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Ingo (2006)

Ingo (2006)

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3.92 of 5 Votes: 5
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0007204884 (ISBN13: 9780007204885)
harper collins children's books

About book Ingo (2006)

“Ingo’s a place that has many names, ” says Granny Carne. “You can call it Mer, Mare, or Meor…Earth and Ingo don’t mix, even though we live side by side. Earth and Ingo aren’t always friends…”Despite Granny Carne’s words, in Helen Dunmore’s fantastic fantasy Earth and Ingo do mix–with consequences. Ingo is set partially above ground in modern day Cornwall and partially below the surface of the water in Ingo.Ingo features Sapphire Trewhella (also known as Saph or Sapphy). Sapphy takes after her father, Matthew Trewhella, in that she has always been drawn to the sea. She recalls, “Dad used to say that the sea doesn’t hate you and it doesn’t love you. It’s up to you to learn its ways and keep yourself safe.”It’s “Dad used to say” because her father has disappeared. His boat, the Peggy Gordon, was found without him in it, and he is presumed drowned. Sapphy, however, suspects her father’s disappearance has something to do with Ingo. She recalls her father singing, “I wish I was away in Ingo; Far across the briny sea, Sailing over deepest waters; Where love nor care never trouble me…”Her father’s disappearance certainly troubles her and causes trouble for her family. Her mother is forced to work all the time at her waitressing job and, consequently, her older brother Conor and Sapphy spend much time by themselves.When one day Sapphy cannot find Conor, she fears that he has disappeared just like her father. She heads out to the cove to look for him, and she finds him talking to Elvira the mermaid. This leads to her encounter with Faro the merman who takes her on a journey under the sea. On this journey, she lets go of Earth completely and becomes a part of Ingo.Sapphy and Conor are welcomed into Ingo because they each have a little Mer in them (long story that goes into family lore about the disappearance of a previous Matthew Trewhella), but Sapphy seems to have even a little more than her brother. Her draw to the sea becomes increasingly strong after she’s been a part of it. Not-too-subtle warning signals such as a new found taste for salting her water and consuming anchovies begin to alarm Conor while her mother appears largely ignorant of all goings on. With Conor’s help, Sapphy struggles to resist the pull of Ingo.Yet, despite her resistance, Sapphy continues to find Ingo and Faro seductive. When she’s in Ingo, nothing else seems to matter–not time, not Conor, not Earth, not humanity in general. When she’s not in Ingo but back on Earth, she finds so many troubles weighing her down–she feels in her bones that her father is still alive but he’s made no attempt to contact her, her mother has given up on her father coming back and is becoming romantically involved with a diver named Roger (a diver who’s getting increasingly close to encroaching upon Ingo), and her mother is dead set against her getting a dog (when Sapphy already has the perfect one picked out!).Ingo takes on the struggle between two worlds, between two types of people, between two ways of life. The struggle between Ingo and Earth has its parallel struggle within Sapphy’s family where the impetuousness of Sapphy and her father frequently clashes with the practical nature of Conor and her mother. This struggle comes to the fore in the latter part of Ingo when Roger decides he wants to dive in areas where, unbeknownst to him, he is not welcomed.Dunmore’s characters are flawed yet still developing and changing just as the world is flawed yet still developing and changing (the latter we have the privilege to participate in changing). Ingo is top-notch fantasy while also speaking to family dynamics, individual choices, willpower, self-discovery, and imagination.Ingo–with its tagline “In a world without air all you breathe is adventure”–will likely be popular with middle grade fantasy fans of both genders. Ingo is Book One in a planned tetralogy–Ingo, The Tide Knot, The Deep, and The Crossing of Ingo (the final two are more difficult to attain from within the US since HarperCollins just published the US edition of The Tide Knot in January 2008). For more on the series immediately, visit Helen Dunmore’s site or Harper Collin’s Ingo site (including a video book trailer). The pull of Ingo is strong, who can resist?

