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Into the Dim

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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. 

436 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2016

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About the author

Janet B. Taylor

3 books457 followers
Janet Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you'll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can't sneeze with your eyes open. For real--try it--it's impossible)

Her first novel, INTO THE DIM, (which debuted 3/1/2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a 16 year old girl who travels through time. Totally on purpose and stuff.

Her second book, SPARKS OF LIGHT (HMH, 8/1/2017) is the sequel, and continues three months after INTO THE DIM leaves off.

She's a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her fantastic husband, two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won't win any beauty contests, but has a "nice personality".

She would think you're the coolest thing since AC on a hot day if you'd like her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter or visit her web site. And if you felt like adding INTO THE DIM to your Want to Read well golly! She'd probably come over to your house and do cart-wheels on your front lawn. (probably)

(PS-check out the bracelet on Janet's pic. That's a teeny-tiny Tardis. Uh, Whovian much?)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 931 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
February 5, 2016
In my sixteen years on this earth, no guy had ever, ever flirted with me. The redneck boys where I was from preferred girls like my cheerleader cousins. Size two. Blond. Busty. Brainless.

This book is being marketed as Outlander for teens. It isn't. It's a serious insult to teens to say they're incapable of appreciating anything beyond this cliched, slut-shaming drivel.

Time travel doesn't even rear its head until the poor reader (me) has sat through pages and pages of innate, inexplicable specialness, mysterious boys with pretty eyes *gasp*, and listening to a narrator who is beautiful without knowing it, stupid and yet somehow the key to everything, and completely, most definitely, NOT one of those slutty girls.

Oh, wait a minute, who are those "slutty girls", again? Well they're blonde, obvs. Cheerleaders, because duh. Both a size two and with ginormo boobs (something which is actually quite difficult without expensive surgery, but I digress). Like ewww, guys.
“But then again, I’m not one of those slutty St. Sebastian girls.”

Honestly, can anyone actually stand this girl?

Like with Outlander, this book takes us to the Scottish Highlands. After Hope's mother dies, she goes to stay with her extended family in a huge beautiful house, where she's about to discover her mother's deepest secret - time travel.

Intriguing new setting?
Family secrets?
Time travel?
Holy shit, sign me up!

Too bad that Hope is too busy becoming obsessed with a local boy to actually do anything interesting. Does she explore this fascinating new place? Like hell she does. Do we meet some awesome Scottish characters? Not unless you mean undeveloped characters called things like "Mac" and "Bran", who all talk like Scottish people *might* have talked, say, five hundred years ago.

I don't know who to recommend this for. Younger teens who enjoy Bella Swan-style wish fulfillment? Maybe. Those who like reading about a boring, chaste, slut-shaming, oh-so-misunderstood chosen one? Sure.
"You have more knowledge of history, and archaic languages, than many learned professors could absorb in their lifetime. Do you now understand why? You’ve been training for this since you were four years old. We need that knowledge. We need you.”

Oh, hell.

And back to the language for a second - it really is just ridiculous. Present day Scottish people aside, when Hope finally gets her ass in gear and goes back in time nearly a whole millennium, everyone she meets just drops a bunch of “g”s and “f”s and inserts apostrophes instead. Are you fucking kidding me?

If you're a teenager and you think Outlander sounds interesting, bloody hell, just read it. Not this annoying high school rom-com version that may result in the loss of brain cells.

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February 2, 2016
When the “thees,” “thous” and “wherefores” sprang naturally from my lips, I felt a pang of gratitude for my mother’s insistence that I master all those archaic languages.
What's with all the time travel books lately? Is it because of the popularity of Outlander? Is time travel the new vampire or something? It's a tough subject around which to write a book, and it can go wrong in many ways. This book is an example of how time travel can be fucked up.

To be clear, I do not expect this book to be anywhere close to Outlander. This is YA and concession has to be made for the writing and the complexity (or lack thereof). But again, I emphasize, just because a book is YA does not give it permission to be shitty; that is condescencing towards the YA audience.

You want time travel? Hold on to your seats and grab a few cups of tea, or rather, a few espresso shots. Because you're going to need the caffeine so, so badly. It takes a long ass time to even get to the rollicking time-travel aspect, and before that, you get to hear the main character freak out, slut-shame, fall into infatuation, and learn about the minutiaes of time travel. For a good third of the book. God help me, I was so bored.

The main character is a stupid twit. I didn't like her. She's a special snowflake if there ever was one.
"You have more knowledge of history, and archaic languages, than many learned professors could absorb in their lifetime. Do you now understand why? You’ve been training for this since you were four years old. We need that knowledge. We need you.”
Whoo! Whooooo! So special! So special that she can do ALL THE THINGS that more experienced, more knowledgeable, more well-trained adults can't. And she was born with it.

