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Into the Dim
by Janet B. Taylor
Meet Hope Walton: not your typical teenager - adopted, home-schooled, afraid of everything, suffers from migraines, has a photographic memory, just buried her mother, and oh, yea, from a family of time-travelers!
Hope is not happy when after her mother's memorial service, her father ships her off to Scotland for a visit with her estranged aunt, Lucinda. But Lucinda is not there to meet her when she arrives, and living in the family estate is a cast of characters who although seem lovely on the surface, she can tell they are hiding something.
While investigating her new surroundings, Hope discovers an ancient apparatus buried deep below the house, a time traveling machine, which travelers call, The Dim. Soon she learns what really happened to her mother: while traveling in The Dim, she got left behind......in the year 1154!
Hope not only has to come to grips with who her mother is, but the realization that she just might be the only one that can save her. But time is running out, can Hope and her new family travel back in time to save her mother. Does she want to be saved? And what if they run into their archenemy, Celia Alvarez and her cadre?
Now Hope must fight her fears and use that photographic memory to recover her mother and bring her back to the present. But 1154 is full of dangers that Hope can't even imagine. She'll have to learn to trust strangers, queens, alchemists and even her own family if she's going to survive.
Taylor has done her research in describing England in 1154. You can almost smell the dirty streets and feel the burn of infection from every little wound. Yet the story hinges on Hope's photographic memory to hold it together. And although I enjoyed the premise, this story swung a little too far toward the romance for me to really enjoy the action. I think that most High School girls, and maybe some Middle School girls, will relate to the love story. However, I think it's too syrupy to appeal to most boys.