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#105 Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica

In an ordinary town called Indigo Springs, Astrid lives with her two friends, Jacks and Sahara, in the house that she grew up in. Much of Astrid’s childhood memories involve her father, who spent much of his time at junk and rummage sales looking for seemingly random items. Astrid soon discovers that there’s more to these objects than she first suspects. They have been “chanted,” or given magical elements using a strange blue water called vitagua. A necklace with a mermaid pendant may give you the ability to convince someone to do anything. A watch may make sure you’re always at the right place at the right time. As Astrid delves deeper into these objects, she discovers that she has the ability to make even more. What starts off as innocent fun has consequences, both rooted in the magic discovered here, and in Sahara’s own selfishness.

Indigo Springs is a unique modern day fantasy that takes a lot of risks. Although the novel ends up stumbling along it’s way, most of these risks pay off. The first thing about Indigo Springs that caught my attention was it’s unique structure. Instead of starting at the beginning of the story, we’re thrown in close to the end. We learn that the world has been thrown into chaos, and that the characters Astrid and Sahara are somewhat responsible, but little more than that. This particular entry into the storyline can be a little confusing at first, but the further you get into the book the easier it is to swallow the shifting back and forth between the two time lines.

Where the book really becomes interesting is with it’s characters and worldbuilding. Despite the fact that these characters are thrown into such fantastic situations, their reactions feel very close to real life. We do not have typical “good” guys and “bad” guys here. Admittedly, I had some issues with Astrid, as she felt a little too passive for my tastes at times, but for the most part we got along. Sahara also got on my nerves sometimes, although I suspect that was intentional. Several of the characters, including the protagonist, are LGBT individuals. I was happy with the respectful way that that author tackled the issue of sexuality and gender. For example, Astrid’s sexuality (she is bisexual) is presented as an important part of her character, but it does not completely define her. I really enjoyed exploring the magical concepts presented in this story (the vitagua, and unreal), which felt fresh and new to me. It’s worth mentioning that I had a hard time believing that such widespread chaos could have been caused by the actions of these two characters in the main storyline, but part of that could be due to the fact that I was never quite sure how much time had passed between the two storylines.

Although Indigo Springs is not free of speed bumps, it’s an all around solid ride. I would recommend the book to readers who are looking for a unique contemporary fantasy title. I know that a sequel (Blue Magic) is planned for an April 2012 release, and I look forward to reading it when I have a chance.

Rating: four stars
Length: 320 pages
Source: paperbackswap
Other books I've read by this author: This is my first

Next I will be reviewing The Girl with Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

xposted to temporaryworlds, bookish, and goodreads
Tags: author: d, genre: fantasy, review
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