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Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica
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Indigo Springs (edition 2009)

by A.M. Dellamonica

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1781666,644 (3.66)11
Member:christina_reads
Title:Indigo Springs
Authors:A.M. Dellamonica
Info:Tor Books (2009), Edition: 1 Original, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:fiction, fantasy

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Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica

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Really fascinating. I love the characters and how complicated they are. Astrid has a monumental task as a chanter and keeper of the magic liquid in her home. Her friend Sahara is charismatic and self-serving. The people surrounding Astrid--her mother, Jacks--are wonderful, interesting characters. I love how surreal the story gets, yet I think everyone can relate to the idea of just wanting to be loved back by the one you love. Even when responsibility dictates that what it takes to get that love isn't the wisest thing, and sometimes true love is right in front of us. The story is complicated but all comes together--it leads up to the sequel (which I am going to start next!). I really like the insights into human nature through exposure to the extraordinary. Highly recommend. ( )
  waclements7 | Mar 10, 2016 |
I really wanted to love this book. It's got a beautiful cover and a truly interesting premise. On paper the characters are interesting too. The main character is bisexual, another is trans (though I was never certain if that was their natural inclination or the result of magics) and another is notably narcissistic. I should love this book. Instead, I liked it but was perfectly happy to reach the end of it.

The problem I had was that the characters never jumped out and grabbed me. They're flat, Jacks especially. The first person POV is a character who is basically outside the primary plot, the rest is third person from Astrid's (the main character's) POV. I connected to neither of them. What's more, I could never quire wrap my head around the fact that the weak, simpering woman of 95% of the novel is the same as the strong, in control woman at the end. Yeah, there's supposed to have been some time for her to adjust, but from the readers perspective it's a big change in personality almost instantly.

All in all, it was an ok book. I'd read another of Dellamonica's works but I didn't love it. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
Originally posted here.

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. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
This is the first book in the Astrid Lethewood series. I believe the sequel to this book, Blue Magic, ties up this duology. It was a creative and somewhat ambiguous story that can best be described as a urban fantasy apocalyptic eco-thriller. It reminds a bit of Elizabeth Hand in the somewhat vague writing style. It might not be a book for everyone but I enjoyed the creative ideas in here.

Astrid inherits a house from her dead father. We hear from her both in the present and past. As the story slowly unravels we find out that Astrid’s house hides a magic spring but the magic curses most of the people it contacts. She is supposed to guard the world from it. But her housemates interfere and the magic ends up corrupting the world; resulting in giants animals and human mutations.

This was a really cool concept; it was a blend of fantasy, urban fantasy, eco-thriller, and apocalyptic genres. It is a bit confusing when you start to read it because the chapters are told from two perspectives and those are not designated at the beginning of the chapter. The first perspective is from a negotiator that is sent to question Astrid in the present while the world is in the middle of a magical apocalypse. The second perspective is Astrid’s in the past (which she thinks is the present). It is awkward to get used to the switches at first, but the strangeness of the writing style really matched the weirdness of the story.

Astrid is a fascinating heroine. In the scenes from the past she seems relatively normal. She lives with a childhood guy friend (who obviously wishes that he could be more to her), and her girlfriend from college (who was Astrid’s lover until she left Astrid). Astrid also has a mother who is delusional and thinks she’s a man. Yep, there is a lot of gender-bending in this book...but it really matches the mixed up reality that is thematic throughout the book.

Astrid starts to loose touch with reality as she absorbs more and more magic. She doesn’t know where or when she is at some points. She also starts being able to predict the future and gets confused about what has happened and what will happen. As you can imagine this leads to ambiguity in the story, which might bother some readers.

None of these characters are good characters, they are all very human. They all do noble things and they all do evil things. But all of them are just as interesting, screwed up, and strange as Astrid herself. Sahara is Astrid’s best friend and she ends up so corrupt by the magic she calls herself a god and starts to gain her own following.

I loved how the plot unfolded and loved hearing about how the Blue Magic was causing strange things to happen in the world. The Blue Magic basically causes an eco-disaster of sorts. Humans mutate into part-animals, animals mutate into huge monsters, and the world starts to fall apart. This whole story is about how a few bad personal decisions can destroy the whole world.

The writing is a bit confusing as tense and POV changes are really noted, you kind of have to figure them out. It makes the book hard to read at times. This book is so absolutely interesting, creative, and absolutely crazy though that I really thought it was worth the effort to read. The unraveling mystery about how the magic got out to destroy the world was just super engaging for me.

Overall this was a fascinating read. I will say that this won’t be a book everyone will enjoy. It is a bit confusing at points, the story can get very ambiguous because the heroine is confused about when and where she exists. Still I really enjoyed it because it was so very different from anything I’ve ever read and so far out there. This is a seriously crazy book, but I enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hand’s earlier books (Black Light, Waking the Moon) in style. I would recommend to those who are okay with ambiguity and want to read an urban fantasy that is vastly different from anything else out there. ( )
1 vote krau0098 | Oct 13, 2012 |
The first few chapters of Indigo Springs by A. M. Dellamonica was a little confusing but by the third chapter I was totally hooked. After Astrid's father dies, he leaves her a house that is full of enchanted objects. Astrid begins to uncover the mysteries behind her father as well as unlock memories that have been buried for years. With the help of her brother by marriage, Jacks, and her friend, Sahara, the three embark to uncover the mystery behind the dangerous,blue, magical substance called vitagua.
The story is told from two points-of-view from two different people. The first is told from an investigator named Will. The magic that Astrid unlocks wreaks havoc on their community. It's like a whole epidemic has taken over the town and beyond. Astrid is held in a bunker below ground. Will has come to interview her to find out any information on the fugitive, Sahara. The second point-of-view is told from Astrid. She reflects and tells Will the events that has led up to the present day circumstances.
Indigo Springs is a well-written novel, full of imagination and complex characters. It is a thoroughly fascinating look into the temptation of power and the consequences of using it for one's own advantage. I was completely caught up in the world that Dellamonica created. This is a book that I would definitely recommend. You won't want to put it down until you reach the end. ( )
  mt256 | Jul 3, 2012 |
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After accessing the magical power of the "vitagua" that leaks into her grandfather's house, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with power, change, and a future too devastating to contemplate.

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