Reviews for Ingo
Booklist Reviews 2006 August #2
/*Starred Review*/ Why does Dad get a dreamy look when he croons the old song about the magical sea world called Ingo? Then one misty morning Dad vanishes, and Sapphire and her brother, Conor, believe that the Mer people of Ingo have something to do with his disappearance. Legend has it that a young man with Mer sensibilities fell in love with a mermaid and abandoned his pregnant fiancee, paving the way for Mer traits to be passed down to others. If the legend explains Dad's disappearance, then the kids have some of the Mer traits themselves. Drawn almost irresistibly to the sea, they encounter Mer people and find themselves struggling to balance life on land with the secret delights and wonders offered in the water. Dunmore's narrative skims expertly across the pages as it chronicles the kids' thrilling adventures (the dolphin-riding scenes are grand) and deftly weaves in an ecological message about protecting the sea. Readers will eagerly await the next title in the planned trilogy from this talented British writer, who is as adept at writing books for children as she is at writing adult fiction and poetry. ((Reviewed September 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
After their father is lost at sea, dreamer Sapphire and her pragmatic older brother, Conor, discover that, when invited by a Mer brother and sister, they can enter Ingo, an undersea realm. Effortlessly melding the lyrical patterns of myth with the details of a timeless yet modern Cornwall-coast childhood, Dunmore fashions a spellbinding tale, the first in a projected trilogy. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #5
After their father is lost at sea off the coast of Cornwall, family dreamer Sapphire and her pragmatic older brother Conor discover that, when invited by a Mer brother and sister, they can enter Ingo, the undersea realm, where they breathe water, ride currents, and speak with sea creatures. The call of the sea is nearly irresistible, and Sapphire finds herself being drawn away from her life on the land, which may have been her father's fate. When her mother's new companion, a diver, trespasses on Ingo's holy ground and runs afoul of its guardian seals, Sapphire must make a choice -- is she an Air-breather loyal to a fellow Air-breather, or is she a denizen of the sea? Effortlessly melding the lyrical patterns of myth with the equally picturesque details of a timeless yet modern Cornwall-coast childhood, Dunmore fashions a spellbinding tale, first in a projected trilogy, of earth and sea magic, a choice, and the longing that choice leaves behind. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2006 July #2
Merfolk and the stories about them pervade Cornwall, the seaside community where Sapphire and her older brother, Conor, live. One of the most memorable moments, in fact, between Sapphire and her father, happens when he tells her the story about Mathew Trewhella, who left his human girlfriend for the Mermaid of Zennor. So, it's not really a surprise that Sapphire's dad, also named Mathew Trewhella, disappears after going out on his boat late one evening. The kids believe that their dad isn't dead, but lives now with the Merfolk, and they want to prove it. Coincidentally, they begin to be called by the sea and start swimming with the Mer. The two experience a double life as "Air" people and partly transformed "Mer" creatures. This confuses them and they begin to question who they are and what their true ancestry is-and of course they want to find their dad. When their mother gets a diver boyfriend, Roger, the kids have to decide whether or not they want to save him from certain death, or to let him follow his human fate. What's fresh about this mermaid story is that it doesn't try to be what it's not; so many of the elements will be familiar to young readers, but they will get to examine Mer life from their own perspective. A gentle, pleasurable read. (Fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 October #3
Dunmore's (The Siege, for adults) richly imagined fantasy, her first for young adults, posits tension between two parallel worlds: one undersea, the other along the rocky Cornwall coast. Sapphire, 11, and her older brother, Conor, have grown up in a close-knit family, loving the tidal cove below their cottage. Their father, Mathew, a fisherman and photographer, adores the sea; on the other hand, their mother has, in her words, "good reason to fear" it. When Dad disappears, and part of his boat is found, the family holds a memorial service and moves painfully through grief. Even a year after his disappearance, Sapphy and Conor refuse to believe their father is dead, while their mother begins to move on, befriending a visiting diver. Mer children Faro and Elvira begin to court the siblings, introducing them to such marvels as breathing underwater and swimming with dolphins. Ingo, the undersea world about which their father sang, beckons overpoweringly, and Sapphy, who is drawn back there repeatedly, begins to understand the Mer language. A wise beekeeper, whom some suspect is a witch, seems to know Mathew's fate. She subtly intercedes as Sapphy vacillates, "cleft" between her Mer and Air identities, and also suggests that Ingo is "breaking its bounds," intruding into the Air world. Dunmore makes both settings riveting, and captures Sapphy's lonely struggle through the heroine's first-person narrative. Dualities skepticism and belief, collective memory and individual perception, the pull of Mer life versus Sapphy's family love persist to the tale's end and beyond. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Review 2006 August
Gr 5-9 A family living on the coast of Cornwall gets caught up in the undersea kingdom of the Mer people. After their father mysteriously disappears, Sapphy and her brother, Conor, visit Ingo and find themselves yearning to return to the ocean world. Conor resists, but Sapphy has a stronger affinity with the watery kingdom. While she struggles with its temptation, she also clashes with her mother, who seems too ready to forget the children's father. These elements come together in an exciting climax in which the siblings risk traveling to Ingo to save the life of the human diver their mother is dating. Sapphy's present-tense narration brings readers right into her world. Through her eyes, they see the beauty of Ingo, the comfort of her earthbound home, and the confusing muddle of thoughts and emotions that her experiences inspire. The undersea world seems equal parts menacing and alluring, which builds suspense and keeps everything pleasingly unpredictable. Relationships are especially well drawn. Sapphy is dedicated to Conor, despite some jealousy; she loves her mother, though she's keenly aware of how different they are; and she is not sure how to feel about Faro, the charming, sometimes angry young Mer man who serves as her undersea guide. Strong character development combines with an engaging plot and magical elements to make this a fine choice for fantasy readers, who will look forward to the next installments in this planned trilogy.Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR [Page 118]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 April
Sapphire's father tells her that long ago Mathew Trewhella fell in love with a mermaid, deserted his family, and went to live in the sea as one of the Mer. Now Sapphire and Conor's father-Trewhella's namesake-has also disappeared and is believed drowned. As Sapphire and Conor adjust to their father's absence and to their mother's growing friendship with a diver, Roger, they meet Faro and Elvira of the Mer who take them to Ingo deep under the ocean. Sapphire is especially drawn to stay there and has reason to hope that her father still lives. Nevertheless she understands the danger to Roger when he plans to dive in an area sacred to the Mer. Along with Faro and Elvira, she is forced to make a moral choice. Dunmore builds on a long tradition of stories about humans and mermaids, but just as the credulity of Roger is strained when from his boat he sees a mermaid who is the image of Sapphire, a lack of a sense of the mysterious makes this fantasy less than compelling. More depth and complexity would make the story more vital. Although Sapphire's and Conor's characters are quite well developed, Granny Carne's character verges on the stereotypical representation of a traditional wise woman. Still this novel, the first in a projected trilogy, might appeal to young or preteens looking for a family story and a fantasy that can, perhaps, satisfy an imaginative desire to meet and swim with the Mer.-Hilary S. Crew PLB $17.89. ISBN 0-06-081853-0. 3Q 3P M Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.