Sunday, 27 March 2016

A huge disappointment set in one of my favourite eras | Into the Dim

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

Published: March 1st 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, time travel, historical

Goodreads summary: Sixteen year-old Hope Walton travels back in time to rescue her mother who is trapped in twelfth century England in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Along the way, she becomes entangled with a secret society of time travelers 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


I've never been sadder to write a negative review than for Into the Dim.* It was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, because it dealt with time travel in the 12th century, which doesn't happen enough in young adult fiction. I feel like a black sheep for this one, because those who finished it seemed to really enjoyed it. For me, it was just a succession of tropes I thought had been eradicated from young adult fiction for the last four years or so. It had started well though, with a catchy first sentence. I can't tell you if it's similar to Outlander, for I haven't read it and don't intend to.

*To make this review happier, all the gifs will be from Harry Potter. Obviously because this book was set in Scotland and because you won't leave since you love Harry Potter, mwahaha.

This couldn't be more cliché. It starts with a homeschooled girl who travels to Scotland to discover mysterious family members and their big secret. the secret part is the beginning of a lot of books, which is fine, but it dragged for so long. They didn't tell Hope the truth before 20-25% in. She was stumbling into things but they were like: "No, we can't tell her right now" for so many chapters, it was frustrating. Then, when they finally told her the truth... It still took a lot of chapters for them to time travel. As a reader, knowing this book was about time travel but not having it was irritating, because I was just waiting. 

When the characters finally arrived in the 12th century, the plot was more interesting, because we discovered a new era and the book had found its purpose. Nevertheless, I had guessed every twist from the beginning of the novel, I found it to be so predictable. I was never left shocked or anything, I was just rolling my eyes and telling the characters to move on. Also, I really liked the concept of this time travel, it was really interesting and felt realistic.

I couldn't bring myself to care about Hope. For me, she was just another Bella Swan, helpless but yet very special from the rest of the world. I thought we were done with that trope but apparently no? I just wanted to cry in frustration. The only cool thing about Hope was her eidetic memory, but that's pretty much it. 

I didn't relate or care for any of the characters, I think the only pleasant ones were Phoebe, Rachel and Eleanor. Hope's father was described as a despicable person in the beginning, because he had already moved on and was just sending Hope away and blah blah blah. Moreover, Sarah was supposed to be a fantastic person and when we met her... She was not. I could understand why, but it was stupid. It was just part of this : "let's make parents look bad so the teenage characters can do whatever they want"... And I'm so done with that.

The romance was cringe-worthy and unrealistic. I'll just tell you how these characters me: the boy was taking pictures of the girl from afar, of course she caught him. But of course, she's attracted right away to him and accept to see him again. Excuse me but no? Who would accept to see this stranger alone after that in real life? Literally no one, he could have been a pervert and Hope was like "okay I'm attracted". No, just no. 

The ending was a little more fast-paced than the rest of the book, so I liked it a little more than the rest of it... But it clearly wasn't enough, since I guessed every twist correctly. I liked that it was harder than expected for them to get home. However, the final scene? Can we get more cheesy? I think not. It just ended on the characters kissing. Like, no.

Overall, this wasn't the book for me, which made me so sad, since I tried so hard to like it, but sometimes that's how it is. I found this book to be predictable and full of tropes, which you probably got from my long rant, haha. Nevertheless, I liked the concept of the time travel and the era they travelled to... Which is why I'm giving it two stars, let's be generous. But it's pretty much because of the Doctor Who reference.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? Do you love Outlander?


  1. Ahh no, I'm so sorry this was a disappointment! I've heard nothing but good things until now (it was also one of my most anticipated releases). I still want to read it and find out for myself if the tropes are so badly included but I'll be going in wary. Great review nonetheless :)
    Enchanted by YA

    1. I hope you'll enjoy it more than I did! :) I've seen either DNF reviews or praising reviews, but apparently I'm not the only one who didn't like it :/


    You are not the only black sheep! I was anticipating this book since last summer (due to time travel though), and I was really sad that it wasn't as amazing as I expected it to be.

    I also guessed the ending, it was really obvious that such a thing would happen. And actually, I found Hope to be really useful (especially in the end) because of her eidetic memory, but TOO useful in a way that she basically solved everything incredibly quickly. So I wasn't really fond of that (I mean other than that part, she messed up everything else haha).

    And I predict there will be a love triangle in the next book. I can just see it coming.

    Awesome review Lucie! :) :) I loved it!

    1. Yes Val, thanks I'm not the only one! I've been really excited for th time travel books coming out this year, but sometimes they just disappoint, which makes me sad... The book was predictable so yeah, not a lot of surprises! I can also feel a love triangle coming, which I'm not really fond of... We already have the trope of the bad guy turned good guy for the girl so ugh... Thank you! :)

  3. Oh gosh, I'm so sad you didn't enjoy this more Lucie! I heard a lot of good things about it too, and was looking forward to it, but I kept reading your review, and this book doesn't sound awesome at all! Thanks so much for letting me know before I went and bought it!

    1. You're welcome! :) I've seen a lot of people loving it too but also a lot of DNF reviews because it's SO SLOW and predictable. I wanted to enjoy it so much more, but sadly it didn't work. We can't love every book we read but that's how it works. :/