Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published Date: 28 April 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

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?
(summary from Goodreads)

Headley spins magic with every word. Soar with Aza and become a believer.

I have so much love for this book I honestly don't know how to put it into words. This is a favourite read of 2015 so far. Seriously, why is "Oh my god, I loved this book so, so much. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Read it now" not an appropriate review? Maybe on Twitter? I feel like everything I write is too inadequate to encompass just how amazing and spectacular I find this book.

Headley's writing style is simply gorgeous. I got so caught up in this book, never wanting to put it down. Even when I finished I wanted to just sit and stoke that pretty cover and wallow. So often Headley's prose left me breathless, which is perfect considering Aza and her situation. The beautiful descriptions, smart dialogue, and pure whimsy of Magonia is everything I didn't know I was hoping for. I had certain expectations, I guess, in waiting for and wanting this book for months, and they were completely blown away by everything Magonia is. Headley has created a unique world and infused it with such history that it grabs the imagination and makes you wonder. Everything about the Magonian's and the Rostrae is weaved in a way that keeps you wanting more. With ships that fly; people that are half human, half bird; political intrigue; and birds taking up residence in lungs, Magonia is a bundle of awe. I found myself honestly torn between wanting Aza to find a way back to the family she's always known, and to accept who she actually is and remain with the Magonians, because both worlds are lovely and moving in their own ways. There's true emotion and quirkiness to the human world, and such marvel to that of Magonia. Each is impossible to resist. 

Every character of Magonia is a bright and fascinating addition to a stellar story. Aza is sass personified, sarcastic and clever. She doesn't always act on her instincts and is sometime slow on the uptake, but she makes up for it with sheer personality. Likewise, Jason is smart and funny, vulnerable and determined. He is willing to act and I love him to pieces. Aza and Jason's friendship and blooming romance is one to squee over. I have as much love for Aza's family and Jason's Mums. Their love, loyalty and acceptance is so very touching. As the novel is told from Aza and Jason's point of views, I don't feel we truly get to know the Magonians, but I have hope for the next book. As it stands, there's enough to intrigue. Dai, Zal, Wedda, Jik, Milekt and Caru have so much more to offer and I want it all right now.

Magonia is an enchanting story. You'll never look at the sky or a storm the same way again. I {     } this book more than [[[{{{((       ))}}}]]]. Excuse me, I'm off to flail again. 



  1. Urrrrrghh! Why can't I read this right now? Every review I read of it just make me want to read it even more....... stupid book backlog! Wonderful review!

    1. I pretty much felt the same, but unlike you, I couldn't resist! Stay strong! I started reading this one the same day I bought it, I just had too. I'd been wanting it too long. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Thea. I hope you get to read Magonia soon and you love it as I did. :-D