Monday, June 8, 2015

Review - Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

By Maria Dahvana Headley
Published April 28th, 2015 by Harper Collins
320 pages

Summary from 

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds... two races…and two destinies.

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? 
Wow. It's going to be kind of difficult to explain this book because it is definitely something that I haven't read before. Magonia was so unique and such an intriguing read that I wasn't able to put down! 
Aza Ray is not normal and she hasn't ever been. She can't breathe easily in the air that everyone else can breathe in. Aza is basically dying on Earth and she doesn't have much longer to live based on what the doctors says. Then something happens and Aza is taken above the clouds to a place called Magonia. A place where she lives on a ship in the sky and can breathe easily. But even though Aza is not weak in Magonia, it isn't her home and those people aren't her family. Will she stay with her shipmates or will she try to find a way back to her family and best friend?
On Magonia Aza is surrounded by people that aren't actually humans or "drowners." I won't say too much about what they are because I think it will be better to not know too much going into the book. So I'll talk about Aza instead. :) 
Aza is a pretty strong girl. She is weak and dying on Earth and she has known this for forever, yet she is still able to go about her life. Then she finds herself on some ship with strange creatures in the sky and she doesn't totally freak out. She figures things out and she is pretty brave. Aside from how strong she is, Aza is definitely unique. She doesn't act like everyone else and she absolutely loves to read and learn new information through her reading. Her best friend, Jason, is her only friend and compliments her personality. Both are smart, though Jason is definitely intelligent. They aren't like everyone else and I loved their relationship. Jason is definitely determined and loyal to those he cares about. 
Magonia is written in a way that isn't always understandable. The sentences are really interesting to read as well as the descriptions, but they don't always make sense. I found myself having to go back and think about what I read to make sense of what was happening or being described. It also felt like not too much happened because the book is pretty small for a standalone of that genre. I felt like there was something else that was supposed to happen but other than that, the book was pretty great. It was unique, fresh, and intriguing. I definitely recommend to those that are looking for something different! 
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars! 


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