If you like time travel, this book is going to be right up your alley. Into The Dim is more serious than Kerstin Geir’s Ruby Red books, and less grim than Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book, but it is full of what makes them so appealing: a real girl must overcome doubts to carry out a mission in a surprisingly dangerous past. It isn’t Outlander, but I still gave it five stars.
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.
The author succeeds in building a world (or two) that is part reality and science and part magic and mysticism. I found that very appealing, and it takes readers from a Scottish manor full of time bandits to the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I have never troubled myself with the science of time travel, being more interested in the romance of it, so I easily accepted the rather shrouded explanations. I loved the plot which had plenty of twists and turns, and the cast of characters really added to the suspense because so many of them were operating with their own agendas (you know, like in real life). As a narrative voice, Hope is very easy to connect with. Her decisions sound quite reasonable, even when they are dangerous, because it is so easy to see how her isolation leads to her desperation. I particularly enjoyed the journey she took to overcome her own fears and doubts and to become aware of who she really is as a person. I’m not going to tell you it is the most introspective work I’ve read for YA readers, but it certainly kept me glued to the page from beginning to end. I did think it had a slow start, but it didn’t take long before I was ignoring things like food and sleep to spend time with this book. I think many of my high school readers will find this sweeps them awat as well, and it is definitely going on my classroom library wish list. Language and situations are appropriate for middle and high school readers, but adult readers of YA will enjoy the adventure as well.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.