Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Genre: Sci-Fy, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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 was a thrilling read. It’s unique to a majority of what I’ve ever seen come out of the sci-fy and fantasy genres.
Aza is a stunning character. She struggles a lot with her identity and who she is once she enters Magonia. This is incredibly accurate to what real people experience and go through as they grow up. The sheer character development earns Magonia at least 3.5 Stars by itself.
"I don't think of the sky as any kind of heaven item. I think of it as a bunch of gases and faraway echoes of things that used to be on fire"-Maria Dahvana Headley
The idea of Magonia, the fantastical and magical element to the story, is, to simply put it, stellar. Headley weaves and intertwines magic in such a way that it entraps you. I’m blown away by the simplistic and artful way that Headley introduces and explains the legend of Magonia and the true identity of Aza.
Headley’s writing style was what elevated this book to one of my favorites.
It was amazing! There are no words that I could use that would convey a fraction of the *beauty* of her writing and how much I LOVED it. This writing style is one of my favorites of all.time.
"I can't imagine a universe in which I try to unlove her"-Maria Dahvana Headley
However, I found the romance to be lackluster and also the relationship between Aza and a certain person (spoiler-free!). The relationships felt like they lacked background and concrete evidence to support the relationships. The romance was meh. I really just didn’t sense a chemistry between the two. I was yearning for a solid friendship, but received a subpar romance instead.
Despite a few blips, Magonia is truly a gem in the fantasy and magical realism genres. Headley is a master at writing beautifully and artfully.