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Reviewed by Kyra Johnson
Opening sentence
An adventurous story rich in symbolism and suspense, reviewed by Kyra Johnson
October 25, 2022

Indigo Moon is the first book in Merriman’s new series which follows the Black Spiral trilogy. Having read the first trilogy a couple of times, as soon as I saw Indigo Moon, I knew I must read it. This incredible story did not disappoint and met the expectations I didn’t even realise I had.

The story is told from two alternating points of view: Indigo Moon and Rigel Fletcher. Indigo is the 17-year-old daughter of the former VORTEX members (see Black Spiral trilogy) Harper Mehta and Bruno Hoffman. Rigel Fletcher is a little older than Indigo, who is a family friend. Rigel is the son of Johnno (Phoenix) Fletcher and Violet Black. Both Indigo and Rigel are second-generation virally optimised, also called Offspring. They both can think-speak and shift like their parents but are believed to have more unknown abilities. They had also been warned to ‘never, ever mess with time…”, but Indigo does just that - and travels back to 1996 London so she can party and go to nightclubs. It is during one of her time-travelling adventures that she meets the mysterious Billy Raven, a young man from the future.

Indigo and Billy become close friends, and then lovers. However, Billy tricks Indigo into going with him to present-day London. There, she is drugged into submission and harvested for her stem cells. But why? What could anyone possibly want with Indigo Moon’s cells? Read the book to find out!

After a devastating event back in New Zealand, Rigel sets off to find Indigo because he and the Black Spiral Intelligence suspect something is seriously wrong. Will Rigel be able to find out where - and when - Indigo is? A suspense-filled journey of discovery and time, readers will want to know what happens next.

What I loved most about the starting book in this new series was the way everything fitted so well with the previous trilogy. Characters such as Violet Black, Johnno Fletcher, Harper Mehta and Bruno Hoffman are welcomed back and we get to read about their lives years after the treacherous Spiral Foundation, but this time through their children’s point of view.

Merriman’s plot twists and timing - which are quite important for this particular book because of the time travel aspect - are as consistent and page-turning as in the original trilogy. Whilst the time travel part is sometimes confusing, it is always clarified shortly after by the characters, a clever trick used by the author to make sure the readers understand a certain idea or event which is significant to the story.

The character list at the start of the book is a useful way for Merriman to hint at the time travel aspect before the story has even begun. It is also useful to get an idea of the characters which already existed from the Black Spiral trilogy, as well as the new ones being introduced. The way Merriman uses symbolism to gradually incorporate her theme of Roman mythology into a character is also very good.

Merriman has a great way of expressing the thoughts and feelings of the characters, especially when they are teenagers. She is not afraid to include the worries and joys of being a teenager, which is one of the reasons this book is so relatable to teens. The other reason is that Merriman has given her own prediction of what the world will be like a few decades from now. The little bits like ‘Climate Control’, ‘InstaLawn’, the extinction of species, and the increase of technology in this setting make the story’s environment so much more enticing; it gives an entirely different insight into the plot to make it even more interesting.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers aged 14+, especially those who have read the Black Spiral trilogy and want to find out how the rest of Violet Black and Johnno Fletcher’s lives turn out. This is an adventurous, playful book that will constantly make you wonder which century you’re in!

- Kyra lives in Greymouth
Author & Illustrator: Eileen Merriman
Publisher: Penguin Random House New Zealand