Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Posted April 28, 2021 by Sophia
1 Comment

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

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Into the Dim by Janet B. TaylorInto the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Into the Dim #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on March 1, 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Physical
Source: Author, Gifted/Giveaway

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. 

So way back in 2016 before the “I don’t want to blog” bug bit me, I had an ARC of Into the Dim from Netgalley and then years passed, somehow I won a Twitter giveaway of the book and then I never actually read the book until a whole half-decade later.

Into the Dim was fast-paced and Taylor kept me interested in reading the entire story. I was fully invested in wanting to find out more about how time travel would work, and Taylor sucked me into the world of the Viators and historic England as Hope finds out her mother isn’t actually dead but rather stuck centuries in the past. All of a sudden, her trip to visit her aunt in Scotland has turned into learning everything her mother hasn’t told her and rescuing her from the past without getting stuck in the past herself. It’s no longer trying to get away from her father who moved on from her mother’s “death” relatively quickly and from her very stereotypical Southern family where her grandmother makes the constant effort not to include her.

(The depiction of Southerners bothered me, but I am but a girl from a city within a southern state, so I really can’t talk.)

While engaging, at the same time, Into the Dim also wasn’t terribly memorable. I remember very little of the characters outside of Eleanor, Thomas and Phoebe. Everyone else just kind of exist in the story for the sole purpose of existing, and I don’t think it’s partially attributed to the fact the novel was fast-paced but more due to the fact they just weren’t as interesting.

Even Hope, who kind of just feels like someone who is told she wasn’t prepared, but is conveniently equipped and prepared. She just seemed prepared with her eidetic memory and being homeschooled throughout her life, where she’s essentially been taught all the things she would need as a Viator. She might not have known about her mother, but she knows a lot about history and has been taught most if not all of the dead languages, which she utilizes in her trip to the past. I just feel with the constant reminder she isn’t prepared, Taylor could’ve spent a little more time in Hope’s preparations for her trip into the past.

The romance also felt unnecessary and forced, although I think a large part of this is me personally not enjoying instalove romance. But I think while I did enjoy Into the Dim, I don’t think I’ll be continuing the rest of the series, especially since it’s been well over three years and a supposed third book hasn’t actually happened (and I don’t want to get myself invested after the second book if things get better).


Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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One response to “Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

  1. Um, I can see why this lacked depth somehow, or wasn’t memorable. Characters who are just “fine” or not very fleshed out are a deal-breaker for me, except when the story is really interesting or exciting. Also, the prepared-yet-unprepared conundrum…

    Still kudos to you for reading it, if 5 years later 😂.