‘Dragons don’t die. They just come and go,’ she smiled, ‘and cause chaos either way.’ – Indigos Dragon by Sofi Croft
⭐ ⭐ A short and sweet plot making it a quick read. Lacks details and writing doesn’t feel very fleshed out.
What are the odds that you’ve heard of this one? I met the author (and her baby!) at YALC a few years ago and picked up a signed copy for just £5. She was one of the first authors her publisher, Accent YA, had taken on and this was her big debut. First in the series, it’s a short read at just 188 pages with quite large print. Suffice to say I read the whole thing in a couple of hours.
Indigo is living a far from ordinary life running around hills in the Peak District when a mysterious parcel arrives for him containing his grandfather’s sachet. Inside is a hefty book, bottles and a mysterious looking egg. After magical creatures wreck havoc in his small village, Indigo decides he must go to Poland where his grandparents live. Accompanied only by his diving mad dad and sister, Indigo sets out to discover who he really is.
This book is unusual in that it didn’t really have an antagonist. There is Orava, an old rival of Indigo’s grandfather, who tries to impede Indigos journey slightly but there’s no real bad guy. No big obstacles to overcome, just a narration of Indigos journey to discover the secrets his family keep.
The lack of strife Indigo finds on his way made for a dull read. I didn’t find myself particularly captured by the events of the novel since, although they were unusual, the challenges seemed too easily overcome. Even the mystery of Indigos identity is just given to Indigo by his mother and grandmother, he didn’t really wonder or discover anything for himself.
My main gripe with this book was that it wasn’t very fleshed out. I couldn’t really understand or emphasise with any of the characters because their thoughts and feelings were so often brushed over. Even the descriptions of the beautiful and vivid landscape felt a little… terse. I know the book was short and I can’t exactly be annoyed with the lack of detail but too much happened with too little page time for it to have been fully embellished.
I think this novel does have potential. The premise is interesting, I wasn’t expecting the twist at the end and I liked the elements of family and friendships in this novel. I particularly enjoyed Rue’s character, who appears menacing at first but later becomes a reluctant friend to Indigo. She was a complex character and her motives were often unclear, she seemed to know things that Indigo didn’t and it would have been nice to explore her backstory and opinions more.
I also felt that their was more potential in Orava‘s character that, again, wasn’t shared. As the villain of the tale he didn’t seem to involved and I never really understood what his reasoning was for most of his actions. Some of his actions, like scaring Indigo in the library, seemed a bit pointless.
Overall I would recommend this novel to people looking for short, quick reads. It has potential and needs fleshing out a bit more and will probably not leave a lasting impact on me as a reader, but the story progresses quickly and it’s not a challenging read.
Have you ever read this novel? Or anything similar? Are you excited for YALC this year? Be great to hear from you!