Tamara's Reviews > Redemption in Indigo

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
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A bit of a paradox of an experience, to my reading priorities. The first half or so was slow, scattered and almost dull. It took me two months to read those hundred pages in tiny, tiny increments. The next hundred I got through in a single late-night go. Perhaps it was just a question of mood, but the end felt much more focused and attention-holding, offering good solid things for reader interest to latch on to - death, redemption, travelogue, etc.

However...it's also somehow much less interesting. There's a sort of collapse of potentialities from folk tale sensibility of the beginning, with it's bewildering profusion of somewhat illogical characters drifting in and out of a stylized structure. The second half becomes much more obvious and narratively conventional - just a handful of neatly laid out character arcs with clear beginnings, catalyst and catharsis. This is satisfying on one level (redemption, love, overcoming stuff, etc. You can't really go wrong with those) but frustrating on another. Not necessarily as an emotional/intellectual division either. It also becomes much more overtly an SFF work in sensibility rather than folk-magic-realism-whatever.

I usually don't appreciate dull complexity above entertaining simplicity, but in this instance the ending leaves me feeling somehow slightly robbed of a much thornier (and this is not in reference to the happiness of said ending) less easily comprehended story lurking somewhere in there.
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