Born with it? Maybe it's Maybelline. Maybe it's bullshit. I hate the whole born-with-it crap.

Not only is she so smart and special, but she's beautiful without knowing it. Give me a fucking break.
He peered at me. “I can assure you if we’d ever met, I’d remember. I have an uncanny ability to remember pretty girls.”

Pretty? Me? Yeah. Sure.
Seriously, I'm so sick of the whole pretty-without-knowing-it bullshit.

And then there's the condescension and the slut-shaming. For someone who's so average and normal, our main character sure hates other girls, you know, the pop-culture-loving, fashionable average Janes whom she deem all to be without a brain in her head. And then there's this little comment that made me see red.
“But then again, I’m not one of those slutty St. Sebastian girls.”
The time travel aspect is ludicrous. The concept of it was so confusing and boring I can't even explain it to you if my life depended on it. It's also fucking simplistic. Girl, you can't just travel back 1000 years in time and magically understand the language. We sound way fucking different now as we did 100 years ago. 1000 years? You wouldn't even recognize English as it was. People sure as hell didn't talk like this.
“I pray on catchin’ a glimpse o’ the new queen,” the wife said. “Do ye know, we hear she went on Crusade with her first husband, that Frenchie king.” Her voice lowered. “They say she rode with her tatties on full display to entertain the troops.”
The time travel aspect was absurd, to say the least. This is not a book worth reading.

All quotes were taken from an advanced reader copy and subject to change in the final edition.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews399 followers
August 26, 2015
Can I give this 10 stars?? I freaking LOVED this book! First I want to thank HMH for sending me an advanced copy to read.

Ok so my review have you ever seen the movie Timeline with Paul Walker and Gerard Butler? No? Here's the imdb link check it out! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300556/?... well this book reminded me of a mix of Timeline and a YA version of Outlander yes there's a hot Scott lol there's also a hot Brit as well and before you say "oh crap there's a love triangle" I will tell you that no there isn't one just some really hot boys!

So I'm not going to be spoilery in my review but I loved everything about this book! It was the perfect mix of sci-fi and historical with great world building, mystery, and swoon worthy romance! And the time period Janet used... I don't recall seeing in any YA book before! It was so cool seeing her vision of Eleanor of Aquitane, who was a badass female in time period. I also loved the time travel rules in this book they're not confusing like some I've read. Ok so I'm gonna stop I feel like I could ramble on for days about this book.

Lets just say if you like Outlander, time travel, romance, mystery, history... hell even if you don't! Read this book as soon as you can!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,549 followers
July 11, 2017
Hope Walton's mother was believed to have been killed in an earthquake eight months ago. Her father has moved on with his life and met someone new but Hope still believes there's a chance her mother could be alive.

After the service for her mother Hope receives an invitation from her mother's sister to come for a visit while her father travels. Not wanting to be left with her grandmother that has never accepted Hope into her family since Hope was adopted, she battles her anxiety and boards a plane to meet her mother's family.

When Hope arrives at her mysterious aunt's home she is told that her aunt had to leave for a few days. Hope is full of questions, especially when it's let slip that her mother had been there right before her supposed death but no one is answering Hope's inquiries until she stumbles upon some strange artifacts and costumes beneath the manor.

Only after Hope's discovery do her newly acquired family let Hope in on their secrets. They are a group of time travelers and her mother has been trapped in twelfth century England, left by another group of time travelers who have been in somewhat of a feud with Hope's family.

After scanning a few reviews before picking this book up and reading it myself I was a little iffy going in as to what I would find. I have to say when finished though I'm glad I gave it a fair shot and read it all the way through because I really enjoyed the story once it got going. In the end I decided to rate this one 4.5 stars.

The beginning gets off to a bit of a rocky start which is what seems to be turning some readers away from the book. Hope almost seemed a lot younger than she is supposed to be to me but we learn that she's been home schooled by her mother her whole life and not allowed to have friends with anyone her own age and also has a slew of anxieties and phobias. She makes a few questionable comments in the beginning but there is actually logic behind them so I overlooked them myself and waited to form an opinion.

Hope at one point says boys prefer "girls like my cheerleader cousins. Size two. Blond. Busty. Brainless." Ok, if you were raised in a family that treated you as an outcast your whole life because you weren't like them then it's a bit understandable that you would be jaded towards that type. Again later she makes a comment about the "slutty girls" at a school, well that's after the boy she had just met denied knowing her unless she went to that school and they had "hooked up".