For a book advertised with the tag line: "In a world without air all you breathe is adventure" -- this book was very short on underwater scenes as well as adventure. I found this novel in a search for Young Adult mermaid books, but I would classify this as middle grade fiction, since the protagonist, Sapphire (or "Sapphy" as she is most frequently called), seems to be in fourth or fifth grade.The great bulk of this novel takes place on land, on the coast of Cornwall, where Sapphy lives with her family. One day, her father goes missing at sea, and is later pronounced dead, though his body is never recovered.The question of whether Sapphy's father is actually alive or not drives the plot of this book, though the reader is certain the whole time that her father *is* still alive, which makes it feel like the book has no plot at all. We follow Sapphy through her normal life on land, coping with her father's disappearance and her mother's financial struggles now that the breadwinner of their household is gone. While Sapphire feels drawn to the sea, quite some time passes before she actually meets a young Mer boy named Faro, and Faro shows her how to breathe underwater for the first time.After that first trip underwater, another long section of story passes by before Sapphy swims with Faro again. I enjoyed these two fleeting scenes of Sapphy and Faro underwater, but they felt incredibly brief in comparison to the rest of the book, which is mostly pages and pages of Sapphy's life on land, interacting with her mother and brother and neighbors. By the time the book arrives at something resembling action and danger, with Sapphy and her brother actually doing something, it felt like a delightful surprise, but it also felt a bit like too little, too late. I wish the entire novel could've focused more on the undersea world, and featured more of the action that seems to jump out of nowhere at the end. As to Sapphy's father, even though his disappearance drives the plot of the novel, the reader is no more informed at the end of the book than they are at the beginning. The father never reappears, but we know Sapphy is certain he did survive somewhere underwater, which is the same thing the reader already knows through the entire story. If you want to see Sapphy's father again, you'll have to read the many sequels, as I'm sure she decides in the future books to go and find him underwater, in the undersea world of Ingo.Having read a few other YA mermaid novels now, I think the writing in "Ingo" is better than many of the books in this genre on offer. It was also a relief to read a book about the Mer that didn't star a male Mer sexually obsessed with a female human, or obsessed with a half-Mer/half-human female, a la "Twilight" (a Twilight that stars a merman instead of a vampire). Those types of stories seem to dominate this genre. So if you're burned out on that Mer trope, you'll be happy to know that there is *NO* romance in "Ingo" -- other than Sapphy's lonely single mom trying to date again, which is a very different situation than a love story involving a protagonist. Besides, Sapphy is so young, if a male Mer become obsessed with her, the guy would be a complete pedophile. There is no creepy sexual subtext going on in this novel, and that's a relief.

Do You like book Ingo (2006)?

Sapphire and her older brother Conor live on the coast of Cornwall. Following Conor down to the sea one day, Sapphire discovers the enchanting and dangerous underwater world of Ingo.This is a lovely story for older children and the only thing I didn't like was that there was a certain major issue unresolved at the end. It's the first book in a series, sure, but this seemed unnecessary. The characters and the world are interesting enough to draw you on to read the next book without leaving the plot hanging.

Ingo is a tale of magic and adventure in which the sea itself is at odds with the land and our narrator feels herself torn between two worlds.Dunmore's narrator, Sapphy, lives with her family on the clifftops of Cornwall, just a few minutes' walk from the sea. Sapphy loves Cornwall, but after her father's disappearance she finds herself drawn away from the land and into the depths of the sea, into Ingo. Dunmore writes two beautifully atmospheric settings - Cornwall and the magical fantasy world of Ingo, beneath the sea. Every time I thought of putting the book down I was swept up once again by Dunmore's beautiful, descriptive prose.I will say that despite the beauty of Ingo, the story moved along too slowly for my liking. It seems like Dunmore was using the entire book to introduce her world and her characters. I couldn't help but feel, once I'd reached the end, that Ingo was only half a book. I understand that it's part of a series, but I like opening novels that also tell their own individual stories. I'm also not sure how I feel about Sapphy or her brother, Connor. Neither character made much of an impression on me.However, as Dunmore's writing did make an impression, I'm sure I'll be reading the rest of this series. 3 stars.

REVIEWI love reading mermaid books. There are not very many of them, so I cherish the few that I can get my hands (and eyes) on. Ingo is no exception.Ingo is the name of the magical underwater world where the mermaids (and mermen) live. You don’t see much of it in the book, but the descriptions that are in there, are amazing. I am betting there is more detail about this amazing world in the next book.This book is told from Sapphire’s point of view. She is spunky and loyal to her brother, Conor. I was also really happy about her decision near the end of the book – but I’m going to spoil it for you. The merpeople were not very fond of humans – even humans who had a bit of mer in their history. At first the merpeople seem really mean. But then, when I realized it was because the humans were ruining the merpeople’s underwater world, I sort of took their side in the struggle.If you are a mermaid fan like I am, then you will enjoy Ingo.RATING4 Plot3 Characters4 Attention Grabbing4 Girlie Meter4 Ending19 TOTAL4 STARS
—Reading Vacation

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