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Ingo (Ingo #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  8,242 Ratings  ·  678 Reviews
I wish I was away in Ingo, Far across the sea, Sailing over the deepest waters, Where love nor care can trouble me...

Sapphire's father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Harper Collins Children's Books (first published August 11th 2005)
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Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ingo is a delightful story full of beautifully serene imagery and magic. It’s a children’s book, yes, but it captured my attention and I’m very glad to have come across it.

It’s about an eleven-year-old girl and her older brother who lose their father one day when he takes out his boat and disappears. The children are the only two people in town (with the exception of Granny Carne) who believe that he is still alive. They discover an underwater world called Ingo, where they meet Faro and Elvira,
Lindsay Tramble
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book that painted a picture as well as Ingo did. I read it several years ago, but Cornwall, England has stuck in my mind ever since. The story centers on the life of twelve-year old Sapphire and her older brother, Conor, and how they find an underwater world in their town's cove. The book was part of a four-story series, but it was definitely the strongest novel of the bunch. I'd reccomend it to anyone who knows how to read.

Sapphire and Conor live in a small beachside house, a
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
I love mermaids, but I'm having some trouble finding a really good mermaid book. This one was especially disappointing since a friend and fellow mermaid fan recommended it to me. Sadly, it just didn't work, although it's really not a bad book.

I'll do the good first. The basic plotline itself was interesting, and could have been really engaging. The short version: Sapphire and Conor's father disappears. (The book is written in Saph's POV) They are convinced that he's still alive, just vanished. E
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the Little Mermaid (the faery tale, not the Disney movie), the Tale of Emily WIndsnap
Shelves: middle-grade, 2008
When Sapphire's father disappears, most people say he's been drowned, although the more vicious of the townspeople say he ran off with another woman. But neither Sapphy or her brother Conor believe either story. Raised on the coast of Cornwall, they have an intimate connection to the sea and her mysteries. Neither of them realizes quite how intimate. When Sapphire feels an irresistible call to the ocean, she must choose where her loyalties lie - to her Air family and the brother whom she
Oct 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
First of all just look at this cover! Is this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen!?
Ingo was a brilliant novel, being the first mermaid fictional novel I have actually ever read! (I know I know.) It was a really refreshing read after much darker novels that seem to sworm the YA department these days. The charecters that Helen Dunmore has created are totally believable, and are bursting with personality.

Written in first person was also a nice touch, as we really got to delve deeper int
Sariah the Authoress
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: pre-teens who don't usually like fantasy
Shelves: ya-fiction
This book didn't feel like fantasy: it felt more like your typical girl-dealing-with-loss-of-a-parent story, only with a mermaid or two thrown in. I realized that the loss-of-parent thing is very relevant today, what with divorce rates being what they are, but the formula gets irritatingly predictable. Here it is in a nutshell: 1)parent dies or leaves 2) remaining parent starts dating someone new 3) child hates the "replacement" parent 4) over time, child starts to accept both the loss of the fi ...more
Barbara Gordon
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This book... the best way to describe it, I think, is that despite predating A Monster Calls, it wants to be AMC - a lyrical, mythical, semi-allegorical exploration of death and coping mechanisms. The problem is that Ingo also wants to be an adventure book about exciting fun times under the ocean, and you really can't have those themes co-exist in one novel.

It starts out as a story about Sapphire's strained family, culminating in her dad going for a late night jaunt in his boat and never returni
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
Ingo follows the life and secrets revolving around a girl named Sapphire and her love for the sea. Her father had gone missing, supposedly taken by the ocean. A year after his disappearance, her mother began dating a new man, which dismayed Sapphire and her brother.

Her dad was mysteriously named after a local man who was believed to have drowned years ago and was captured by mermaids. The townfolks believed this same fate befell her dad. Against their mother's orders, she and her brother Connor
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I discovered this series by pure luck. I found the second book on one of the tables in the YA section of chapters. It was all colourful and shiny so I picked it up (wow...I'm such a bird). I Bought the book that day not realizing it was the second book. So I went back and got the first one, which was rather difficult because as it turns out-the series is suppose to be in the 9-12 section. ANyways...This book is by a british woman (Just another piece of proof that they are the best writers) and i ...more
Kaleigh Hvizdos
Sep 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. As soon as I was finished reading it, I sent it to my library's used book store.
The main characters were frustrating right down to Saphire's name, and by the time the merpeople were finally revealed, it was too little too late for my taste. I also think this falls victim to series cliches of not exposing enough of the "mysteries" to keep me satisfied with the intent of saving it for later books. It definitely
spins its wheels" to where not enough happens. I skimmed through the
Mar 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“Ingo’s a place that has many names, ” says Granny Carne. “You can call it Mer, Mare, or Meor…Earth and Ingo don’t mix, even though we live side by side. Earth and Ingo aren’t always friends…”

Despite Granny Carne’s words, in Helen Dunmore’s fantastic fantasy Earth and Ingo do mix–with consequences. Ingo is set partially above ground in modern day Cornwall and partially below the surface of the water in Ingo.

Ingo features Sapphire Trewhella (also known as Saph or Sapphy). Sapphy takes after her f
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I love reading mermaid books. There are not very many of them, so I cherish the few that I can get my hands (and eyes) on. Ingo is no exception.

Ingo is the name of the magical underwater world where the mermaids (and mermen) live. You don’t see much of it in the book, but the descriptions that are in there, are amazing. I am betting there is more detail about this amazing world in the next book.