After the rocky start and finally getting into the time traveling I really enjoyed Hope as a character along with all the others in the book and the story line. Perhaps the beginning could have been a tad better but once the story takes off it's a completely enjoyable read with a lot of adventure and a great look into a historical era. Looking forward to see where this series heads in any future books.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (catching up).
747 reviews1,794 followers
March 15, 2016
Oh, this was so much fun. Henry II & Eleonor of Aquitaine are my favorite historical figures and the chance to travel back to their world was thrilling. This is similar to Outlander in that the 'present' time period is set in Scotland along with the traveling through time, but that is where the similiaries end. Obviously, the main difference is that this is geared toward YA audiences, so it's language is lighter and more modern. The time traveling, also, in this had more of a purpose. I really recommend this if you are looking for a story just to have fun with. I'm seriously excited to see where Taylor will take me in the next book of the series which is set to publish next year. Ugh, the wait begins. 4 stars.
Profile Image for nicklein.
401 reviews80 followers
June 20, 2016
His mouth came down over mine, stopping my words, crushing me to him in a kiss we both knew would have to last us for a long, long time.













Disclaimer: An all caps review doesn't always mean bad, mkay? I was just highkey fangirling. Ain't nothing wrong with that. So please don't sue me.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,744 reviews1,306 followers
February 8, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group and NetGalley.)

“All the air whooshed from my lungs as I stared into my mother’s face, woven into an object that was nearly nine hundred years old.”

This was a YA sci-fi story about a girl who had to travel back into the past to rescue her missing mother.

Hope was a strong character in this book who never gave up. It was quite interesting to learn about her eidetic memory, and she certainly put it to good use when it came to finding her mother, even if her phobias had held her back previously.

The storyline in this involved Hope going back in time to the period where her mother had last been in an effort to find and rescue her, we did get a couple of interesting twists though, and I didn’t see how Hope was going to deal with one pretty major one that her mother threw at her. I did find the pace a little slow though, which made the story drag a bit in places.
There was a little bit of romance in this, but not a lot, and it was a little bit complicated.

The ending to this was fairly happy, and I was glad how things worked out with Hope’s mom, and a certain other person, even if the romance front left us with a bit of a cliff-hanger.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,740 reviews712 followers
January 29, 2016
I will admit to being a little wary of reading this book because of the tag line comparing it to Outlander. Not that Outlander is bad, but I'm slightly afraid of the historical aspect.

I really liked this cast of characters, especially Hope. She's quite possibly the smartest person ever and sort of awkward and it was entertaining reading her figure everything out. I always love when someone who was totally underestimated rules everything.

The overall story is quite interesting and I was instantly intrigued. There wasn't anything too confusing and the timeline was pretty stable. I don't know anything about the historical people mentioned, but I really hope they do exist because there are some serious bad asses.

The ending wasn't too cliffhangery, but I am quite eager to see what happens next.

**Huge thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,635 followers
March 19, 2016
4 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum

While Into the Dim is not without its flaws (like calling it “an Outlander for teens" might be a bit of a stretch), there’s still no denying this book has its charms. The story is impressively robust for a YA time traveling book, and what it lacks in world-building and logistical explanations, it makes up for with pure entertainment and plenty of fun twists along the way. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself.

Most of this story actually takes place in the twelfth century, but first there’s a considerable introduction to establish our main protagonist and her circumstances. We begin with sixteen-year-old Hope Walton at the funeral for her mother Sarah, an academic who was lecturing overseas when an earthquake struck and brought the building down around her. Eight months later, her family has finally given up the search for her body and accepted that she is gone. To help deal with the grief, Sarah’s sister has invited Hope to spend the summer with her in Scotland, and after much reluctance, Hope eventually realizes she has nowhere else to go and accepts.

Now this is where the adventure truly begins. Hope arrives in Scotland and learns more about her family than she’d ever bargained for. Turns out, her aunt is a leader of a group of time traveling agents who are battling another group of rival time travelers to locate a powerful gem lost somewhere in history. That, and Hope finds out that her mother Sarah might be still alive, but trapped in the past. There may be a way to bring her back, but only a small window of opportunity to make that happen, and Hope will need all the training she can get to prepare her for the mission of her life.

Hope and her new friends, fellow time travelers Collum and Phoebe, end up journeying back almost a thousand years to 1154, the year of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s coronation as queen consort of England. As the focal historical figure for this novel, I thought she was a most fascinating choice. One of the most powerful women of her age, Eleanor led an incredible life and was appropriately portrayed as an important character in Into the Dim. Also, the High Middle Ages was a period of much significance and change in Western Europe, creating an intriguing backdrop for the novel. We’re plunged into this world to experience the social, political and religious climate of the times, and author Janet B. Taylor certainly does not skimp on details of the sights, sounds, and–unfortunately—the smells.

