Review: Indigo Springs

Review: Indigo SpringsIndigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica
Series: Astrid Lethewood #1
Published by Tor Books on October 27, 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 335
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Indigo Springs is a sleepy town where things seem pretty normal . . . until Astrid's father dies and she moves into his house. She discovers that for many years her father had been accessing the magic that flowed, literally, in a blue stream beneath the earth, leaking into his house. When she starts to use the liquid "vitagua" to enchant everyday items, the results seem innocent enough: a "'chanted" watch becomes a charm that means you're always in the right place at the right time; a "'chanted" pendant enables the wearer to convince anyone of anything . . .

But as events in Indigo Springs unfold and the true potential of vitagua is revealed, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with power, change, and a future too devastating to contemplate. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends as Astrid discovers secrets from her shrouded childhood that will lead her to a destiny stranger than she could have imagined . . .

First Sentence: ” ‘You’re going to fall in love today.’ ”

Review:
I came to this book with absolutely no expectations. Prior to reading it, I knew nothing about the book or its author. The only reason I ever picked it up was because I won a copy of the second book in the series from Goodreads’ First Reads program. At first, I thought that was bad luck, and I was annoyed with myself for even entering to win the second book in a series I’d never read. Well, now, I just want to pat myself on the back for being so awesome.

This book was just so incredibly cool. Dellamonica has created magic as I’ve never seen it before. The worldbuilding is so incredibly cool. As crazy as it is, there’s a sort of normalcy to it that calls to mind magical realism. The Unreal, and the liquid magic, are just so incredibly unique and astounding. Oh, and, it’s apocalyptic. So many things that I love are in this book!

The story alternates between past events and present ones. In the present, where we start, Will, a crisis negotiator, arrives to interrogate Astrid Lethewood. She was arrested and then apparently moved to this special facility because of her mental instability. The first chapter captured me immediately, with Astrid’s craziness and everything being said making me want to know more.

I’m not usually one to cast roles for a potential movie as I’m reading a book, but I can see Astrid as no one but Summer Glau, and I do think this could make a completely amazing television show. Although I’m not sure that Summer necessarily fits what Astrid is supposed to look like, she plays crazy and intelligent better than anyone else. Astrid comes off as a sort of a weak, quiet character, possible insanity aside. Really, though, she has so much power.

In the past, we learn about how she discovered the truth of her father, Albert. He left her a big house, although he was a wastrel during most of his lifetime. In it, she finds a bunch of what appears to be junk, but then she discovers that all of those items are chantments, enchanted magical objects. One can turn a number two pencil into gold shavings. Another can make you more beautiful.

Astrid begins to recover lost memories and learns more about the magic and her father, with her friends, Jacks and Sahara at her side. Sahara is so perfectly her character. I have such a vivid mental image of her in my head as well. These three are all so well-characterized. The other figures in the story, I have less of a handle on, even Will, though you see from his perspective for about half of the book. Everything is bound up in Astrid’s universe, which mostly consists of three people.

Indigo Springs may be the best urban fantasy novel I’ve read to date. It’s vibrant, magical and edgy. I am so excited to start on Blue Magic soon.

Favorite Quote:

“‘Unsentimental and heartless aren’t the same.'”

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