Book Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Series: Magonia #1
Genres: YA | Fantasy | Romance
Published: April 28th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
My rating: 
Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

This book is strange. And perhaps that's where its beauty lies.

The story is derived from a mythology often unheard of and I love the refreshing storyline all of delivered. I ate it all up and can safely say a good part of this book's beauty is a result of the world building. Everything was imaginative - I mean, come on, bird people? Ships in the sky? Sky pirates? - and oozing with magic. It was absolutely wondrous.

With that did come a little problem which is probably more of a 'me' thing than anything else. As much as I tried, I couldn't imagine what the bird people actually look like. I just couldn't wrap my head around it and whatever image I had was pretty comical. So yes, there's that.

Fortunately, that was just a minor quibble and there were other things to love. I liked Aza's character. I was expecting her to be whiny but it was quite a lovely surprise when she adapted to the changes in her life quickly without spending paragraphs curled up in a corner hating her life. She had her naive moments, but overall, she was likeable.

Jason was lovely, and we do get a few chapters from his POV as well which aided my understanding of his character. He was adorable and it was really admirable how he was willing to believe things that didn't even come closer to the circle of reality, for Aza's sake.

As for the dynamic between the two, it was present, but I kind of failed to see it, if that even makes sense. Maybe because we don't really get to see many scenes between Aza and Jason but it was still adorable. (Yes I'm confused. Also reading slumps).

All in all, this was a beautiful novel and definitely worth a read despite some flaws.

descriptionABOUT NABAN
Mostly a fangirl and YA enthusiast. I read, I write and occassionaly tinker around with words. Ronan Lynch is life.

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