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YA Historical Fantasy Time Travel Review: Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor (Into The Dim #1)

Egalley thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads
“Seventy-two hours, then we have to be back at the clearing. Sunrise on the third day.”

Being “the homeschooled girl,” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t help her fit in with her adoptive dad’s perfectly blonde Southern family. But when her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world crumbles. After an aunt she’s never met invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is actually trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Now Hope must conquer her numerous fears and travel back in time to help rescue her mother before she’s lost for good. Along the way, she’ll discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free… or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK  | The Book Depository


* * *
I am not sure what to think of this book. On one hand, it was an easy, vivid, entertaining read. On the other hand, someone whose bread and butter for many years was historical fiction and who has always been fascinated by the notion of time travel, Into The Dim felt sloppy and simplistic.

I can see the appeal as it certainly would lure in YA readers who shy away from historical fiction usually. This is an exciting read: time travel, maidens in distress, an evil bishop, an open minded queen, chases and thievery, breaking out of The Tower of London, sword fighting and ancient secret tunnels... The main heroine is plucky and resourceful despite constantly battling major phobias and growing up extremely sheltered. I felt nothing but respect and admiration for Hope and her stubborn will to fight for what's right despite overwhelming odds against her.

There is also Bran, a mysterious love interest who end up playing a major role in Hope's adventures. There's science, Tesla and old time travelling diaries. There are loyal friends. Much to enjoy reading about.


First of all, there are no shades of grey. People are either majorly evil or overwhelmingly good and very helpful, which makes this book more of a middle grade read. Secondly, there are inconsistencies even in that characterisation. Collum, an experienced time traveller, is the one who makes stupid mistakes and whose butt Hope and Phoebe have to save again and again. Honestly, he was very immature, rush and infuriating! I couldn't believe what I was reading at times.

Thirdly, everyone had modern thinking with modern language and manners in 12th century. Next blip is a scenario straight from Ivanhoe, which was a thread about Will and Rachel's love. Just to cram it in, I suppose. But not necessary. *sigh*

If you are into time travel topic and need a bit more meat in your books, read an excellent All Souls Trilogy from Deborah Harkness, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or even an excellent YA series Immortal Descendants by April White.

On the other hand, of you are new to the genre, dive right in. You'll enjoy the heck out of this book!

* * *
Честно говоря, я не знаю, что и думать об этой книге, дамы и господа. С одной стороны, это увлекательный, живой, сумбурный роман о путешественниках во времени. С другой стороны, учитывая моё увлечение историей, диплом с истфака и более двадцати лет чтения исторических романов как от классических, так и от современных авторов, написано грязно и очень примитивно.

Нет, я конечно вижу достоинства этой книги, и она вполне возможно затянет в жанр новичков, которые обычно сторонятся исторической литературы. Тут вам и путешествие в Средние века, потерянное сокровище, дуэли на мечах, невозможная, трагическая любовь, злодей епископ, побег из лондонского Тауэра и древние тайные подземные туннели... Главная героиня - очень храбрая и умная девочка, спасающая всех своей смекалкой несмотря на постоянную борьбу с серьёзными фобиями, и вызывала у меня одно уважение.

Добавьте к этому таинственный любовный интерес, которые сыграет немаловажную роль в приключениях Хоуп, и от книги будет не оторваться.

Однако, ляпов было.... Мама дорогая! Во-первых, все герои либо чёрные, либо белые, нет никаких оттенков серого, от чего они приобретают картонный характер. Во-вторых, меня очень раздражала характеризация Коллума, который должен быть опытным путешественником, однако постоянно вляпывался в жуткие ситуации, из которых его приходилось выручать Хоуп и Фёбэ!

В-третьих, как вы скорее всего догадались, модернизация мышления, манер и речи 12 века, от которых я просто содрогалась. И наконец, нелепый кусок сюжета прямо содранный с Айвенго. Это я про второстепенную любовную историю Уилла и Рэйчел, которая никому была не нужна.

В общем, читабельно и даже увлекательно, но рекомендовать можно только новичкам. Если вам надо побольше мяса в ваших романах подобного жанра, пожалуйста возьмитесь за шикарную Диану Гэбэльдон, Дебору Харкнесс и даже Эйприл Уайт, кторая пишет по теме в подростковом фикшне, но гораздо интереснее.
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