An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange of a honest review.
I've never been a huge fan of time travel books, but as soon as I heard the premise of Into the Dim, I was hooked! Twelfth century England???? Eleanor of Aquitaine??? SIGN ME UP! Being a huge history geek, that age is one of my favs, and Eleanor is such a badass woman of history whom I admire and the only proper representation of her story I've seen so far was in the movie Lion of Winter! I was looking forward to see Janet's take of the era and the events, and needless to say, started Into the Dim with high expectations!
Hope's entire life is turned upside down when she learns that everything she's believed in has been a lie. Her mother was not just a historian, she was a time traveller. Her mother, whom she believed has been dead for 8 months, had actually been stuck in twelfth century England. Her photographic memory is not a coincidence or a simple talent. Most of all, her entire existence had been a half hidden truth, which all tumbles out as she ventures into the epic time travelling journey in Into the Dim.
The concept behind time travelling in this book is interesting, if not a bit confusing. It is a mixture of ley lines and science fiction, and as intriguing it was, it could've used a little less info dumping. I really loved how the Dim didn't send the same people to the same place and time twice and how it only gave seventy two hours for the travelers to get back!
The characters were great, interesting and likable. I really liked Hope, our main character who was sensible, and was able to think on her feet. I loved her photographic memory, and wished it played a larger part in the story. The side characters all did their part well, the quirky Phoebe, the reserved yet adorable Collum, Hope's mysterious and strong mother, the charming yet deep Bran, and of course, the queen herself, Eleanor of Aquitaine!
I really liked Janet B.Taylor's rendition of the middle ages. She remained faithful to certain historical events and featured a handful to historic figures, but gave a twist to their characters and the happenings, which was interesting! My favourite aspect would be Thomas Becket's character - a priest and chancellor of Henry the second - and how Taylor has created a tension and animosity between him and Eleanor in the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed Into the Dim. I'd recommend it to time travel fans and history geeks. It has a slow first half, which might fail to impress because of the heavy dose of info dump and the amount of cliches , but redeems itself in the latter half, which speeds up with more action and unpredictable reveals and twists.