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Indigo Springs

(Astrid Lethewood #1)

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  600 ratings  ·  130 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 335 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by St. Martins Press-3PL
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
A.M. Dellamonica’s Indigo Springs: The Bisexual Magic Novel You’ve Been Waiting For

You don’t hear much about Toronto-based author A.M. Dellamonica’s novel Indigo Springs, which is surprising because it is just a gem of a book. It has so many of the literary things that I am constantly looking for, and I have no idea why I didn’t find it sooner. Amazing, unique world building? Dynamic bisexual main characters whose sexuality is named and not a big deal? Complex and interesting narrative
...more
Bryce
Sep 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Dellamonica seems like she had the best of intentions for her first novel, but she didn't do herself any favors by using a confusing, flashback-heavy narrative style and a half-baked hodgepodge mythology.

My biggest complaint, however, is that all the characters seemed incredibly flat. Astrid, the witch-heroine of the novel, exists only to be good, meek and misunderstood. Will, the tale's receptacle, doesn't serve a purpose at all. Sahara, the supposedly alluring-but-troubled charmer at the root
...more
Rebecca
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
That magic has unexpected, even perilous, consequences is not a new theme. It far predates my first encounter with it, which was Edward Eager's charming 1954 children's book Half Magic. In Indigo Springs, however, Dellamonica brings this theme to vivid--cobalt blue, in fact--contemporary life.

Unfolded in a narrative structure that at first seems fractured but reveals itself to be beautifully knitted together, Indigo Springs is the story of what happens when Astrid Lethewood and two friends
...more
Victoria
Jun 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
In many ways this book is good. The plot is interesting - a young lady (Astrid) inherits her fathers house and finds magical artifacts in it that she and her friends use. The story telling style is interesting - told from the present in which the actions of the the young lady and her friends have had dire consequences on the world and she is being interviewed by a hostage negotiator to try to understand what happened. Because of this the story jumps around in time which I didn't mind at all. The ...more
Jacqie
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Couldn't get into the book.

It opens with a government agent type going to a prison cell containing two apparently dangerous women. One of the women (Astrid) seems to time slip, going verbally from past to present to future to back again, which makes it difficult to figure out what's happening.

It seems like there's been a sort of magic apocalypse and at least one of these women either was partially responsible or knows a magical terrorist (Sahara), and agent-guy's job is to get information about
...more
thefourthvine
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: warnings, sff
This book deserves more stars than I can give it. There's nothing wrong with it, but most of it was just not a good fit for me. Still, I enjoyed it enough to finish it and will at least read the sample of the sequel, and given how much this book was Not For Me, that says something.

This is a story about some people who find out magic is way more than they can handle, basically. I liked the book's truly unusual and excellent magic; it makes intuitive sense and it's both wondrous and terrifying,
...more
Lisa
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
(originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog)

The story is told in a unique way. Astrid is talking to some kind of hostage/police interviewer while she is being detained for suspicion of commiting crimes. The interviewer, Will, tries to find infomation about an enemy, Sahara, who is currently reaking havok with a cult following. He wants info on Sahara, who is close to Astrid, but what he (and we) get is the story of Indigo Springs and what we know as the reemurgence of magic into the world.
...more
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, fantasy, in
This unique contemporary fantasy is probably going to be one of my top reads for the year.[return][return]When Astrid inherited her father's run-down old house, she expects a life of small-town drudgery. With her step-brother and her old friend Sahara as housemates, she's simply eager to have everyone she loves together in the same house. Then she finds her father had a secret: the house hides a well of pure, blue magic. Her father had a knack for enchanting everyday objects with this magic, and ...more
M.K. Hobson
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In Indigo Springs, a small town in Oregon, a magical apocalypse is brewing, and three young people are right smack-dab in the middle of it. Astrid, the book’s protagonist, has inherited a lovely old blue house from her ne’er-do-well father. She doesn’t even have all the moving boxes unpacked when her manipulative friend Sierra, fleeing a broken relationship, shows on her doorstep, cat in hand (because hey, nothing says “hey, let’s catch up on old times!” like “hey, let me move in rent free!”) ...more
Just A. Bean
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
Got it based on a guest post in Jim C. Hines blog. Honestly, I wasn't expecting a lot out of this book. Based on the copy, I thought it was going to be an urban fantasy novel of the type where a dissatisfied housewife (who bares a disconcerting resemblance to an idealized version of the author) finds sparkly magic powers and possibly a unicorn in the garden, and there's romance. But she was a local author, and I have some affection for that type, also, free from the library, so I gave it a shot. ...more
William Bentrim
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Indigo Springs by A. M. Dellamonica

This is a tale of a small town populated by small town people who stumble upon magic and the consequences there of.

I grew up in a small town so there was some familiarity with Indigo Springs. The characters were equally familiar. My biggest problem with the book was that none of the characters were endearing. I didn’t find one single character that I truly liked. The shallowness and banality of the characters was probably intended as I suspect they were not
...more
Siobhan
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really struggled to get through this. Multiple times I found myself wanting to just put it down and not pick it back up again. However, I try to never quit on a book. The main female characters were soooo annoying and frustrating. Sahara's selfishness was just overwhelming and Astrid's unyielding devotion to her despite being treated like crap just kinda pissed me off. Anyhow, I liked the magic storyline and the rest of the characters.
Janni
Oct 27, 2009 added it
I loved Indigo Springs for its compelling and messy and original magic, for that magic's apocalyptic consequences, for its characters, and for taking treating straight and gay relationships in more or less the same way, without fuss though not without awareness of the different social contexts of each.
Nannah
(solid 3.5)

This is a hard book to review, mostly because I'm so conflicted. Do I like the book? I like parts of it. Very much! And then there are aspects of the book I'm just very . . . confused on, so much so that it brings my rating (and enjoyment of the novel) from 5 to 3.5.

