Book I of 'Into The Dim' series
"Instantly engaging, constantly suspenseful, ultimately poignant and satisfying. Loved it!"--Diana Gabaldon, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series
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. And she's alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever.
REVIEWED on KIRKUS REVIEWS wrote:
Hope Walton, a 16-year-old with a photographic memory, is devastated after her mother disappears on a trip to India and is presumed dead following an earthquake. When her father sends her to Scotland to see her mother’s sister, Hope resists going—she’s claustrophobic and terrified of flying—yet after she arrives, she learns that her mother is likely still alive. What’s more, Hope’s mother is part of a group called the Viators, time travelers who have long protected the sanctity of the time line from another time-traveling family. Debut author Taylor adeptly blends the fantastical and the historical as she sends her reluctant heroine back to the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine in order to save her mother. Taylor’s writing is bright with detail and her plot dense with action as Hope learns to be brave and resourceful when circumstances turn dire. Amid cameos from the likes of Eleanor, Henry II, and Thomas Becket, as well as the exploration of topics including medieval prejudice against Jews, Taylor offers an engrossing start to a planned series. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, CAA
Debbie Carton on BOOKLIST wrote:
Hope travels to Scotland to meet her deceased mother’s family and finds herself involved in time travel.
The remote Highlands manor house owned by her mother’s family turns out to be situated on an underground chamber that’s “something like a miniature wormhole.” Hope learns that her mother, thought killed in an earthquake, actually has been lost in 1154 London. Hope has a photographic memory and has easily memorized much of the history of the period and so needs little preparation for a trip to London in 1154 with companions Phoebe and Collum. Once there, she has little difficulty with the language but almost immediately becomes lost. She meets Rachel, a Jewish girl, severely persecuted in that time but who provides medicine to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Through Queen Eleanor, Hope finds her mother, but she also makes an immediate enemy of the powerful (and here villainous) Thomas à Becket. The group also dreams of finding the Nonius Stone, a large opal that will allow them to better control their time travels—and that a rival time-traveling group allied with Becket also wants the stone. Taylor’s adventure is fairly standard, but her depiction of 1154 is satisfyingly alien. Though she cuts linguistic and historical corners, she vividly describes the smelly, dirty, cold, and dangerous medieval period, lifting the book above the average.
Decent suspense with some painless history on the side. (Science fiction. 12-18)
REVIEWED on SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL wrote:
Historical-fiction and romance fans will be thrilled with this strong addition to the genres. Homeschooled teen Hope Walton copes with severe claustrophobia, the information overload of her photographic memory, and the lack of any kind of social life in her small southern town. When her brilliant mother is killed in an accident in India, Hope is sent to her mother’s aristocratic family in a Scottish castle, where she learns that time travel is a reality, there are different schools of thought on how to safely travel through time, and her mother is very much alive—but stuck in London 1154. Hope also discovers romance in the form of dreamy Bran Cameron, met while riding horses on the Scottish heath. When Hope and her two teen cousins are sent to bring Hope’s mother back to the present day, the plot twists fly fast and furious. With a spirited female warrior, multiracial computer genius, differently abled narrator, and terrific descriptions of period clothing, readers seeking the comfort food of adventure/romance reads will be delighted.
Hope Walton, an introverted 16-year-old, lost her adoptive mother in an overseas earthquake several months ago and can’t help feeling out of place in her stepfather’s extended family and their small-town home in the South. Though her claustrophobia makes air travel difficult, she reluctantly agrees to visit her mother’s sister in the remote Scottish Highlands. Upon her arrival, family secrets are revealed along with an underground cavern hidden beneath the house. Aunt Lucinda explains that her mother was a member of a secret society of time travelers able to step Into the Dim (HMH, Mar. 2016; Gr 8 Up)—a wormholelike passage—and journey to the past, and that she’s still alive but trapped in 1154 London. Armed with the eclectic knowledge afforded by her photographic memory and accompanied by two other teens, Hope journeys back to the Middle Ages to track down her mother, where she encounters time-traveling enemies who will stop at nothing to have their way, mysteries about her own past, and a maddeningly enigmatic and incredibly handsome boy who may be friend or foe. Janet B. Taylor’s absorbing novel keeps the action moving with well-timed revelations, deftly drawn historical events and personages, and a sparks-flying romance.