Wait…what? Indigo is one novel co-written by 10 of the top writers in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror genres? OK, I’ll give that one a try.
One of the things that has become interesting to me as I have become the Geekiverse’s main book critic is that I have a new metric when looking for books to read. Innovation. Because of the sheer volume of new releases each month, I find myself looking for something different. Indigo is a novel that delivers that, both in substance and in execution.
For starters, the thing that really caught my eye was that the book was co-written by 10 well established authors. The following links are to their Amazon authors’ pages so you can check out all the cool stuff they have done – Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James A. Moore and Mark Morris all had a hand in writing the book, which was published by St. Martin’s Press. I wouldn’t say that the collaboration was seamless, by any means. There were obvious changes in style throughout, but it was a bit of fun to spot them. I would be interested to see how the collaboration worked. Was there a planning meeting and then everyone went to work on their part, or was it like “Who’s Line Is It Anyway”, where an author finishes a chapter and sends it to the next person in line for them to take from there. Regardless, in some places the style and consistency are dramatically different.
The story itself is mostly great fun. It centers on Nora Hesper, who is, by day, an investigative reporter, but by night is a ruthless vigilante named Indigo, who manipulates the shadows as weapons. She can disappear into and travel great distances through the shadows, or she can forge the darkness into powerful weapons. The disappearing and traveling thing is a cool superpower. Just saying. Nora, is more meek and has more of a conscience, and when Indigo takes over, all bets are off.
Both Nora and Indigo are working on the same thing, a string of murders involving children, and it turns out that there is a much more nefarious plot unfolding, involving murder gods and an ancient evil religious cult that worship them. My favorite group in the story is the slaughter nuns, who are essentially religious ninjas that work to stop the murder gods. As a group, they really bring some excitement and personality to the story.
Despite the fact that the storyline and style are choppy, because of the 10 separate contributors telling the same story, it was a fun read from beginning to end, and I did read it through relatively quickly. If I had to pick one thing that really troubled me about it, it was Nora’s constant introspection and screaming self doubt. The character does, in fact, spend the entirety of the book figuring out her own past, with a nice twist or two, but there were plenty of times that I wanted to scream “Oh shut up, and get on with the story!” In the end, she, of course, does figure it out. Indigo is a great character who I cheered for, despite her ruthless side, and I found the end mostly predictable, yet satisfying. I do wish we could see Indigo again, maybe in graphic novel form, but I’d guess, because of the arrangement in creating her, that is probably not going to happen.
Final Score 8/10
While lacking in consistency of style, because of lots of great chefs in the kitchen, the story was a fun and quick read. The main character was someone I cared about as she fought evil and her sort of split personality.
+ Compelling character in Indigo. I wish we could see more written by a single author
+ Mostly believable comic booky kind of story (in a willing suspension of disbelief kind of way)
+ A couple of good villains that needed a bit of whoop ass
+ Easy read for a summer book
– Too many writing styles
– Nora’s character spent a lot of time wrapped in self doubt. Shut up and get on with it
– Some parts were campy, but hey, it’s a story in a comic book vein
Did you read Indigo? What did you think? Leave me a comment below.
Like this? have a look at other book articles by The Grumpy Geek
The Grumpy Geek, Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.
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