Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) This powerful sequel to the A.M. Dellamonica’s Sunburst Award–winning contemporary fantasy Indigo Springs starts in the small town in Oregon where Astrid Lethewood discovered an underground river of blue liquid—Vitagua—that is pure magic. Everything it touches is changed. The secret is out—and the world will never be the same. Astrid’s best friend, Sahara, has been corrupted by the blue magic, and now leads a cult that seeks to rule the world. Astrid, on the other hand, tries to heal the world.
Conflicting ambitions, star-crossed lovers, and those who fear and hate magic combine in a terrible conflagration, pitting friend against friend, magic against magic, and the power of nations against a small band of zealots, with the fate of the world at stake.
Blue Magic is a powerful story of private lives changed by earthshaking events that will ensnare readers in its poignant tale of a world touched by magic and plagued by its consequences.
Thoughts: The sequel to A M Dellamonica’s Indigo Springs, Blue Magic picks up right where the previous novel left off, with almost no gap in time between one book to the next. Magic is still loose in the world, Sahara is still head of a goddess cult that worships her, Astrid is trying to hold onto reality enough to make things right, and Will has found his world turned upside down by the implications of all that’s happening.
Add to that the fact that people transformed and held within the previously frozen vitagua want to carve their own place in the world, and to get vengeance for past wrongs committed against them, and things get a touch chaotic.
As a counter to Sahara’s cult, Astrid has a group of people flocking to her, all of them bent on changing the world with magic in order to make things better for people. Not just creating little chantments like they did in the beginning, but using the transformative power of magic to reshape things to everyone’s benefit. Or at least as much benefit as possible. The release of vitagua, controlled and otherwise, is reshaping the world anyway, strange life springing up, giving people more animalistic qualities in accordance with their nature.
Interestingly, this also seems to apply with gender dysphoria, giving one character the body of a man. This gives the author a wonderful chance to explore gender politics and give social commentary, which she does very well. Characters of colour, transgendered characters, different expressions of sexuality, this book has a great deal of diversity in its cast, making it stand head and shoulders above the vast majority of urban fantasy.
This book has the world in chaos, with characters spread far and wide but mostly flowing around a small central cast of characters, to keep things as contained as possible. The chaos is definitely felt in the text, with stories flowing around each other, connecting and separating, and at times it can be hard to keep track of what’s happening where and when. Not to the point that the story becomes unintelligible, but it’s something to keep in mind; this isn’t the sort of book you can read with your mind half on something else.
Dellamonica’s writing is engaging and flows well, and her endless fount of creativity may as well be vitagua in itself, transformative and magical. The story is much more linear here than in Indigo Springs, and the plot darker and more serious. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book, but I can’t deny that it was still an amazing book, and still very enjoyable anyway. This is an amazing urban fantasy that shouldn’t be missed by fans of the genre, or fans of intelligent genre fiction in general.
(Received for review from the publisher via NetGalley.)