Indigo Voss is about the gun-toting, knife-waving, throat-tearing, a-moral moments of violence and betrayal in the curated memories of Alex Voss in pursuit of a life worth living.
It is also about the spaces between despair, where we can find things worth living for; sometimes another person, sometimes a moment of passion, and sometimes a particularly colorful sky.
This story is as heavy with metaphorical rebirth as it is with literal death,
Rebirth is something I feel is pivotal to the queer experience and central to the immigrant and diaspora experience, aspects I felt I could relate to (myself being those things).
Killing yourself in all the ways just shy of in the literal sense to learn who (and what) you are.
Returning yourself from the fringes and dark spaces you were forced in to, realized and unashamed.
Indigo Voss goes hard from the start and the underlying feeling is told in a way that speaks loudly from a familiarity with the subject; something I think many authors try for but don’t have the experience to draw on (or the self awareness to recognize stories they have no business telling). In this case I felt the story brought a secluding and visceral reminder to the reader of where they’ve been (or are); and simultaneously an endearing (and I pray with every piece of myself, achievable) promise that things could be better.
I heartily recommend Indigo Voss and look forward to the prospect of seeing future works by K. Leigh.
Indigo Voss asks the question: who is Alex Voss?
If you read the author's preceding books the Constellis Voss trilogy, you probably have a good idea. But for newcomers, he is complete mystery.
In this novel, Kira Leigh takes us through a hellish beginning where a genre is battled and the embers of hope are crushed beneath the foot of a persistent pervading threat.
The second act introduces (technically reintroduces) Alex's chosen family of flawed misfits and how they band together with a touch of manipulation in 1990s New York City.
And finally, the third act bends and distorts everything with an ending that struggles against the predestination chosen for the protagonist.
This is about the life of Alex Voss, but it is also about his death. The specter of his death looms over the whole story. And yet the protagonist resists fate. The chosen family resists fate.
It is a struggle that yields immeasurable hope in a world of obscene darkness.
This story lacks the trappings of a scifi world centuries beyond our world, but it does not need it. The author presents a dogged determination to break the pattern to create a second chance. Indeed, it shows how "something awesome" can change everything.
It's very much the same message as Constellis Voss with a different package and wrapping, but it's the same message which cannot be said enough: If we band together, we can overcome those who exploit the exploitable and seize happiness from those who hoard it.
Both Indigo Voss and Constellis Voss go together like peanut butter and chocolate - they complement each other profoundly and yet can exist apart as equally delicious pieces of art.
I greatly recommend you read both to really get the optimum experience from this world, this character, and this pathos and ethos presented by the author.
The content itself can be harsh and unflinching so it is very much not for everyone. Depictions of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse run throughout the story - but for a very good purpose. This is not a pulp novel but a real shot at creating art that represents a tortured individual in a bittersweet world. But, again, not for everyone so just be careful if it's not to your taste. (not everyone likes peanut butter and chocolate, but that's okay!)
Indigo Voss is breathtakingly poetic; with each sentence the darkest parts of Sofia and New York come alive in vivid color. Simultaneously a 90s crime thriller with a focus on the Russian Mafia and a mind-bending sci-fi experience of fate being braided and rewoven right before our eyes, it’s an exploration of despair, madness, and self hatred crashing against love and the constantly-reaching hands of friends and lovers.
Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, neither Alex nor his author pull a single punch in relating the story of his painful life. IV fully embraces the darkness, and the healing is all the sweeter in contrast. This prequel is an absolute knockout followup to the Sci-Fi masterpiece of Constelis Voss.
This book is incredibly intense at all times and that is very much modern queerness.
I'm not going to talk about the plot because where this book shines is the consistent tone of the narrator.
It's this "been there done that" voice that describes sex, the transition of gender, alternate realities, and everything.
It's exceptional in that way to start. Imagine if the coolest person you ever knew told you the coolest story you every heard.
And you are also very queer. Hearing the queer version of Luke Skywalker tell you not only are you not alone but you aren't crazy.
This book meant a lot to me. Its themes of feeling disconnected from society, of identity and being lost, of being transactional because that’s what was tortured into you resonated strongly with me. I also absolutely should mention how important it is to the story that Alex is trans.
I just can't see myself in the innocent farmer's son who goes with the bearded wise man to find a sword and become king. Honestly, I don't trust them, I don’t like them, and I was never, ever innocent enough to do either. But a first-person narrator who constantly tells me how much they hate being manipulative, while being manipulative toward me; who tells me how vile they are while also being kind of proud of it; who so desperately wants me to love or at least understand them while also not giving a fuck? I’ll happily let them live rent-free in my head forever. That’s what Indigo Voss delivers, and then some.
I have a comparison for you, not about the kind of book this is (or reminds me of), but about the style it is written in. It's been a while since I watched Angel Heart, and my long-term memory is one of the victims of too many depression-related ECTs. But I do remember the impression the movie made in my brain. The feelings of a feverish, manic, fractured narrative that was less told and more inserted - under great pressure - into my skull. That’s how Indigo Voss read to me.
While reading Indigo Voss, it sometimes felt like a different kind of performance I invented in my head. An actor, standing alone on a small stage, in a small club, screaming, crying, laughing, winking the whole text as a monologue directly at me.
In 1997, New York City, a petty criminal named Alex Voss is about to die via bullet shot right between the eyes by his criminal employer: Boris. But was he really a petty criminal, or something even stranger? As all roads lead to death, he recounts his tragic life one last time; murder, sex, drugs, rock and roll, losing his mind and failing at being a true hero. There’s no escape from his tragic ending. At least, that’s how it’s meant to play out.
As events fail to line up, is Alex’s mind breaking the fourth wall, has he finally succumbed to madness, or did a deus ex machina from the future save him from himself? It might just be all three, actually.
File Type: .epub reflowable, PDF, MOBI
Genre: sci-fi, slipstream fiction, psychological thriller, crime drama, action/adventure, LGBT+
Length: About 98,000 words, give or take. So, a chonky eBook, for sure~
INDIGO VOSS contains depictions of mental illness, sexual abuse, exploitation, bigotry, graphic violence, eating disorders, accurate depictions of psychosis, panic attacks, dissociation, alcoholism, gender dysphoria, and more.
There are also explicit consensual sex scenes, as well as copious use of swear words. Moreover, it includes marginalized characters such as sex workers, queer folx struggling in a different time, on slightly AU earth, across two countries.
Please note that this story comes from real life and hopes to reach and heal two real people, and hopefully very many readers.
Finally, I aim to provide what rarely exists in a world that forces impossible bravery: mercy.