mother was a time traveler who got lost in medieval England. Hope, along with some new friends, undertake the journey to find her mother and keep the balance of time safe from a group of people who would use time travel for their own benefit. Hope's adventures as she seeks to rescue her mother and stay away from dangerous enemies--from her own time and from the past--form an intriguing basis as Hope learns about herself, her own past, and how to overcome her fears. The book started off well, introducing Hope and detailing her trip to Scotland. Once Hope discovered the truth about her mother, began to "train" to travel back in time, and eventually made the journey to medieval England, however, I had a hard time relating to the book. I felt as though Hope processed the news about her mother and time travel much too easily. What should have been shock, especially of walking through a London that only existed centuries earlier seemed to be glossed over and barely touched upon. This part of the book could have used a little more fleshing out. The fact that Phoebe travels back in time with nothing to disguise her bright blue hair but a wig really took me, as a history student, out of the action--if that wig had slipped off at the wrong time, she would have been burned at the stake. Hope did not seem to really grasp the magnitude of the fact that she had physically jumped hundreds of years in the past until she realized she could not use toilet paper. This part of the book just did not ring true to me, and I considered not finishing it. Then Hope and her friends met Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the action picked up quite a bit. From this point on I was very eager to see how our heroes would escape from danger, what secrets they would uncover, and if they could complete their mission in the past. I was even surprised by the few twists and turns of the plot, even though several times I kept wishing characters would stop beginning a sentence and then not finishing it, or telling another character to quit talking because they didn't feel the information was important at the time. I wasn't sure what secrets needed to be revealed, but I knew that something important needed to be shared. All in all, I enjoyed the book, and would definitely read more adventures from Hope and her fellow time-travellers.
blue_blue_bird More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this immensely. Perfectly paced and a lot of fun.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Hope Walton is certain that her mother isn't really dead. But no one else saw the flash of news coverage and no one can find any evidence to corroborate what Hope knows to be true thanks to her eidetic memory. Expectations for a summer visiting her aunt in Scotland are low (even without the smack of rejection knowing her father will be on a cruise with his new girlfriend). Between her crippling claustrophobia and headaches brought on when her photographic memory gets away from her, even time at home--alone--can be overwhelming. Soon after arriving in Scotland, Hope learns that her aunt and mother belong to a secret society of time travelers dedicated to preserving the timeline--a mission that has left Hope's mother trapped in twelfth-century England. Hope might be the only one who can save her mother. But she'll have to learn how to conquer her own fears first in Into the Dim (2016) by Janet B. Taylor. Into the Dim is Taylor's debut novel and the start of a new series. Written in the first person, Into the Dim is narrated by sixteen-year-old Hope. Hope is incredibly book smart thanks to her memory but she is also naive and reads as much younger than her sixteen years would suggest. Taylor also chooses to write characters' speech in dialect to convey accents which often feels stilted if not clumsy to follow. The novel's plot is based on some problematic elements. The role of her father is especially troubling. Readers learn early on that Hope was adopted by her mother who married when Hope was five. Her mother and father are the only parent's Hope has ever known and she considers both her parents without qualification and, as far as the story suggests, Hope's father feels the same way about her. Despite that Hope's father allows his own mother to treat Hope as an outsider and inferior to the "real" members of the family. (This is behavior that leaves Hope's mother seething but seems to get a pass from her father.) Aside from being a damaging trope to perpetuate it feels like a heavy-handed attempt to build in sympathy for Hope and better explain her decision to go along with a visit to Scotland at all. Other problematic familial aspects of Into the Dim include the fact that Hope's father has a new girlfriend a mere eight months after his wife's sudden death and chooses to go on a cruise with her while leaving Hope to fend for herself with an aunt she has never met in a foreign country. Furthermore the idea that Hope's aunt has never bothered to speak to her--ever--despite speaking to Hope's mother weekly seems highly unlikely. Hope's photographic memory and phobias often feel contrived. That isn't to say that her fears are invalid or badly portrayed. Rather they feel like elements added into the story solely to move the plot in a very specific direction. The addition of extreme headaches brought on by Hope's eidetic memory seems superfluous and lacks any basis (as far as my research shows) in reality. Into the Dim veers more to the light end of the speculative fiction spectrum. Explanations for the mechanics of time travel are thin when they are presented at all. The novel is also poorly paced with obvious twists (time travel!) that are hinted at in the plot summary not appearing until well into the story. For a novel that travels to a variety of locations and time periods, Into the Dim often lacks a strong sense of place feeling as it if could be set anywhere without much change to the action. The historical parts of the novel
Sonya Mukherjee More than 1 year ago
What a fun, fun read! The comparisons to Outlander are apt. This book has all the same magical elements I loved in Outlander: romance, adventure, a vibrant sense of history brought to life, and a heroine who I wanted to keep spending time with. Into the Dim goes much further back in time, to 12th-century London, a setting that I wasn't very familiar with. Drinking in all the rich period details and contrasts to our own time was a particular delight. I also loved seeing Hope come into her own, as she faces her intense fears for the sake of her beloved mother and goes on to discover courage she didn't know she had. And did I mention the romance? And the story's twists and surprising turns? I was lucky enough to borrow an advance copy of this book.
