Indigo Owl

Charlie Archbold

Wakefield Press

September 2020

$24.95 AU

330p pb

ISBN: 978-1743057322

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Indigo Owl by Charlie Archbold is a dystopian novel set sometime far ahead in our future. The book is set on one of many newly colonised planets, Galbraith, after Earth was destroyed by climate change and overpopulation. In this new society, the government has full control over their citizens, and all citizens are divided into different groups that perform various roles - Cardinals (who become government executives), Solitaires, (who have magic-like psychic abilities), Willows (who train for administration), and Malachites (future scientists).

The story is centered around three main characters, Scarlet, Dylan, and Rumi, who meet at the Arcadia Institute on their first day of training in their respective divisions. What I found quite interesting was that as well as the main conflict they work to solve, each character had their own struggles and goals which intervene and add more depth to the characters and story. For example, Scarlet is trying to find out how her mother went missing when she was young, while Dylan struggles through family conflict.

In my opinion this novel was also very eye opening. The setting was very well established/written and introduced me to a world which is similar to ours in a lot of ways. Themes such as individuality, freedom, diversity, and government control/privatisation are all explored within this novel and can be seen throughout our society today. Overall, I would recommend Indigo Owl to young-mid teenagers who enjoy reading dystopian novels which explore these themes, and for readers who enjoy series such as the Divergent series and The Hunger Games trilogy.

Freya, age 14

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