Book content warnings:
transphobia (??)

When it comes to fantasy apocalyptic novels, Indigo Springs is the most original book I've ever read, by far. It begins with our protag, Astrid, already in police custody and being
...more
Nicole Luiken
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read in one day. I love the premise: magic as a toxic spill. The double timeline works well with Astrid's mixed up sense of time and foreseeing, though I care very little about Will. A compelling story with at least two twists I didn't see coming. I shall add Blue Magic to my TBR list.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Reread attempt in 2019, and this book was way too weird for me. Too bad I didn't read the sequel when I was into it, huh? It's super strange how time changes you as a reader.

What follows is my original four star review. I've dropped my rating to reflect that I couldn't get through it now.

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
...more
Azhureheart
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is one amazing read!
I had trouble at first between the narrative structure, the story is happening at three different moments in times simultaneously, the different points of view, all these characters... it was confusing. Especially since Astrid didn't seem to be quite all there in the, hum, present. Sometimes names change. Sometimes Astrid is talking about the present time in the past, and sometimes she is talking about the past like it was happening right now.
But once I got into it
...more
Matt Youngmark
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's the well-crafted, nuanced characters that really make Indigo Springs work. Astrid is an introverted twenty-something in a small Oregon town, desperately in love with her best friend Sahara, a flighty force of nature who has just reappeared in Astrid's life after a bad breakup on the other side of the country. Jackson is an Earthy, grounded hippie who has nursed a crush on Astrid for years, but knows that her affections lay elsewhere. When the three of them discover magically enchanted ...more
Marcie
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jean-Michel
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Indigo Springs tells the story of Astrid, a seemingly ordinary woman, who, after the death of her father, buys and moves into his old house with her step brother and best friend. Her first few days there, she discovers items that possess incredible abilities: a kaleidescope that can see through walls, a knife that can turn anything to dust, lipstick that makes any who wear it instantly more beautiful. It isn't long however that Astrid, Jacks and Sahara discover that these relics come at a ...more
Pancha
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I liked a lot about this book, like the chantments and the whole backstory for magic. I like how Albert's chantments were symbolic (view spoiler) and one of the ways the narrative shows how far Astrid has progressed beyond her father's skills is when her chantments become completely divorced from the meaning of the object their linked to (view ...more
Jennifer
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I really did. And maybe I was just not in the right state of mind for reading this book when I did. The concept was so great and unique, and there were LGBT characters in the book which is always a plus for me. But reading this book was a tug of war. I'd be totally bored reading it then it would pull me back in with some hook, then it would bore me again. I think one of my issues were with the characters, I just couldn't relate to most of them. Like Sahara, who was ...more
Michael
Jan 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
Advertised as an apocalyptic fantasy, "Indigo Springs" is an interesting first novel from A.M. Dellamonica.

Through flashbacks, we learn the story Astrid and her friend, Sierra. Astrid has inherited a house from her grandfather that sits on top of a magical spring that can embue every day objects with magical powers. Sierra sees the potential and we see how her rise to being a fringe leader rises and falls, leading to unintended consequences and the potential downfall of civilization as we know
...more
Ernestasia Siahaan
Mar 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
As I was finishing this book, I ran to this quote by Joseph Heller: "I don’t think the ‘what’ distinguishes a good novel from a bad one but rather the ‘how.’"

I wouldn't say this book was bad. The plot was okay, but the storytelling and style of writing really didn't work for me. I can't even quote a line to ponder upon from the book. I'm actually having a hard time finding something nice to say about this book, so I'm just gonna conclude my review here. It probably just didn't match up with my
...more
Lara
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lara by: Jaime Graves
I think the premise for this book is really interesting, but...more than a third of the way through it, and I still find that I am just FORCING myself to keep reading. I tend to like character-driven books much more than I do plot-driven books, and this one definitely feels more plot-driven to me; I just can't connect with any of the characters at ALL. I think the writing is good, and I want to like it, but...I think I'm done.
Blodeuedd Finland
Oct 16, 2014 marked it as dnf
I was all what? Oh I do not care. This book is weird. DNF
Kes
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
This was a book that felt like it had the potential and set up to be interesting, but fell woefully flat.

Astrid moves back home after her father wills the house to her. Living in it is Jacks, her stepbrother. Sahara, Astrid's childhood friend, also moves back after discovering that Sahara's boyfriend Mark has cheated on her.

We learn Astrid's story through her narration to Will. Will has been sent to Astrid because Sahara has gone mad with magic, and is threatening worldwide devastation, while
...more
Jeanne
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
What the whatitty-what??? I can say this is a sci-fi/fantasy book, but I can't go much beyond that. From beginning to end I was confused. There's too much going forward and backward in time, which becomes very confusing when the main character isn't always sure what time she is in. But mostly, I just didn't get a feel for the world the author was trying for. I really don't understand how "vitagua" works. This was just a very muddled book for me.
Naomi
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was super frustrating for me, because I felt like there was so much potential within it but it never quite came together. Some parts are good, I like the magic system - but having a timeline that jumps around and an unreliable narrator and an entire other secret history and a bunch of other things that don't actually click until way too late was just frustrating.
Chris
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another dud for me. I do appreciate these recent misses as a sign that I'm exploring beyond stories that I know for sure that I'll enjoy. I gave the characters my 60-70 page yet run and neither they nor the plot kept me going. Rather than slog through, I gotta move on. DNF
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I live in Toronto, Ontario and make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian and in my spare time I take pictures with Toronto Photo. My wife's name is Kelly and we have two cats, Lorenzo and Chinchilla, born in spring of 2014.

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