For me, there were only two major weaknesses, and they kind of go hand-in-hand with each other. The first is Hope herself. A poster child for “book smart, street stupid” if I ever saw one, our protagonist was born was a photographic memory, but her brilliance is also offset by her staggering social ineptitude. Kept out of “that inbred travesty they call an education system” by her snobby and overprotective mother, Hope grew up completely clueless, which would perfectly explain the scene where she meets Bran Cameron for the first time. This segues into my second gripe: the romance. I’m still appalled by Hope’s reaction to Bran at their first meeting, where she catches him taking stalkerish photos of her with his camera without her knowledge. But instead of running for the hills to the closest police station, what does Hope do? She flirts with the creepy creeperish creeper, and finds his behavior totally adorable and flattering. Ew, no. Sadly, this soured the rest of the relationship for me.

While engaging, the plot is also nothing too deep. The historical aspects and “science” behind the time traveling will not hold up to heavy scrutiny, though to be fair, that’s not really what this book is about. Yes, you’ll definitely have to roll with some punches, but the story is entertaining and holds up well. I liked the fast-pacing, as well as the no-nonsense way Hope and her friends come up with creative ways to solve problems.

It’s worth mentioning too that I listened to the audiobook version, which was amazing. Before this, I had never listened to anything read by Amanda Ronconi, but her performance for Into the Dim made me an instant fan. They couldn’t have chosen a better narrator. With her wide range of accents, she was perfect for a book like this, which features characters from the US and from Scotland. Then, there are those characters from the past. Ronconi’s Olde English accents are convincing, as is the slight French lilt she gives Eleanor of Aquitaine when she reads her lines. I can see how listening to this book might be more immersive experience, compared to reading the dialogue as it is written.

All in all, Into the Dim is quite a lovely novel, even with its flaws. It’s a simple, straightforward book, which serves its purposes to be fun and light-hearted, but that’s not to say there aren’t a couple of unexpected surprises thrown in as well. I found it very refreshing, given the string of bad luck I’ve had with the YA genre lately, and I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected.
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews805 followers
April 6, 2016
DNF at 12%

I'm not in the mood for this.

I'm sick of protagonists hating "Size two. Blond. Busty. Brainless" cheerleaders. This girl have never even been to a school, never met actual people her own age. Who the hell is she to judge ANYONE?

I am not in the sort of mood to read self-important speshul snowflakes.
Profile Image for Anatea Oroz.
302 reviews516 followers
September 25, 2017
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

Into the Dim is one of those books that left me absolutely confused and I had no idea at first if I liked the book or if it was just another book in the sea of other books that I will forget about in a month. Writing the review usually helps me sort out my thoughts. It was the same with this one. There were a few elements that I liked, but there were like waaaay more ones that I didn't like. Time travel books are usually complex and to allow some slips in the plot you'd need a kick-ass main character, preferably great support characters and swoon-worthy romance if there is one. My main problems in this book were the things that should have been amazing. And then some more. I won't even mention that this book was supposed to be the Outlander for teens. I won't even go there.

After Hope's mother goes missing and is presumed dead, she gets an invitation to spend a summer with her aunt in Scottland, which isn't even questionable since her father decided to travel the world with his new girlfriend. When Hope finally got to Scottland, she meets a guy who is taking pictures of her, her aunt is not even home and everything seems to be so secretive, but she can't figure out what everyone is secretive about. Finally, she accidently stumbles into a room she wasn't supposed to find and everyone else decides to let her in on a secret. Her family are time travelers, have been for generations. The interesting thing is, her mom is not actually dead. She is stuck somewhere in twelfth-century London and Hope is the only one who can help save her, but the thing is, she only has a week to prepare for such a hard trip and overcoming all of her phobias might not be an easy task.

I have to say, this book is 428 pages long, but I read it in fairly short time. I kept turning the pages wanting to know what happens next. No actually, scratch that. I kept turning the pages wanting something exciting to finally happen. And while I did enjoy the plot to some extent, I couldn't help but be irritated with soooo many things. Right off the bat, I was annoyed with all of the Scottish talk/accent. What's up with that? I felt like in some sentences I needed a dictionary to be able to fully understand what was written. We could have definitely gone without that. I'm not even sure if people talk that way in Scottland, do you, Scottish people?

