If it's good, I'll read it! Instagram: @crystenasbooks
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Rating: 4 stars
Series: Into the Dim #1
I received this book from Netgalley with the hope that I would review it. The opinion that this is a great scifi/historical fiction mashup is purely my own. I couldn't find limitations on posting reviews with the publisher on NetGalley so I'm going to post this review now.
Book Blurb: “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."
I really liked this Sci-fi/Historical Fiction mashup. This book was easy to immerse yourself in and a real page turner.
Hope is a great heroine. She is smart and capable. Her "superpower", if you will, is real - she has an eidetic memory. That comes in handy when you are a time traveler and have to be careful about blending in and knowing how to get out of jams using what's around you.
I enjoyed the many twists and turns the plot took. The action rarely let up so there's not a lot of down time. Hope's identity itself is a bit of a mystery and one of the fun parts of this story. I enjoyed guessing using my limited knowledge and look forward to getting more answers as the series continues. Though a secondary character, Eleanor was well done. Loved her banter with Beckett (as in Thomas) and how they weaved Hope and the time travelers' mission in with their infamous rivalry.
The time travel itself was competent. They wisely and safely invoked Tesla. The time traveling "rules" were easy to follow for the most part. I will say one rule - 'you can't alter history but if you do succeed in doing so it's because you were meant to' - kinda ran me around in circles buuuuut I let it go.
The weakest part of the book for me was the romance. The YA love story in itself was fine. However, the author is clearly setting up a love triangle -the obvious guy and the guy hovering off to the side who's a little edgy and you're not quite sure about. You have to really sell a triangle for me to buy it and it didn't work for me. But the rest of the story was strong enough to overlook it and/or wait and see how it all develops.
My favorite part is definitely how the historical aspect was just as strong as the time travel. Hope is accessing references in her unlimited memory to help her back in Eleanor's time, so readers will learn (or reinforce what they already know) while enjoying a strong YA story.
Overall I definitely recommend. I look forward to the next book.