Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday #Review - Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor #YALit #Science Fiction

Series: Into the Dim # 2
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: HMH for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult / Time Travel

  • For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

  • In this sequel to the dazzling time-travel romance Into the Dim, sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning as Hope and Bran struggle to determine where—or when—they truly belong.

Sparks of Light is the second installment in author Janet B. Taylor's Into the Dim series. Protagonist Hope Walton, who now calls Scotland home, has done the unexpected. She traveled back to the 12th century and returned home with her mother (Sara Carlyle) and baby sister (Ellie) in tow. She also discovered that she is part of a long line of time travelers known as Viators. To make things more interesting, she's in a relationship with Brandon Cameron, a boy she has known since they were small children. 

She's also found a family with Moira, John, Phoebe, and Collum MacPherson, as well as Aunt Lucinda who genuinely care about her. But, not everything is settled. Not with Celia Alvarez still searching for the Nonius Stone. Celia aka "Mistress of Bloody Darkness" really wants control over the Dim and her Timeslippers are more than a thorn for Hope's Viators who want to save the future. After being gone for two months, Bran returns with shocking news that will send Hope, Phoebe, Collum, Mac, Bran, and Doug back to the year 1895 where they hope to prevent Nikola Tesla from making a huge mistake. 

Hope is a character who we have only skimmed the surface of who she really is and where she really came from. A fact that the author drives home with flashbacks to the era of John Dee & Edward Kelley. I didn't actually mind the flashbacks, and no I didn't think they took away from the flow of the story itself. We, as readers, need to know why happened and why Hope feels that has a whole lot more to learn about her beginnings in order to move forward into the future. This is a hard book for me to review since Hope really ends up in some troubling situations. 

Troubling because it was all too realistic that things like rich men dumping their no longer wanted wives into an asylum for their own good while they moved on to a newer model with less miles under the tires. Hope and Doug both experience so much turbulence, that I was really holding my breath at different points when she is faced with so many extreme emotional situations. There is an intense scene in this book that really hits home at how people with different skin color were treated by certain people in this society. Unfortunately, it's historically accurate. 

If you write over it, or ignore that it actually did happen, then you are rewriting history and not learning from our descendants mistakes. In the end, this book had a much darker feel to it thanks to Hope's experience at Greenwood Institute. It's always hard to compare books, and in this case, different historical settings bring out different situations. One could say that the challenges in the first installment were much more intense than this book. However, I do like that the author integrates her story with actual historical figures of the time like Tesla, Edison, John Aster, and William Vanderbilt. There are more than a few loose ends that haven't been tied up. One of those loose ends is bugging me because it left a gaping hole in the storyline. Hopefully it will be resolved by any future sequel.

1 comment:

  1. I like it too when fiction gets some accurate historical details. It's easier for me to suspend disbelief and get more invested in the story.