I already mentioned this earlier, but I really disliked our main character Hope. She was this girl on whom everything depended. She knew everything about everything, she had photographic memory, she knew all archaic languages (should I even try to question the possibility of this?!?) and she was socially awkward. Of course, she was. Can you try to guess what else she was? Homeschooled, you ask? Bingo! Hope is such a stereotypical I am so bad at everything even though I am really smart and I don't know I'm beautiful kinda girl. It's starting to get really annoying to have every second character be like this. Where did the confidence go? She also had all those phobias that could have made things a little better if the author went a bit deeper into that subject. Unfortunately, she didn't, so it just made things worse because it became just one of the many things that were left unexplored and flat. Hope is definitely fighting for the first place in the-most-irritating-characters-ever category along with Kora from Beyond the Red.

I won't say much about romance, mostly because I didn't like it at all. I didn't get it at all. I didn't feel it at all. It was like when someone tries to pair you up with a guy you don't like and he doesn't like you back, but you still have to be together. No connection whatsoever. And of course, it had to have an insta-romance feel to it. Just giving you a heads up.

The plot was actually the only thing that I liked to some extent, although it could have been much better. Everything was so simplified and even though it's a YA book, I think the teens are much more than capable to understand more complex explanations. 12th century London was a bit disappointing, though. I don't think a normal person back then could have gotten to the queen that easily. It was all done a little bit naively and without checking first if a situation like that would be possible in real life. I still enjoyed some parts.

I hate it when finally we get a time-travel book and then it turns to not be that good. I am sorry to say, but I won't be recommending this one to anyone else. But if you're just like me, you probably won't trust anything anyone says about a book you really want to read, then go ahead and read it. You may even like it more than I did. But do let me know if you did.

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Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews818 followers
February 19, 2016
What aspects should a good novel have? My list consists of relatable and in detail developed characters, intriguing world-building, emotional moments, addictive plot and preferably a twist or two. Into the Dim had none of these. What it did have was insta-love, boring plot, shallowly written one-dimensional characters and stupid narrator (who in their right senses would not question why stranger is stalking you and secretly taking your pictures just because of pretty eyes of said stranger???). Not very attractive combination.

Another thing that I want to point out is how inaccurate label "Outlander for teens" for this book is. Even though Into the Dim borrowed "I'm going to Scotland and find out that I can time-travel" thing, it has zero of charisma and gripping emotional plot that Outlander had. This book is nothing like Outlander and it doesn't contain anything of what Outlander stands for. If you are Outlander fan and if you are interested in this book because it was compared to Outlander, do yourself a favor and stay away from this book. At least you will avoid disappointment which I experienced while reading Into the Dim.

And if you are going to read this book because you are interested in historical aspect, you most probably won't be wowed either. It took so long until story took historical turn and besides some historical facts, there wasn't any deeper insight into 12th century London. And beside slang, you won't get much of Scotland either. This novel was a disappointment in all ways.

*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews422 followers
January 30, 2016
I'd seen quite a bit of hype around this book so I was super excited to start it. I was a little put off by the fact that it sounded so much like Outlander (time travel and Scotland) and that it's marketed as "an Outlander for teens" but I still wanted to read Into the Dim.
First off, I love Outlander with very ounce of my being. Outlander means so much to me. So the fact that Into the Dim pretty much copied the concept of Outlander upsets me. It's so similar to Outlander and I couldn't stop comparing the two. Outlander is obviously, in my opinion, a million times better so I felt disappointed with Into the Dim.
I did like the writing though. It was really well written and I liked all the details. I also liked the characters. I think the characters will be even better in the second book.
I did find the first %20 of this book to be slow and boring. It did get much better but I was pretty meh about the first quarter.
Overall, I liked this book. It would have so much better if it wasn't such a rip off of Outlander but it was still a good book. I'm pretty sure I'll end up buying a finished copy of this book because the cover is beautiful and I'd really like to give it a second chance. Maybe closer to the release day for the second book I'll reread Into the Dim. But as for right now, I'm a little disappointed.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,188 reviews1,340 followers
February 22, 2020
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Into the Dim is such a lush and enjoyable book! The story takes place in two interesting locations, Scotland and London, and the main character is flawed and relatable. As if the book isn’t already phenomenal, it is written in such a captivating and lyrical way that makes the reader never want to put the book down! Into the Dim is a definite must read.

This book has one of the most unique settings that I’ve seen in YA. The story begins in Scotland, which gives it such a romantic and exciting backdrop. I absolutely adored the dialect and Scottish slang. As the book progresses, a new location is introduced, historical London. Taylor gives London such a posh and elegant feel, that one cannot help but want to be transported along with the characters. The descriptions throughout the novel are so meticulous, that even though I have never visited these locations I have a sense of what to expect!

Hope is not only my favourite character in this novel, she is the one that readers can really connect with. The fact that she is not perfect is what really draws me to her. Hope has flaws and fears, just like any other person. This made her more relatable as a character, in my opinion, and more enjoyable to read. Perfect characters can be off-putting, so I was glad to see that Hope had her flaws. Hope is such a well-developed character, that by the end, the reader will feel like they know her personally. It was hard to reach the end of the story because it felt like saying goodbye to a friend!