SMParker More than 1 year ago
I have the craziest book hangover from this beauty. I was all in when I first heard this book pitched as the “Outlander for teens”, and I was not disappointed. I loved that the main character’s contemporary need to find her mother was compelling and time sensitive enough to justify the risk of time traveling to medieval London. ‘Cause that’s what happens. Hope is an average girl with a beyond average mission: save her mom. It’s all pretty simple and straight forward. Except for the science, myth, archaic languages, and cultural restrictions. Oh, and Hope's unexpected TIME TRAVEL! Taylor’s main character must battle through some harrowing trials, and these twists allow us some significant historical glimpses into twelfth century England. There’s action, adventure, a race against time itself. But one of the greater messages in the story is female power and that resonated deeply with me. Hope arrives in London on the eve of King Henry II's coronation. Taylor’s story allows readers a glimpse of the very powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine, and also playfully reimagines how the fire of Eleanor’s feminist legacy might have started with the spark ignited by Hope’s travels back in time. There is a deep underlying message of compassion and love in this debut, and how sometimes we are fortunate enough to find family in total strangers. Taylor’s characters explore familial and romantic love, but the core thread of loyalty and kindness is what really shines through. I didn’t want this book to end. Even though I did. Because I raced to the end.
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
What an adventure! Hope is still reeling from the news of her mother's death when she is sent to her aunt's Scottish manor and finds out that her mother has been keeping a great big family secret from her for her whole life. And it's a doozy - there's a time travelling portal in the basement and her family has visited many eras, all while fighting against an evil group called the Timeslippers who care nothing for the impact of their actions on history. Hope has to travel back to 12th-century England to save her mom, and she's aided by new friends and a handsome Timeslipper boy who may or may not be playing her false. Despite her eidetic memory and wide ranging knowledge, Hope has to struggle against her own demons to fight for the people she loves. Fans of romance, adventure, and Scottish hunks will love this book!
