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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'Indigo Springs' Book 1 of Astrid Lethewood Series by A.M. Dellamonica (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit A.M. Dellamonica's Official Website HERE
OVERVIEW: 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.
FORMAT: Indigo Springs is an apocalyptic, contemporary fantasy. It stands at 320 pages and is told through an alternating narrative between the past and the present. Indigo Springs is the first in the Astrid Lethewood series. It was published by Tor Books on October 27, 2009.
ANALYSIS: Sometimes we encounter a book that for some unexplainable reason we fall in love with. For me, Indigo Springs was that book.
I read this novel in May of 2012 and I just keep thinking about it over and over again. In fact, I've read it two more times. I am not 100% certain I can fully explain why I love it, but I just do.
The core plot of Indigo Springs revolves around the main character, Astrid, being given the responsibility to guard an extremely powerful magic. This magic allows Astrid to enchant everyday objects and give them magical powers that can 'help' people. Astrid is required to guard this powerful magic and keep it a secret from everyone in her life. Unfortunately, Astrid makes a terrible mistake and trusts her best friend and crush, Sahara with the secret.
Sahara decides that the magic is too good to be kept a secret and starts using it a little here and there. Slowly, that magic begins to overtake them and bad things start to happen.
One of Indigo Springs' strengths is the unique way the story is told. Readers are introduced to the main character, Astrid, who has been taken hostage in a police standoff. It is obvious to readers that something has gone horribly wrong, but nothing is really explained until the end. Readers know that Astrid is involved in something that appears to have caused mass chaos or the 'end of the world', but will learn through the rest of the book how involved she is.
The story is then told through a series of flashbacks. Astrid is being interviewed by a police interrogator and she slowly starts to reveal what happened, what is going on, and how she got to that point.
The use of flashbacks can sometimes be a little confusing and at first readers might be a little confused with what is going on, but it all works out in the end. All the loose threads and questions readers have are eventually answered, with some being left for the second book.
The novel at times can appear to be moving slow, but it isn't. Before you know it, you'll be almost done with the book and you'll wonder where the time went. I think the slower pace really allows readers to fully understand what is going on and really get into the book. However, I feel that some readers are going to feel that the novel moves too slow and put it down.
Another real strength of Indigo Springs' is its character building. I really felt connected and close to all the characters in the book. That doesn't mean that I liked all the characters, it's just that I felt really connected to them. I felt like I was along for the journey with them as they explored the unique magic and had it slowly consume them.
The characters are also well defined. Astrid has many different sides to her, and doesn't appear to just be this one-sided character. She faces multiple internal conflicts and often struggles between pleasing others and doing what she wants for herself. Sahara is an amazingly unique character who just sweeps you off your feet and just has this powerful personality.
There is just a really special, unique aspect to Indigo Springs. It really gave me insight into what would draw someone into using magic for evil. I really feel as if the author allowed readers to climb inside the minds' of the characters and experience everything with them.
Overall, I loved Indigo Springs. I really think it should have gotten more coverage than it has because it really is simply amazing. It's unique, gripping and beautifully written. I highly recommend this book.


Carl V. Anderson said...

Isn't it wonderful when that truly unexplainable connection happens? It is often hard to describe why a book captures are heart while a book that is entirely equal from all objective standards doesn't.

Which adds to the frustration when you see that the book doesn't get the press you feel it deserves. I vaguely remember hearing about this book but never even gave it a glance. I appreciate your impassioned review for putting it on my radar.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I really enjoyed this one as well. And the magically induced apocalypse here. Really well done.


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