Into the Dim is incredibly well-written! Albeit, I was a little bit hesitant to read yet another time travel book this month. There seems to be quite a few YA time travel books releasing in a very short time frame this year! I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging and exciting this story of time travel is. Janet B. Taylor has this way of sucking the reader into the novel with her gorgeous descriptions. The pacing is perfect and the time travel aspect is one that even those who might not readily jump into the genre will appreciate.

With its unique and gorgeous setting, Into the Dim will be an easy favourite for science fiction fans. The main character is flawed and relatable, making her instantly likeable. Janet B. Taylor’s incredible writing adds so much to the novel, making it truly unforgettable.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
852 reviews3,882 followers
July 23, 2016
Just so you know, Eleanor d'Aquitaine = Alienor.

Of course I'm interested, this historical period always fascinated me.

I'll still wait for reviews to be posted, though. Historical/Time Travel YA can be so annoying. Please tell me she isn't a special snowflake. Please.
Profile Image for Ashley Blake.
Author 15 books4,638 followers
September 6, 2015
Action and history-packed, I loved this time travel tale! Hope is a real, interesting and badass heroine and the twists and turns of this book kept me turning the pages. Such fun!
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
Shelved as 'lost-interest-did-not-finish'
December 17, 2015
DNF @ 21% + light skimming.

I felt absolutely nothing during this story, nor did I like the main character very much. It read like another one of those special snowflake stories when the awkward girl doesn't know how pretty or talented she is. It's hard not to compare to other books that have made time travelling and ley lines much more interesting. The romance, too, was boring, and a love triangle in the future seemed imminent. Not for me.
Profile Image for Michelle Madow.
Author 59 books3,087 followers
February 24, 2016
I loved it -- especially when they were back in twelfth century, London! Janet did such an amazing job bringing the time period to life. I truly felt like I was time traveling with the main characters, and I enjoyed the historical details. Can't wait for the next book!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,666 reviews1,231 followers
February 8, 2016
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Not gonna lie: I had some high expectations for this book, especially as it being lauded as the Outlander for the YA set. It definitely did read a lot younger than I'm used to, even for a young adult novel. But Outlander it was not. For one thing, I was almost 40% into the story before the time travelling became an actuality. And it was very much a planned trip, not a matter of accidentally touching a stone at the wrong time.

I was supposed to be buddy reading this novel with my friend Sabrina, but she was reading ahead and I was getting further behind until she texted me to say that she'd just finished and asked if I just wanted her to tell me what happened. To which my reply was, "Oh, gawd, yes!" I had already been contemplating not finishing the book, but that sealed the deal. And I was glad that I hadn't forced myself to read further once she confirmed every one of my suspicions. I don't DNF often because I like to give a story a fleeting chance to recover my attention, but there was just no way that was going to happen with this book.

Into the Dim was just sooo incredibly predictable. The obvious foreshadowing just left nothing to the imagination, and every time one of my theories came to fruition, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the inevitability of it all. I'm just looking back at my emails and texts with Sabrina while we were reading and it's almost unbelievable how much of the story we were able to guess beforehand. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't post snippets here, but we basically called it before we even got to the 40% mark.

The main character was tragically unlikable to me. She was self-deprecating, but not in a snarky, mildly amusing way. Hope was home-schooled and socially awkward and just plain annoying. Her ability seemed to plague her constantly in the beginning but was only mentioned later when it was useful to the story. If that's what it's like to have a photographic memory, I will content myself with just having a really, really good memory.

I didn't really get to see much of the romance before I decided not to finish, but from what I discerned in my reading and from what Sabrina related after I stopped, I definitely feel like a love triangle is on the horizon, even if it didn't rear it's ugly head in this first book. One guy is the doomed love interest while the other is the brooding guy who will inevitably step in when doomed guy appears to be out of the picture. Not a fan, especially once Sabrina relayed that there was a kissing scene that involved one of the characters oozing yellow pus. No. Thank. You.

I find that I enjoy time travel novels with the simplest explanation for how the time travelling is accomplished. This was not one of those. Basically, it's described as a big mistake, stumbling on some ley lines in an underground cavern and using a friend's technology to aid in the process. It's more mystical than anything -- the travelers having no ability to control when and where they travel back to, just a computer program that predicts when they should be able to travel back to a certain time and place. And they can only travel back to a specific time and location ONCE, lest they should run into their previous selves from another trip back in time. I guess in those terms, it does seem rather simple. But maybe that's actually my issue with the time travel aspect: it was boring and I pretty much skimmed the passages about it.

