Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: March 1
Genre: young adult, contemporary, historical
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.
When Hope sees footage from the earthquake destruction responsible for her mother’s death, she begins to question her sanity and her eidetic memory. She accepts her aunt’s offer to stay with her in Scotland, and immediately understands why her mother was secretive and an amazing historical scholar: she comes from a secret society of time travelers. Hope is sent back in time to Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court to retrieve her mother, lost in time and decidedly not dead in the twenty-first century. But time travel comes with a price to pay, and Hope’s loyalty is torn when the bigger picture of her journey and its consequences come to light.
When they said this was going to be Outlander for the YA market, they weren’t kidding. Heck, Gabaldon even blurbed it! While Outlander relies on chance and Celtic magic, Into the Dim‘s time travel is more scientific than supernatural. Similar to Stiefvater’s books’ obsession with ley lines, Taylor incorporates ley lines and Tesla into the history behind time travel, and all the technology (both high-tech modern and low-tech ancient) that comes with it. It’s an amazing journey, one that I could read repeatedly. It felt real. Like one could actually go back in time!
Hope reminded me of Hermione, without the bossy attitude. She is a know-it-all, but mostly because of her eidetic (photographic) memory. She knows facts, she knows dates, she has images and maps imprinted in her brain. But for all her knowledge, she still needs to use common sense and wit, and she grows so much throughout the course of the book. There’s knowing something by rote and recall, and knowing something through experience and instinct. Her intellect allows the narrative to give the reader the backstory and history lessons throughout in such a way it doesn’t feel like info-dumping. It shows the reader more about Hope’s character and talent while also informing the reader of the era.
There are moments in the book when it feels like her relationships with some of the male leads will go down the love triangle trap. There’s potential for one to exist, but Hope is not the kind of character to think about that sort of thing, or dwell on the “what ifs” when bringing her mother home is far more important. In fact, a potential love triangle is only apparent to the reader, just like a third party observer. Hope clearly likes one guy, you’re not sure if he likes her or is luring her in to a trap, and there’s another guy Hope needs to work alongside to get the job done but he’s either of the protective nature or harboring feelings as well. Who knows. I’m just thrilled the “love interest” storyline takes a back seat in this thrilling, action-packed, fascinating book.
Science, history, intrigue, and packed with an awesome punch of a twist at the end — all these things will keep you on the edge of your seat at work and buried under the covers with a flashlight at night. I could not put this down!
Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from HMH BFYR for review!