The similarities between Into the Dim and Outlander are superficial, at best. I'm not even a diehard fan of Outlander, but I know a marketing ploy when I see one. To me, it felt as though Into the Dim was trying too hard to imitate the success of stories like Outlander and the results fell flat.
It started out promising, but quickly spiraled into predictability and unoriginality. Into the Dim reminded me a lot of April White's Immortal Descendants series, but without White's engaging writing style and imaginative plot. Both authors used historical settings as a backdrop to the action, but Taylor's writing felt rushed, which prevented me from becoming fully immersed in the setting. It seemed as if Taylor relied too heavily on the historical setting and neglected to fully develop her own world.
The story never "came off the page", so to speak. I was disappointed in how obvious the twists were and how easily I could predict the path of the plot. After that, there wasn't much appeal left and I had little motivation to finish it. Although, younger audiences may enjoy it more. Into the Dim might make an appropriate introductory novel for those that have not experienced more advanced time travel tales.
I think if it had been better paced, the different aspects of the story would have been given more time to develop. The phrase "Jack of all trades and master of none" comes to mind when thinking of Into the Dim. It was as if Taylor took elements from various time travel stories and placed them together piecemeal in order to not leave anything out. However, I wish that she would have better focused on one or two plot lines instead of trying to cover every base. The result was an whirlwind of action and not much development. In my opinion, that is not the way to start out a series. I think the pacing of a series should be more like a marathon than a sprint.
The basic ideas behind Into the Dim were intriguing and could have worked well individually. The characters were not awful and could have even been great, had they been given room to grow, but they eventually became sidelined in favor of a more plot driven story. Overall, Into the Dim lacked the depth, development, and direction needed to hold my interest. I put it down for several months and felt the same way after returning to it. I have no interest in continuing on with this series, however I would recommend it for those for whom Outlander may be too graphic.
Narration review: Amanda Ronconi's narration was enjoyable. She provided decent character distinction, particularly where accents were concerned. Her inflections were sometimes miscued and she frequently paused a beat too long, often midsentence, which tended to make the performance sound robotic. I'm not sure if this was directly attributable to the narration or production. However, it wasn't so distracting that it detracted from the overall listening experience. It's possible that if I had been more enthralled by the story, I would not have even noticed these things. ♣︎