As I said, I only read to about 40%, but up to that point, I found the story to read very young and to be incredibly slow-paced. I'm used to time travel novels being intense and shaking things up, but I was more likely to yawn while reading Into the Dim than be at the edge of my seat. I really, really wanted this novel to be good, but it was just too predictable for me to bother continuing. Especially since I have no plans to read the sequel now.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles).
225 reviews450 followers
March 1, 2016
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 of Into the Dim
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,796 reviews487 followers
April 6, 2022
This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/

This was entertaining. I enjoy time travel stories so making the decision to pick up this book was a simple one. I was hooked by the story early on and found myself liking Hope quite a bit from the start. Things only got more interesting from there. I am only sorry that I waited so long to finally pick this book up.

As the book opens, we are with Hope at her mother’s funeral. Nobody has seen her mother since an earthquake leveled the building her mother was scheduled to speak. Her body has not been found but it is assumed that she is dead. Hope is asked to come to visit her mother’s sister whom she has never met over in Scotland and before she knows it she is on a plane. I liked Hope and thought that her ability to remember everything would come in really handy. I found the story to be rather exciting with a likable cast of characters. It was kind of fun to go back and see the world in an earlier time from Hope’s point of view. I hate to admit that I know nothing about Eleanor of Aquitaine so while I enjoyed the scenes with this historical figure, I can say how accurately she was depicted.

I have been impressed with Amanda Ronconi’s narration in the past and I thought that she did a great job with this story. She used a wide range of voices for the various characters which really helped to bring the story to life. She added just enough emotion to the reading to illustrate the characters’ feelings. I found her voice to be very pleasant and I had no trouble listening to this book for hours at a time. I do believe that her narration added to my overall enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was an entertaining and exciting story that was well worth the read. I don’t think that I will read any further in the series since it is my understanding that the second book ends in a cliffhanger and the third book doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. If that changes, I will definitely be read to read more of Hope’s story.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Clarion Books via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

Initial Thoughts
This was entertaining. I enjoy time travel stories so this book did appeal to me. I liked Hope and thought that her ability to remember everything would come in really handy. I hate to admit that I know nothing about Eleanor of Aquitaine so while I enjoyed the scenes with this historical figure, I can say how accurately she was depicted. I listened to the audiobook and I thought that Amanda Ronconi did a great job with the narration.
Author 5 books97 followers
September 25, 2015
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of INTO THE DIM. What drew me to it were the promises of time travel and vivid glimpses into history, and it delivered on those beautifully. But there was something in this story I wasn’t expecting… the voice! The heroine has one of those voices I could listen to (or follow to any point in time) for another 500 pages after the story ended. It’s strong, unique, and rings so true. I was able to suspend my disbelief and follow the author through this amazing action-packed adventure. This story does not disappoint!
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,192 followers
February 21, 2016
Are you in the mood for a fast-paced, whirlwind adventure to the past? If so then "Into the Dim" is the book for you.

Quirky and eidetic memory-wielding Hope Walton is thrust into the world of time traveling after her mother, Sarah, goes missing when really she's stuck in another century. Hope and two other time travelers are tasked with rescuing Sarah. They are her last chance, and if they can't save her she will never be able to return to her proper time period.

"Into the Dim" has a slower start, but by 100 pages in we emerge in a different era and that's where the ball starts rolling and the plot picks up the pace. And oh does it ever! Janet introduces an endearing cast of characters. We have the innocent and slightly naive Hope, a charming yet seemingly untrustworthy Bran, a serious and driven time traveler Collum, and his peppy and spunky teen sister Phoebe. I really liked the group dynamic and their vow never to leave each other behind. So often in books we see characters make the "hard choice" and leave their friends behind in tricky situations, yet I think the truly hard decision is fighting that urge and rescuing your friends like these characters do.

I really enjoyed the historical elements that Janet weaved into the story. I learned so much about Eleanor of Aquitaine and London in the 1100's. It's such a fascinating time period that isn't really explored much in YA.

The romance was cute, but I felt it was a bit rushed. I love the bickering and sassy dialogue between Bran and Hope. A love triangle is not present in this book for those wondering. Overall I can't wait to see what happens to this power couple next because they have a serious bout of forbidden love plaguing them. Speaking of sassy, there are some hilarious moments in this book that really broke up the dreariness of life in the 1100's.

The pacing of this novel was perfect as we see the characters run from troubles at every turn. There was plenty of action and mystery coupled in this story. My favorite element is definitely the numerous plot twists that Janet pulls. I love hypothesizing and guessing what happens next (and I usually get it right), but Janet pulled the proverbial rug out from underneath me multiple times. Jaws will drop! Heads will roll. (Kidding on that last part, but there's always book 2....)