This book is told from Sapphire’s point of view. She is spunky and loyal to her brother, Conor.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to my friends, despite the mermaids, and dolphins not to forget - who were awesome. The story just doesn't really make sense and then there are the many typos - which frustrated me a lot haha. However, I did add the other books from this series to my to-read list. Just in case I run out of books to read. It is just a nice book to read in one go. But nothing more.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a great book. Although the end was a bit sad. Other than that, the character had many great adventures.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sapphire's dad dissapeared there. Her brother is gone for hours because of it. And now the sea is pulling her too; to the world of Ingo.
3.5 stars. I feel like this book started out strong, and then kind of petered out later on. I liked Sapphy's voice for the most part (although sometimes her thought processes and decisions irritated me – probably more a reflection of her young age than anything else), and I thought the way that she was losing herself to Ingo was unsettling and kind of creepy. Ingo itself was mysterious and a little unnerving, and the main character we meet from Ingo, Faro, was an interesting mix of helper and... ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, i-own
this book is exactly what i needed, i was growing really tired of reading contemporary books and this was the best with different worlds and powers and magic and the ocean mAN
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I read this as a kid over and over. Such a delightful series!
Stefanny Natalia
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book is AMAZINGGGGG
Now I should read the rest of the series...
Padma Venkatraman
Helen Dunmore's telling of the tale is enchanting. Like her heroine Sapphire, who is drawn to the ocean world by song, I felt as if I was being sung to; and it was as hard for me to return to "Air" when I put the book down as it is for Sapphire to return to land after she's visited the ocean world...
Hayley (allaboutthebooks)
Pretty much perfect. This is the right way to tell a mermaid tale. I have basically nothing to complain about, which, if you have read any of my other reviews, is a rarity.

Ingo if full of likable and realistically flawed characters. Sapphy is a plucky, smart young girl with a temper. Her close relationship with her older brother, Conor, is sweet, as is her devotion to her missing father. The strained relationship with her mother is very well done and realistic without being totally hostile-- the
April Izzard
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book, for younger children. I have written a review which doesn't give away any details about the book that would ruin it. Instead I celebrate it; for being such a special book to me.

Read on for more.

I remember reading this when I was much younger, about 11 or 12 years old. It has been a memorable book that I won't ever forget. The fantasy that surrounds being a mermaid, something I (and i am sure many other young children) have always wished I could, was described impec
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ingo is a great book that I have just recently finished. The story begins with the midsummer festival. Sapphy's father is then lost at sea. However, Sapphy and her brother Conor feel as if their father is still alive. A year passes, and it is summer vacation. Sapphy and her brother spend every day at their cove. Conor starts to go missing- away for large periods of time. One day Sapphy goes find him, and is surprised to know that Conor feels as if he's only been gone for a short time. When Conor ...more
Zoe Smith
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mermaid Lovers, YA, Children,
Recommended to Zoe by: Nobody
"Everything is wet and shining with mist. The rocks hidden, the sea bidden. Everything slippery and dangerous... the sea pulling me like a magnet."
Swimming, surfing, exploring - Sapphire and her brother Conor enjoy life by the sea in Cornwall. But why does Conor start disappearing for hours on end? And who is the mysterious girl talking to him on the rocks?
Following Conor down to the cove one day, Sapphire discovers Ingo - an exciting and dangerous world beneath the waves, where all you breathe
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What an enchanting book! Not since the Harry Potter series have I read a young adult urban fantasy book that blends the line between the fantasy and "real" world so smoothly. Perhaps it's because Ingo is real too?
I felt like each of the characters was skillfully drawn, with a sharp understanding of who they were, but with room to grow. I could relate to both Sapphy and Conor. Their dad, for as long as he was around, was a nice guy, and their mom is a nice enough person with a lot of responsibili
Rosie Monson
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-influence
I read it when I was little. It was amazing. I don't think it was because of the writing though it was different and good. It was probably the first book I read that was written in the present tense instead of the past tense. Ex: instead of 'I climbed the wall' it's 'I climb the wall'. Anyway, I think it was because of the story itself and the imagination that seemed to ooze out of it and into my mind. it was so creative. and so real. How I know a book is a good one, is when it makes me believe ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Ingo is a tale of magic and adventure in which the sea itself is at odds with the land and our narrator feels herself torn between two worlds.

Dunmore's narrator, Sapphy, lives with her family on the clifftops of Cornwall, just a few minutes' walk from the sea. Sapphy loves Cornwall, but after her father's disappearance she finds herself drawn away from the land and into the depths of the sea, into Ingo. Dunmore writes two beautifully atmospheric settings - Cornwall and the magical fantasy world
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Sapphire 2 28 Dec 27, 2013 01:26PM  
Ingo 19 63 Jul 22, 2012 11:55AM  
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I was born in December 1952, in Yorkshire, the second of four children. My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children. In a large family you hear a great many stories. You also come to understand very early that stories hold quite different meanings for different listeners, and can be recast from many viewpoints ...more
More about Helen Dunmore...

Other Books in the Series

Ingo (5 books)
  • Tide Knot (Ingo, #2)
  • The Deep (Ingo, #3)
  • The Crossing of Ingo (Ingo, #4)
  • Stormswept (Ingo, #5)

Share This Book

“I wish I was away in Ingo
Far across the briny sea
Sailing over deepest waters
Where neither care nor worry trouble me.”
“As long as you two look out for each other, you’ll be safe enough.” 3 likes
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