Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sparks of Light ~ Janet B Taylor (earc) review ]@HMHKids @Janet_B_Taylor]

Sparks of Light (Into the Dim #2)
Houghton Mifflin
August 01, 2017
448 pages
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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.

There is not a lot of recapping of Into the Dim in this second book, Sparks of Light, so if you have either not read that book or largely forgotten it, you may feel a bit left out at certain points. Of course, the larger, more major parts of Into th Dim we are reminded of simply by who is or is not present when Sparks of Light beings and what we thn learn of their current location or state. Though there were a few things I wanted to go back to Into the Dim and refresh myself on, I liked the focus on the now.

I liked that each book, so far, at least, seems more self contained. Yes, you will be spoiled for some parts of Into the Dim if you read Sparks of Light first (some pretty big things so I really don't recommend it) but it's still possible.

I appreciated that in this book, Hope is familiar with the Viators, with the Dim, how it works and its limitations. There is both their immediate plan and worry, in 1895 New York City with Tesla, but also a larger, overreaching goal. The author does a great job focusing very much on the here and now (whenever that may be), with great attention to detail and historical fact and accuracy but simultaneously making it all a part of a larger whole. This is true of both the Viators characters and for history and what's supposed to happen.

I loved that gender, race and class played into the time travelling and what they encountered or experienced.  Paired with Hope's memory and her knowledge of the time, it felt like a very true representation of the period. It is also extra enjoyable that it isn't simply: go back in time, say this to this person, don't do this and then come home. Their plans are often foiled, inadvertently or purposefully or both and it makes for a bit more excitement and danger.

This series does a great job of giving us fun, thrilling and often dangerous time travel adventures, fantastic character relationships and accomplishing one, isolated mission somehwere in time while also having something larger they're still working towards in the present. This is a series where I would gladly read several more installments.

digital review copy received from publisher via NetGalley

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