The story has a satisfying end yet there are still some lose threads that I can't wait to see come to attention and fruition in the next book!
Profile Image for Lonna | FLYLēF.
173 reviews185 followers
May 11, 2016
FLYLēF Book Reviews

Original Post: Into the Dim at FLYLēF (www.flylef.com)

AT THE RISK of sounding like a cliché, books truly are the most versatile and economical means of traveling—transporting us from real to imaginary worlds, and even piercing the veil of time. Into the Dim, by Janet B. Taylor, takes reader to 12th century London in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I'm not too sure on the historical accuracy of this book, though, I thought Ms. Taylor richly detailed the beauty and darkness of this period. I found myself salivating for a bowl of beef stew with aged cider, or even nauseated over the depiction of this period’s poor personal hygiene.

The story is from 16 year-old Hope Walton’s POV, which starts out well with her crisp, clear narrative. I found her sarcasm fairly charming, and her photographic memory impressive. There is a lot more to Hope than the author initial lets readers in on as hinted by recurrent nightmares and moments of strange familiarity. Yet, I didn't find Hope too interesting. She's very sheltered, even delicate and fragile.

Where Hope’s character falls short, there is another whom I find more captivating—one of beautiful mismatched eyes, one Emerald and one Sapphire. Bran is at times charming, other times deceptive. He hides a secret and shoulders a burden so great, that I’m easily drawn to his character—to his pain.

I thought the time travel was handled well. I liked how Ms. Taylor adds a bit of her own spin on the deadly limitations and exceptions of time travel. The backstory between Viators (secret time-saving society) and Timeslippers (Viator’s evil, villainous counterpart) is very descriptive and thorough, which can seem like reading a manual. But, I appreciated it. I didn’t feel confused about events nor displaced relative to the primary timeline.

Though the pacing starts out slow, the story does pick up and moves faster towards the middle. It becomes a lot more exciting when characters from the present travel to the past and history is rewritten in a curious, entertaining and worrisome way, even if it does tie up loose ends rather too conveniently. I do look forward to the sequel, as I hope with much of the backstory already explained, there will be a lot more character-driven action and suspense in Into the Dim 2.

{ I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for kindly giving me an opportunity to review this title. }
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 150 books37.5k followers
January 11, 2016
Copy provided by NetGalley:

Hot Scots in history has been a thing in historical romance for decades. Many believe that Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles kicked it off, and I have no quarrel with that for the adult audience, but the first one I ever read and loved was Sally Watson's Witch of the Glens, which was written for the young adult audience.

And here is a new entry for young adults. (I would say for the high end of young adults, as there is a lot of rough language and some frank sexual discussion, including a couple of attempted rapes and references to off-screen rape.)

A teen who is okay with the above is bound to enjoy the story, which starts off at a brisk clip, and accelerates to non-stop, high tension action once the time travel happens. I think a teen won't mind the somewhat jumbled explanation for the time travel (though a combination of Tesla and ley lines was a lot of fun), and won't notice inconsistent language and details of clothing, anymore than they'll mind the total Evilness of the bad guys.

Pluses are a sympathetic treatment of Jews, various cute guys, Hope's eidetic memory, which she deploys to awesome effect, and feisty Phoebe, Hope's first friend. I really liked the girls' relationships in this story, and for that matter, the women's, barring the Evil Villainess.

Another big plus: Eleanor of Aquitaine, demonstrating her extreme coolness.

If this book sparks in young readers an interest in reading history, that would be an added bonus to a roller-coaster ride of a read.

It's the first in a series, and I will keep an eye out for the next.
Profile Image for Sarah Ahiers.
Author 3 books372 followers
November 16, 2015
What a fantastic time-travel adventure!

Hope Walton is a girl with a photographic memories, a life filled with anxieties that keep her trapped at home, and a dead mother.
But when she's whisked away to Scotland to meet her aunt for the first time, Hope learns that her mother is, in fact, not dead, but a member of a secret society of time travelers and trapped in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. And though she must overcome her anxieties, Hope may be the only person who can travel back in time to save her mother.

Hope is such a fantastic character. Yes, she lacks some social skills, and has phobias and fears, but she's strong and doesn't take crap from people and she's a heroine worth believing in.

Taylor's age of Eleanor of Aquitaine is well-researched and add so much wonderful depth of description and believability. And Taylor weaves so many mysteries throughout the story that I found myself surprised more than once, which is hard to do.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of time travel, historical fiction or historical fantasy.

I received this arc as part of a tour in return for a fair review.
Profile Image for Sarah Alexander.
Author 1 book74 followers
November 15, 2015
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.
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