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original review link: http://asdreamsaremade.com/2016/03/release-day-book-tuesday-into-the-dim/#more-3500 I really enjoyed this one! Hope lost her mother in a devastating earthquake across seas–or so she believes. Her aunt invites her to visit her Scottish manor for the summer where she discovers her mother is still alive, but she’s stuck in time. Her family are time travelers or Viators as they call themselves. Now Hope along with her new friends Collum and Phoebe only have two days to go back in time and rescue her mother. But there are other time travelers who would do anything to stop them including a boy, Bram, who Hope hasn’t decided if she can trust or not. With time running out and the fate of history as we know it in the balance, will Hope be able to save her mother or will she be lost to time itself? I know a few people have been giving this book some flack, but I really liked it! Hope was a really great character and I loved her eidetic memory. She’s far from perfect, but she always steps up to do the right thing, even when she’s scared as hell. I admired that about her. Bram was such a tortured soul (you all know how I love me some tortured souls!) and you feel for him. His charming and witty one liners can’t help but make you fall in love with him as well. The secondary characters were great as well. Collum with his brooding and stubborn countenance and Phoebe with her pistol sharp whit and fiery personality were great companions for Hope. I really enjoyed Rachel and William’s story line as well. I loved seeing all the historical figures “come to life”. The plot moved well, although many aspects of it were predictable. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. I just think a lot of things could have been better hidden and not so obvious. There were times I was waiting for the inevitable to happen (because you obviously knew it was coming) and I just wanted them done with already. The time travel aspect was original, albeit a bit confusing (but I have yet to read a time travel book that doesn’t have its fair share of that). The story left off with many questions still unanswered, but you were still satisfied with how it ended. If you’re looking for an entertaining read with some insights into history, definitely pick this one up! It’s sure to satisfy that craving!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
INTO THE DIM is like a delicious cake with lots of layers. Fantasy, TIME TRAVEL, historical fiction, romance, action/adventure, and mystery all blend together in this completely engaging treat! This book had me at "Scotland", and it was fun to follow the main character, Hope, throughout her journeys as she's immersed in different cultures and settings. Taylor skillfully builds the tale to a masterfully written crescendo--so that I was breathlessly turning the last few pages. A fabulous debut that will leave readers craving the next book in the series!
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
The very first sentence of Into the Dim is "Everyone in town knew that the coffin was empty," and it was love at first line. I devoured this book and could not believe it when I reached the end. Into the Dim has everything that I look for in a Historical Fiction novel: actual historical facts twisted into a new and fun plot. It actually left me wanting to know more about the history of the book's setting and of the the actual historical figures—particularly Eleanor of Aquitaine. Seriously, if you want to get people interested in history, give them this book! The plot and the characters are absolutely fantastic. My feelings were constantly being twisted as I tried to figure out what was going to happen next. I especially loved all of the powerhouse women in this book, and we definitely need more characters like the ones in Into the Dim. Honestly, there aren't positive words or things I can say that would sufficiently describe just how incredible Janet's debut novel is, but I promise you that if you pick this one up, you will not regret it. Read my full review here: http://www.bookrambles.com/2016/03/into-dim-into-dim-1-by-janet-b-taylor.html
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Hope Walton up to now has lived a very controlled life. Her mother insists Hope be home-schooled as she has a photographic mind, remembering absolutely everything she reads. Now, however, her mother has been gone for six months, believed to have died in a terrible earthquake. Hope’s father has quickly remarried and it’s quite clear his new bride indicates it would be better to lose the burden of a grieving, angry daughter. Hope therefore reluctantly accepts the invitation to visit her mother’s family in Scotland. The shocking details she receives soon after arrival there plummet her into a phenomenal journey that will challenge everything she thinks she knows. Hope’s Scottish family call themselves the Viators, those who have the ability and materials to travel backward in time. Hope discovers this fact by accident when she is wandering throughout her aunt’s home and finds basement rooms full of clothing, jewelry, weapons and other artifacts from the 12th Century. Hope will be shocked beyond words to learn a secret that compels her to travel back to that time of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. She and her relatives who travel with her have two quests to complete – to find a certain person and to secure an ancient stone with extremely special powers. To no surprise, another family member, who is a sworn enemy of Hope’s aunt, heads another group with the same purposes but with questionable purposes, ends that could literally change the entire history of mankind if successfully completed. Before she left on the terrifying journey back in time, Hope had met a young teen who seemed the only person on earth to treat her as a friend. Now she will meet him in the 12th Century and is quite unsure whether he is friend or foe. In the court of Henry and Elizabeth, Hope will win both support and starkly hostile opposition. Who prevails in this war is what drives the complex plot of this time travel novel that reflects a personal and historical war. Plenty of fierce action, dialogue and description pack these pages and keep the reader riveted until the last surprising pages! Even a few obviously contrived scenes won’t stop the reader’s total engagement and desire to see how this tale unfolds. There’s an indication as well that this is only the first novel in what will be a series! Nice!