Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Into the Dim.  Janet B. Taylor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. March 2016. 432 pp.  ISBN#: 9780544602007.

Hope Walton up to now has lived a very controlled life.  Her mother insists Hope be home-schooled as she has a photographic mind, remembering absolutely everything she reads.  Now, however, her mother has been gone for six months, believed to have died in a terrible earthquake.  Hope’s father has quickly remarried and it’s quite clear his new bride indicates it would be better to lose the burden of a grieving, angry daughter.  Hope therefore reluctantly accepts the invitation to visit her mother’s family in Scotland.  The shocking details she receives soon after arrival there plummet her into a phenomenal journey that will challenge everything she thinks she knows.

Hope’s Scottish family call themselves the Viators, those who have the ability and materials to travel backward in time.  Hope discovers this fact by accident when she is wandering throughout her aunt’s home and finds basement rooms full of clothing, jewelry, weapons and other artifacts from the 12th Century.  Hope will be shocked beyond words to learn a secret that compels her to travel back to that time of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.  She and her relatives who travel with her have two quests to complete – to find a certain person and to secure an ancient stone with extremely special powers. 

To no surprise, another family member, who is a sworn enemy of Hope’s aunt, heads another group with the same purposes but with questionable purposes, ends that could literally change the entire history of mankind if successfully completed.

Before she left on the terrifying journey back in time, Hope had met a young teen who seemed the only person on earth to treat her as a friend.  Now she will meet him in the 12th Century and is quite unsure whether he is friend or foe.

In the court of Henry and Elizabeth, Hope will win both support and starkly hostile opposition.  Who prevails in this war is what drives the complex plot of this time travel novel that reflects a personal and historical war.  Plenty of fierce action, dialogue and description pack these pages and keep the reader riveted until the last surprising pages!  Even a few obviously contrived scenes won’t stop the reader’s total engagement and desire to see how this tale unfolds.  There’s an indication as well that this is only the first novel in what will be a series! Nice!

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