Review: INGO by Helen Dunmore


Ingo (The Ingo Chronicles, #1)
by Helen Dunmore

BlurbTheA whisper on the tide…

Sapphire’s father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea.

But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.


★★★☆ : Nice! A good and okay read.

Ingo follows the life and secrets revolving around a girl named Sapphire and her love for the sea. Her father had gone missing, supposedly taken by the ocean. A year after his disappearance, her mother began dating a new man, which dismayed Sapphire and her brother.

Her dad was mysteriously named after a local man who was believed to have drowned years ago and was captured by mermaids. The townfolks believed this same fate befell her dad. Against their mother’s orders, she and her brother Connor spent most of their time swimming in the deep blue. Until Connor also went missing for a certain period of time and eventually, the two of them got pulled by the water and discovered a world beyond the beach.

A place called Ingo, powerful and mysterious.

There, they met a couple of mermaids and they realized that the time spent underwater differed from their time above the earth. Sapphire and Connor also discovered their own earthly powers that saved them during crisis.

Mermaids are next to dragons when it came to my favorite mythological characters. While Disney’s Arielle remained the best mermaid I’ve ever met, I think Ingo’s mermaids are somewhat okay, if not intimidating. The story may not be the best underwater story ever but it is cute nonetheless; clean enough for kids. The thing that irked me, however, was Sapphire’s evil thoughts – and that involved a murder plot against her soon-to-be stepfather. Granted that this stepfather was anything but charismatic, still, it bothered me to think that this young girl would talk to the sea creatures and ask them to make him “gone”.

Part one of a trilogy. I’m not that excited to read the rest of the series because of the uncanny vibes I felt while reading Ingo, but I guess I’ll give it a try. I still wonder about Sapphire’s mom’s fear of the ocean and how their father would return to the land, that is if he still had intentions to return. Also, there’s witchcraft involved in the story, which, in my opinion, made this fantasy series more exciting.



I was born in December 1952, in Yorkshire, the second of four children. My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children. In a large family you hear a great many stories. You also come to understand very early that stories hold quite different meanings for different listeners, and can be recast from many viewpoints.

Poetry was very important to me from childhood. I began by listening to and learning by heart all kinds of rhymes and hymns and ballads, and then went on to make up my own poems, using the forms I’d heard. Writing these down came a little later.

I studied English at the University of York, and after graduation taught English as a foreign language in Finland.


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