SPARKS OF LIGHT by Janet Taylor


From the "Into the Dim" series, volume 2
Age Range: 13 - 18
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Two modern time-traveling groups vie for control of their shared time machine.

Into the Dim (2016) introduced white, 16-year-old Hope to the Viators, her family’s time-traveling group. While they attempt to minimize the influence of their travels on current events, a splinter group, the Timeslippers, more recklessly pursues its quest for power. The Timeslippers’ newest plan involves gaining control of the time machine through a meeting with Nikolas Tesla in 1895. When the Timeslippers’ leader’s son, Bran (who acts as a spy for the Viators thanks to his crush on Hope) alerts the rival group, they also travel to 1895 for a countermission. The New York City settings vividly expose America’s long history of socio-economic class divides, contrasting the luxury of the Waldorf Hotel against the horrific conditions of a mental hospital. But considering that the mission must be completed in 72 hours (or all travelers risk being trapped in 1895), an inordinate amount of time is spent on such frivolous activities as having fancy dresses made. These interludes derail the frantic pace readers expect from a time-sensitive adventure story. And though the Tesla storyline concludes, the Viators-Timeslippers conflict remains unresolved, leaving room for another installment. Most characters read as white, though one minor character is mixed-race (black/white).

Fans of the first book may overlook the uneven pacing, especially if they are engaged by Hope and Bran’s romantic tension and surprising back story. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-544-60957-0
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2017


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