Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Author:  Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher:  HarperCollins, 320 pages
Publication Date:  April 28, 2015

From Goodreads:
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?

Magonia is a creative, imaginative, and unique book.  I loved Aza Ray's voice.  

"I'm too skinny, and have no luck gaining weight.  Clarification:  by 'too skinny,' I don't mean Sexy Goth Girl in Need of Flowery Dress and Lipstick to Become Girl Who Was Always Secretly Pretty but We Never Saw It Till Now.  I mean:  dead girl walking.  Corpse-style skin, and sometimes when I cough, it's way gross. Just saying."

"I didn't even start out being called Aza Ray.  This is the name they gave me after the breathing problems started.  Before that, I was called Heyward. (Heyward was a great-uncle. Eli is name after a great-uncle too. I'm not sure what's wrong with my parents. Could they not name us after our aunts?)"

See what I mean?

And Jason.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this quirky, nerdy, amazing guy.  He's brilliant, so brilliant that he has two patents on products (one is some sort of plastic thing that helps you make a bed and the other is a spray that basically dry cleans your clothes).  And how Jason feels about Aza Ray, what he does for her…makes me want to hug the guy.

"Jason will either be recruited by the CIA or he'll live a life of crime.  No one is sure which.  I mean, like those are opposites anyway."

The sky world intrigued me, but I felt a bit of a disconnect for some reason, maybe because it was such a jarring shift from the normal world to that world.  I loved all of the characters on earth, but the ones in the sky…not so much. But it is fascinating.  Weird, but fascinating.  Strangely enough, this may be one of those series where I'm almost positive I'll like the second book more. At least I'm assuming it's a series????

This is one of those books where the more I think about it, the more I like it.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. You know, I was just thinking about it and there was no info on Goodreads on a second book. And I forgot about it, but I thought when I was reading that it was a standalone... I feel like it was tied up enough at the end to be a standalone maybe. As long as we assume that the Magonians aren't going to come back after her. Hmmm.... I would definitely enjoy another book. But yes, Aza and Jason both were amazing! Such unique characters. Loved them! Great review!

  2. I have seen very similar feelings from other bloggers and I have to admit that I am intrigued! I will probably give this one a try at some point!